Lindsey Baum: What Happened to Washington 10-Year-Old?

Published: Updated: 12 comments

OLYMPIA, Wash. — On June 26, 2009, Lindsey Baum, 10, left her friend’s house on Maple Street in McCleary, WA, to walk the short distance to her home on E. Mommsen Road.

Lindsey had often walked this route, and it should have only taken about 10 minutes. When her 10 p.m. curfew came and went, and the girl still wasn’t home, her mother, Melissa Baum, became nervous.

Baum called Lindsey’s cell phone, only to find that her daughter had left it plugged into the charger. She then set out on foot to find Lindsey.

Eventually, Lindsey’s friend’s parents joined the search by car. Around 10:45 p.m., Melissa called the police, who searched extensively for the missing girl, but never found any trace of her.

Despite an extensive search, police did not find Lindsey.

Melissa said she last saw her daughter when Lindsey and Lindsey’s brother, Josh, 12, headed to the friend’s home together. Lindsey hoped her friend could spend the night at the Baum’s house.

On the way there, Josh and Lindsey argued over Josh’s bike use. A family friend stopped them and sent Josh home to end the argument. Lindsey continued to her friend’s house. When Lindsey’s friend found out she could not stay the night, Lindsey headed home around 9:15 p.m.

The last known person to see her was a neighbor who drove past her on Maple Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets.

In February 2012, police announced they had a person of interest.

Timothy Hartman, the owner of Hartman’s Jewelry and Repair, told authorities he was out of town when Lindsey disappeared. However, he was seen on surveillance video at Mike’s Market purchasing an item at 9:19 p.m. when Lindsey left her friend’s house. Hartman denies the allegations, admitting that he unintentionally gave false information about his whereabouts that night. However, he claimed he was in a class until 9:00 p.m. and could not have been near Lindsey’s last location by 9:15 p.m. Police later discovered that the course let out at 8:15 p.m. Hartman maintains his innocence.

Police searched Hartman’s car, home, and shop in October 2011.
The jewelry store is on the route Lindsey would have taken to return home on the night she disappeared.

Detectives followed up on hundreds of leads and conducted dozens of interviews in the case but made no arrests.

UPDATE: Skeletal remains found in 2017 were later identified as belonging to Lindsey Baum.

12 comments

Heather Massey September 6, 2015 - 12:51 PM

She had walked with her friend at 9 pm to see is she could stay the night but her friend couldn’t stay so she went to walk home by herself. By 930 her mother called the friends house and found out her daughter had been gone for 20 minutes, its only a 10 minute walk. Its sad nowadays our children can’t walk home without being taken 🙁

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truecrimediva September 6, 2015 - 1:55 PM

It really is, Heather! I remember walking all over my hometown when I was a kid in the 70s.

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Josette February 3, 2015 - 5:15 PM

I do not remember this case too well. However a 10 year old with a a 10pm curfew? hope she’s found safe.

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truecrimediva February 4, 2015 - 10:26 AM

Yeah, I don’t get the 10pm curfew either, Josette. Too young to be out that late.

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bella November 15, 2016 - 3:30 AM

it was still light outside at 9pm in july 2009! That’s why she was still outside at that time.

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truecrimediva November 15, 2016 - 9:01 AM

My 10-year-old would’ve been home by 9 at the latest, regardless if the sun was still out or not. I would’ve taken her over to her friend’s house, and waited to see if she could stay the night. Also, no way would I give someone that young a 10pm curfew. But that’s just me.

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Jen November 15, 2016 - 12:52 PM

We actually have far less crime in the USA than we had in the 60’s and 70’s, yet in the 60’s and 70’s it was totally normal for a kid to walk around their home town and have a back-by-dark curfew in summer. That’s how I grew up. That isn’t how I raised my kids. The difference is that people of our generation have been taught to believe their kids are in far more danger from strangers than they are, due to media coverage. Your kid is statistically most likely to be harmed by someone she knows and trusts. Stranger abductions are actually very rare. Your family member molesting your child is statistically a bigger worry. So stop judging this mom for doing what was totally normal in her town.

Jen November 15, 2016 - 12:53 PM

Also Lindsey walked with her brother to the friend’s house. You wouldn’t let 2 siblings together walk to their nearby friend’s house in daylight? That’s kind of sad.

truecrimediva November 16, 2016 - 5:00 PM

You tell me to stop judging her mom and you just judged me. Nice. Practice what you preach and then kindly move on from this blog.

Anonymous December 14, 2015 - 2:37 AM

No matter what the parenting style choices were this is not the mother’s fault. All my friends had a home by dark curfew in the summer, which was about ten. This it’s pretty normal parenting for small town USA.

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robert July 19, 2016 - 3:41 PM

As a Dad who had a toddler go missing in a park next to a large forest for about 5 minutes once (she was there one second and gone the next) I find the judgements being made about the Mom here really offensive.
Life happens folks and keeping your kids in cotton wool is not the answer either.
What happened to Lindsey is of course still unknown, but clearly it involved someone with criminal intent and blaming the Mom seems totally absurd.
I think as parents we like to think we are keeping our children safe and perhaps blaming this Mom for not being strict enough makes someone feel better, but the truth is that fortunately stranger abductions are rare events and when they do happen we should be focused on supporting the family, not blaming them.

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Felicia November 15, 2016 - 11:45 AM

Mcleary is a very small town, everyone knows everyone so most people there don’t think of things like this happening.

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