13 years later the search for answers continues in the case of 10 year old Lindsey Baum

10-year-old Lindsey Baum of McCleary, Washington. [Image credit: Missing Persons of America]

McCleary, Washington: June 26, 2009 was the last day that 10-year-old Lindsey Baum was seen alive. Here last known whereabouts placed her between a friend's home and her residence as she walked the few blocks home.


It wasn't until 2017 that new information surfaced in the case which turned the investigation from a case of a missing person into a murder investigation.


Two hunters, deep in the woods outside of Ellensburg in Kittias County, hours from McCleary, discovered a small piece of a human skull.


In 2018 DNA confirmed that the fragment belonged to Lindsey, and despite detectives combing the woods extensively since then, the rest of her body has not been recovered.


Chief of Investigations for Grays Harbor County Darrin Wallace told KOMO that this case has kept him up at night.


"It's definitely a monster," he told them. "We don't know what happened to her, but we know she ended up deceased. Anybody who would do that to a 10-year-old girl is beyond what you and I can comprehend. It's not normal."


On Friday, June 3, a man investigators believe could possibly have been involved was convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl in March of 2003.


In that case, the girl reported that she was kidnapped, bound, and taken to a undisclosed location where she was raped. She was then returned to a location near McCleary and released.


51-year-old Paul Bieker was not charged with kidnapping in that case as the statute of limitations had already expired by the time investigators identified him as a suspect and were able to obtain a DNA sample from a discarded item which linked him to the sexual assault.


Detectives explained that they suspect him due to "eerie similarities between the two cases."


"How many people of that mindset live in these communities," Wallace asked. "I wouldn't think, not very many. So he's definitely a person of interest."


Four new detectives are working the case and Wallace is optimistic that there can be a resolution.


"I do think its solvable absolutely," he said. "My gut, it's just someone known something. And someone feeling comfortable enough to say, 'this is what I know'."


KOMO announced that the reward for information in this case leading to an arrest and conviction has been increased from the $15,000 offered by the FBI to $40,000. Anyone with information is asked to call (360) 964-1799 or email baumtips@graysharbor.us