July 14, 2010 -- Authorities have conducted two new searches related to the disappearance of Lindsey Baum, who was 10 years old when she vanished June 26, 2009, while walking home from a friend's house in McCleary, Wash.
Investigators with the Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office and the FBI grew suspicious after they found inconsistencies in information provided a year ago by a 47-year-old man, whose name they will not release.
Some of the man's account failed to match other information the investigators had obtained independently, Grays Harbor Undersherriff Rick Scott told ABCNews.com.
"We found that what we were being told and what we now believed to be true were two different things," Scott said. "Those inconsistencies gave birth to some concerns that we needed to explore further."
The Sheriff's Office obtained search warrants and carried out searches on the man's residence and a shared storage unit Tuesday, seizing some items and speaking to the man at length.
Investigators planned to search his car this morning.
Scott downplayed the new search, emphasizing that this man was one of many persons of interest in the case and has not become a suspect.
"A lot of what we were concerned about has been somewhat explained," Scott said.
"We found nothing yesterday that clearly links him to Lindsey's disappearance.
"We've looked at over 4,000 leads so far," Scott said. "Even if it eliminates someone from further scrutiny, it's a step in the right direction."
Investigators will submit the items they seized from the man's residence and storage unit for forensic testing, but Scott said it may be some time before they learn anything.
Sheriff's Office Holds Hope That It Will Find Lindsey Baum
It has been more than a year since Lindsey disappeared on the 10-minute walk from a friend's house. Witnesses spotted her shortly after 9:30 p.m. on that day last June, but when she did not return home by 10, her mother, Melissa, went to look for her. When Lindsey did not turn up, her mother notified police within the hour.
Lindsey would have celebrated her 12th birthday a week ago, on July 7.
Even though a year has passed, Scott still holds hope his office can find Lindsey and "bring her home.
"You have to remain optimistic," he said."It's a painstakingly slow process, but we are making progress."