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, there were very few clues or leads in Lindsey’s case. 

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.

Other than these two searches, any news about Lindsey’s case seemed to be far and few in between. Then, 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 just 17 miles from Lindsey’s home in McCleary. Investigators searched their home for a possible connection to Lindsey, but have yet to reveal if they found one.

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 three hours 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. Family and friends of Lindsey were shocked and understandably devastated by the news. At that point, the case was shifted to a homicide investigation.

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 are now investigating him as a potential suspect in Lindsey's case. The investigation is ongoing and authorities are still encouraging anyone with information that could help solve the case to come forward.

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  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.


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