The mom of Lindsey Baum spoke publicly for the first time Thursday since the discovery of her daughter's remains.
Melissa Baum thanked law enforcement and the public for searching for her 10-year-old daughter who disappeared from McCleary, Washington on June 26, 2009. The girl's remains were discovered in a remote area of eastern Washington in September 2017.
Lindsey's mom says her focus has turned to finding the "monster" who kidnapped and killed her daughter:
"I attempted to write a statement on what exactly to say to convey how I feel. There are no words. The fact is, a monster stole my 10-year-old little girl and they murdered her. And they dumped her like trash in the woods. So, my fight now has turned from looking for my daughter, to finding who killed her."
"This person is a monster and I grew up teaching my children that monsters didn’t exist. So now when you’re telling your children monsters don’t exist, you’re lying. Just keep that in mind. They do exist and they don’t look like monsters – they look like your next door neighbor. They look like the person who lives down the street or the person who works in your school."
Grays Harbor Sheriff Rick Scott and Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana spoke at Thursday's media briefing about the ongoing search for Lindsey's killer.
Scott said his detectives have been "energized" by an influx of tips that have come in since Baum's remains were identified in May. He called the case "solvable."
While investigators would not detail what else was found in the woods, they revealed the person who left Baum's remains there likely had been to the area before.
"It's not a place, a road, that goes to any place in particular. So you'd really have to be familiar with the area either through hunting or hiking, or something," said Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana.
Lindsey's remains were sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for DNA analysis in September, but they were not analyzed by the FBI until May 2018, because they were not associated with a specific criminal investigation.
"Sadly this was not the outcome we were praying for," said Scott, "But given the fact that we now have a point 'B' to focus on, it's given us a lot of new investigative pathways to follow."
Baum was just shy of her 11th birthday when she disappeared in McCleary, Wash., on June 26, 2009. She was seen leaving a friend's house and walking home.
Anyone with information about the kidnapping and murder of Lindsey Baum should call (360) 964-1799 or email email@example.com