Search for clues in Lindsey Baum case shifts to Eastern Washington

Melissa Baum shares a message to other parents.

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — The search for clues in the kidnap and murder of 10-year-old Lindsey Baum has moved to Ellensburg, eight months after hunters found her remains there.

This, nearly nine years after Baum disappeared from her home 170 miles west of Ellensburg in McCleary, Washington.

Nearly two dozen search and rescue crews scoured the rugged terrain 20 miles west of Ellensburg looking for evidence in Baum's disappearance.

The Kittitas County Sheriff's office now says they have no plans to resume their search Monday. They are now trying to decide ''their next steps.''

All of this is surprising twist to the people who live in Ellensburg.

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"I'm an anthropologist," said Ellie Masters. "We talk a lot about forensics and things like that."

Still, Masters had not heard about Baum's disappearance.

But even Masters could imagine someone trying to hide a body here.

"It's pretty open," she said. "I go out the woods a lot. It's a big, open city. It's a desert, basically."

Greg Hanson of Pasco, in Ellensburg to celebrate Mother's Day, says he can imagine it too.

"It kinda makes sense if someone's going to, you know, kidnap and haul a long way away," Hanson said. "It'd be along here."

Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott announced the stunning news last Thursday.

"We've brought Lindsey home," Scott said. "We've recovered her."

Hunters found Baum's remains last September but Scott wouldn't say where. On Saturday, the Kittitas County sheriff posted pictures of nearly two dozen search crews. They were there to comb through the steep, heavily wooded area outside of Ellensburg. They searched for clues until dusk. 

Sam Nelson, a high school teacher in Ellensburg, said she had read about the case in the local newspaper. She could imagine whoever kidnapped Baum taking her some distance.

"Yeah," she said. "And of course, remote areas for hiding someone or something."

Now that they have discovered the hiding place, investigators may be facing an even tougher task: finding the person who kidnapped and murdered Baum.