LINDSEY BAUM: 10-year-old abducted and murdered in McCleary, WA - June 2009 / Remains found 2017

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After a decade, knowing didn’t bring relief

Melissa Baum wears a silver necklace holding a small silver pendant with a ruby. Contained within the pendant are half the remains of her daughter, Lindsey.

It’s been 10 years since Lindsey disappeared during a 10-minute walk to her home in McCleary on a hot summer evening June 26, 2009. It’s been a little more than a year since Melissa Baum was told her daughter’s partial remains had been found hundreds of miles away in the middle of the state and she knew for sure her daughter had been murdered.

During the decade that followed her daughter’s disappearance, Melissa has seen her daughter’s friends grow up, graduate from high school, go to college, marry, have children of their own. Melissa has only the memories of the talkative, intelligent, strong-willed girl, frozen in time at the age of 10.

“I’m finally to a point where I’m able to reminisce about her,” said Baum. “I have lots of memories that I’m grateful for.” For example, “She had so much energy. She talked constantly, a mile a minute.”


Closure?

Melissa got a call in early May 2018 from Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott. He needed to see her, and right away.

“It felt a little odd, he sounded urgent, I didn’t understand,” she said, saying it normally took months to set up a meeting with investigators, and it had been more than eight years without much news to be shared.

The next day Scott and an FBI victim’s advocate showed up at her door.

“I knew there was more to it,” said Melissa, when she saw the raw emotion on Scott’s face. DNA testing from the FBI confirmed a portion of Lindsey’s remains had been found more than six months earlier in Eastern Washington.

“Over the years, when I heard of children’s remains being recovered, I remember feeling twinges of jealousy,” said Melissa. “I felt knowing would bring some relief. It’s been the exact opposite.” Anger, rage and frustration were the result for her.

Days later, at a press conference in McCleary, she spoke to the press and the community about the discovery of her daughter’s remains. She admits it is still difficult for her to visit the town; she moved some time after Lindsey’s disappearance but returned, not to McCleary, but to the area. She continues to grant interviews like this one and make television appearances. As difficult as they are for her, she knows there’s always a chance the right person will see them.

“It’s not over because she’s been found, not even close,” said Baum.


 
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SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
10 Years Later, Still No Arrest in Lindsey Baum Case

It was hot in McCleary June 26, 2009. Lindsey Baum, just weeks shy of her 11th birthday, had spent part of the day beating the heat with a lot of neighborhood kids at a pool party blocks from her home.

Later that evening she, her then 12-year-old brother Josh and a friend left Lindsey’s home on Mommsen Street to see about a sleepover at the friend’s house. Josh peeled back toward his home after a few blocks and the two girls continued to the friend’s house. The sleepover didn’t work out and Lindsey, now on her own, started the 10-minute walk home around 9:15 p.m.

She never arrived.

What followed was an intensive search for the missing girl. Thousands of hours of searching and investigating by multiple agencies and hundreds of volunteers, a half-million pieces of information gathered, search helicopters above, scent dogs on the ground, search warrants executed, about 20 persons of interest developed, but no trace of Lindsey would be found for almost nine years.

Lindsey’s partial remains were found in a remote area of Kittitas County in the fall of 2017, giving investigators, a mother, a family and a community some answers. Lindsey had been abducted, and had been murdered. That added another investigative piece to the puzzle, but 10 years after that hot June day in McCleary there have been no arrests in the case.

 

GrandmaBear

NEXT THE PACK HOSTS THE NFC TITLE GAME!!
I do if you are familiar with it, with any answers yo might have, thanks. She is a beautiful child. I guess I mean was, sadly.

Was the pool party at a friend's and how many attended? Or was it at a community pool? Adults and children, neighbors or strangers, etc.?

So she came home fine from the pool party and likely with a friend? Why did they not call to see about a sleepover, any idea? And why did the brother "peel" back home as it was put above, any idea? I in no way wonder about the brother, just wonder about the reason for that.

It says ten minutes but how far was this walk and was it rural or in town? And it is confirmed she and her friend got to the friend's house and she left alone?

Any idea how big this town is?

Looking at the above articles, etc. as a person who knows nothing of this case, I find it a bit significant the statement that in this small town she more than likely got into a car with someone she knew.

Did the town attract traffic and a lot of strangers? It sounds small town.

Have there ever been any persons of interest or rumors of one?

I feel for any mother who not only lost a child to murder but to have no answers and no justice is even more heartbreaking.

Any answers any of you have are appreciated. I am happy to research also if need be as reading it has piqued my interest.
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
Oh you're asking some pretty specific questions and maybe she who has better answers than I do. But let me give it a gander.

It wasn't really a big party, it was just her girlfriend and their family at her at their house. I don't know how big the pool was. I always imagined it being above ground. The town is very very small. The rumor is that she walked by a certain jewelers store. I'll just leave that right there.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
You're making me think @GrandmaBear! All good questions. I'll see if I can remember the details.

Was the pool party at a friend's and how many attended? Or was it at a community pool? Adults and children, neighbors or strangers, etc.?

Kimster is right on on this one. It was just at her friend's house. I'm not sure on the details of the pool.

So she came home fine from the pool party and likely with a friend? Why did they not call to see about a sleepover, any idea? And why did the brother "peel" back home as it was put above, any idea? I in no way wonder about the brother, just wonder about the reason for that.

She and her friend went home. Not sure why they didn't call. But I believe they were actually planning on all returning to Lindsey's house to have the sleepover there. So probably they had to go to the friend's house to get her overnight stuff anyway if she could stay. Brother was supposed to go with them so if friend couldn't stay, Lindsey wouldn't be walking home alone. There were a lot of different versions of the story with the bicycle. The most commonly known story said they were arguing about who could use the bike. But another story was that the bicycle wasn't fully functional. They argued about who would push the bicycle. Brother got mad, they stashed the bike behind a gas station, and went home.

It says ten minutes but how far was this walk and was it rural or in town? And it is confirmed she and her friend got to the friend's house and she left alone?

Tiny town. Just over 1,500 people. It is a possible stop for people to gas up on that highway, but for the most part just a tiny little town. Barely a mile and a half from one end of town to the other. It really was about 10 minutes / just over a half mile / about 5 blocks.
Yes it was confirmed Lindsey made it to her friend's house and left alone. She was seen walking home. The friend and friend's mom were also extremely involved in the search efforts.

Looking at the above articles, etc. as a person who knows nothing of this case, I find it a bit significant the statement that in this small town she more than likely got into a car with someone she knew.

Oh I agree she definitely came across someone she knew.

Did the town attract traffic and a lot of strangers? It sounds small town.

The whole area is pretty rural. The nearest major city is Olympia, WA, the state capital, about 20 miles away to the east. But most other big cities are further east and north, not to the west. People do use the road when traveling to the coast. But for the most part, you'd only stop there if you were desperate for gas or a bathroom break. Aside from events for Lindsey, I've only driven through there once and it was on my way to an even more rural area to go camping.

Have there ever been any persons of interest or rumors of one?

Yes. Quite a few actually. They served many search warrants related to many different people and many different properties.

Most suspect a man who she'd had a few "run-ins" with in the past, Tim Hartman. Like @Kimster said, she would have walked right past his business on her walk home. He was also seen at the Shell gas station which Lindsey also would have walked right past on her way home (and...he lied about being in town at the time until they caught him on this surveillance video). That night, he "happened" to come across Lindsey's mom out searching on foot and offered to drive her around to search. https://komonews.com/news/local/person-of-interest-identified-in-lindsey-baum-disappearance

However, there was another suspect who had some ties to central Washington, where her remains were found, Dale Golder. He gave several different stories regarding his whereabouts when Lindsey disappeared. He had apparently been texting his girlfriend (who lives in Ellensburg near where the remains were found) but stopped right at the time she disappeared. He may have also been following Lindsey's mom around in his car that night. He was confirmed to have traveled to Ellensburg on 7/16, 2-3 weeks after her disappearance. And finally, he was a "suspect" in the attempted rape of a 12-year-old when he was 14.

Honestly, Hartman was my #1 suspect for a LONG time. But since Lindsey's remains were found, Golder has taken the #1 spot.
 
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GrandmaBear

NEXT THE PACK HOSTS THE NFC TITLE GAME!!
You're making me think @GrandmaBear! All good questions. I'll see if I can remember the details.



Kimster is right on on this one. It was just at her friend's house. I'm not sure on the details of the pool.



She and her friend went home. Not sure why they didn't call. But I believe they were actually planning on all returning to Lindsey's house to have the sleepover there. So probably they had to go to the friend's house to get her overnight stuff anyway if she could stay. Brother was supposed to go with them so if friend couldn't stay, Lindsey wouldn't be walking home alone. There were a lot of different versions of the story with the bicycle. The most commonly known story said they were arguing about who could use the bike. But another story was that the bicycle wasn't fully functional. They argued about who would push the bicycle. Brother got mad, they stashed the bike behind a gas station, and went home.



Tiny town. Just over 1,500 people. It is a possible stop for people to gas up on that highway, but for the most part just a tiny little town. Barely a mile and a half from one end of town to the other. It really was about 10 minutes / just over a half mile / about 5 blocks.
Yes it was confirmed Lindsey made it to her friend's house and left alone. She was seen walking home. The friend and friend's mom were also extremely involved in the search efforts.



Oh I agree she definitely came across someone she knew.



The whole area is pretty rural. The nearest major city is Olympia, WA, the state capital, about 20 miles away to the east. But most other big cities are further east and north, not to the west. People do use the road when traveling to the coast. But for the most part, you'd only stop there if you were desperate for gas or a bathroom break. Aside from events for Lindsey, I've only driven through there once and it was on my way to an even more rural area to go camping.



Yes. Quite a few actually. They served many search warrants related to many different people and many different properties.

Most suspect a man who she'd had a few "run-ins" with in the past, Tim Hartman. Like @Kimster said, she would have walked right past his business on her walk home. He was also seen at the Shell gas station which Lindsey also would have walked right past on her way home (and...he lied about being in town at the time until they caught him on this surveillance video). That night, he "happened" to come across Lindsey's mom out searching on foot and offered to drive her around to search. https://komonews.com/news/local/person-of-interest-identified-in-lindsey-baum-disappearance

However, there was another suspect who had some ties to central Washington, where her remains were found, Dale Golder. He gave several different stories regarding his whereabouts when Lindsey disappeared. He had apparently been texting his girlfriend (who lives in Ellensburg near where the remains were found) but stopped right at the time she disappeared. He may have also been following Lindsey's mom around in his car that night. He was confirmed to have traveled to Ellensburg on 7/16, 2-3 weeks after her disappearance. And finally, he was a "suspect" in the attempted rape of a 12-year-old when he was 14.

Honestly, Hartman was my #1 suspect for a LONG time. But since Lindsey's remains were found, Golder has taken the #1 spot.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in depth about this. I did not see this post until tonight, not sure why, maybe I missed it. So there are suspects. It is a small town yet not way out as far as distance from a bigger city. And when she was found, it put the light on more on this Golder because of location?
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
Thank you. I hate asking people to fill me in but it seemed you guys knew this case. I really appreciate the info, and am happy to return the favor when I am up on a case. This one I don't think I had heard about before.
I don't mind you asking questions. Problem is, sometimes I forget the answers! I used to know this case inside out but it's been so many years. Isn't that sad? 😢
 

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