Monday, June 21, 2021

The Disappearance & Murder of Lindsey Baum

Lindsey Jo Baum was only 10 years old when she disappeared on June 26th, 2009. The night before she vanished, Lindsey told her mother, Melissa Baum, that she was frightened that something bad was going to happen to her very soon. When Melissa asked...

Lindsey Jo Baum was only 10 years old when she disappeared on June 26th, 2009. The night before she vanished, Lindsey told her mother, Melissa Baum, that she was frightened that something bad was going to happen to her very soon. When Melissa asked Lindsey what she meant, she replied “I don’t know, I just have a feeling.” This puzzled Melissa, but she did not worry for long; as Lindsey appeared to be back to her normal, happy self the following day.

That day, Lindsey and her brother Joshua spent the afternoon swimming at a friend’s house, located close to their home in McCleary, Washington. The two of them returned home briefly before heading towards another friend’s house located five blocks away. However, on the way there, Joshua and Lindsey got into an argument and Joshua went back home. Lindsey made it to her friend’s house and hung out there for a few hours

The two girls hoped to have a sleepover that night, but the friend’s mother said no, and Lindsey began to walk home around 9:15 PM. She was expected to be home by 9:30pm—her curfew. Based on the distance between the two homes, Lindsey should’ve made it home just in time. Unfortunately, she never made it there, and was reported missing by her mother by 11:00 PM that night.

An immediate search provided no sign of Lindsey, nor did it provide any clues to her whereabouts. News about Lindsey’s disappearance garnered national attention. In fact, Lindsey was on the cover of People magazine in November 2009, five months after her disappearance. Despite this, Lindsey remained missing, and there were no reported sightings.

Eight years later, Lindsey's remains were found in a remote area 20 miles west of Ellensburg, Washington. The case then shifted to a homicide investigation. 

The investigation while Lindsey was missing.

While Lindsey was still missing, there were several different tips, theories, and persons of interest for detectives to investigate. In 2010, the FBI searched the home of a 47-year-old man who had provided “inconsistent” statements to police, but no arrests were made. 

Two years later, investigators searched the home of local jewelry/pawn shop owner Tim Hartman. Throughout the search, investigators found ropes and handwritten notes about Lindsey’s disappearance. After this, Hartman was listed as a person of interest in the case, but he was not ever arrested or charged with anything in connection to Lindsey’s disappearance.

The Emery brothers.

During the summer of 2017, three elderly brothers known as the Emery brothers were arrested in Mason County, Washington and charged with possession of pornography. Mason County is located approximately 17 miles from Lindsey’s home in McCleary. Investigators searched their home for a possible connection to Lindsey but did not reveal if the found one.

Remains found unexpectedly.

During September 2017, a hunter found human remains in a remote area of Eastern Washington. News about these remains were not spread in the media. At that time, it is unclear if investigators even pondered the idea that the remains belonged to Lindsey, due to the fact that they were found over a three hour's drive away from Lindsey’s home in McCleary. 

The remains were sent to Quantico, Virginia for forensic testing. Months later, on May 10th, 2018, investigators announced that the remains had been positively identified as Lindsey Baum. Her death was classified as a homicide.

2021: Paul Bieker is identified as a person of interest.

In June 2021, authorities named a McCleary local named Paul Bieker as a potential person of interest in Lindsey's case. Bieker, then 50, had recently been arrested on unrelated kidnapping and rape charges from a 2003 case. The victim of the 2003 case was a 17-year-old girl who was kidnapped outside of her residence in McCleary. 

Bieker then forced the teen into her own car, drove her to an undisclosed location, and sexually assaulted her. Bieker reportedly then drove to another location before fleeing the scene - leaving the girl in the car. The girl and her father immediately reported the crime once she returned home. 

Authorities were able to collect DNA belonging to the suspect, but they were unable to match the DNA to anyone in their database. Years later, in 2020, the same DNA was submitted for genealogy testing. According to investigators, the results "revealed a short list of possible suspects that were believed to be related to the source of the suspect DNA." From there, authorities were finally able to match the DNA to Bieker. 

Bieker also lived in McCleary in June 2009 - when Lindsey was abducted. Due to this, authorities identified him a potential suspect in Lindsey's case during 2021.

2023: a new search for evidence.

In April 2023, it was reported that "the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s office plus volunteers and several agencies including the FBI and The Attorney General's HITS Investigators searched a 10-acre piece of land in Mason County." The search was in relation to Lindsey Baum's case. 

Lindsey's remains had been found in a completely separate location by this point - but investigators decided to search for other physical evidence based on an old tip. Specifically, it was reported that the Sheriff's Office said that "the department circled back to a tip it received in that area shortly after Lindsey’s disappearance." 

It's unclear what made investigators decide to revisit the tip. However, the same report stated that "up to 25 items were recovered and are being looked at as possible evidence." Since then, though, very little information has been revealed about what was found. No further updates have been provided.

Where the case stands.

In 2023, investigators stated that Lindsey's case is still active. It appears that details of the investigation are being held close to the vest. Still, there is still a public appeal for anyone with information that could help solve the case.

There's a monetary reward available for information that could lead to the conviction of Lindsey's killer(s). If you have any information that could help the investigation, please submit a tip.


  1. this case needs to be updated

  2. There is no update. Her very partial remains found and identified thru dna. Nothing since. No arrests nothing. On June 26th 6 days from now it will be 11 years a monster has remained free.

  3. There was a man arrested and sent to prison who lived all over and could've been in MCCLEARY at that time his name is JEFFREY L. BUTTERFEILD SR.I don't know if he was ever questioned but should be. He was sent to prison in 2018 and I believe he is more then capable of murder and raped his two daughters from ages 6 to 16.