The State Police reiterated Thursday that they had found no evidence that toddler Caleigh Anne Harrison was abducted from Long Beach in Rockport last month.
The statement came after comments by Harrison’s father on a television show that the girl’s 4-year-old sister, who was with her when she disappeared, had spoken of a “man on the beach that took her sister.’’
“As we previously stated, we found no evidence to support the abduction theory. That does not mean we can say with 100 percent certainty that foul play did not occur, but rather, only that we have found no evidence of it, including no evidence of a mysterious man on the beach,’’ State Police spokesman David Procopio said in a statement.
The 2-year-old Gloucester girl disappeared April 19. She was at the beach with her mother, sister, and the family dog when her mother, looking for a ball thrown over a wall, turned her attention away for as long as two minutes. When the mother returned, the child was gone.
For a week, State Police investigated and extensively searched the waters in the area under the theory that the girl might have been swept into the sea. Nothing was found.
Anthony Harrison, the girls’ father, said Wednesday on the Nancy Grace show on HLN that Caleigh’s sister had told “a couple of different stories. She mentions a man. It’s a little bit scattered, of course. She is 4 years old. But she did, after a while, mention a man on the beach that took her sister.’’
“We’re looking into it,’’ he said.
He said that the toddler’s mother, Allison Hammond, and “probably all of the family’’ believe “there is a huge chance that Caleigh was abducted.’’
Procopio said the State Police would have no comments on statements made by Caleigh’s sister.
David Harrison Jr., Caleigh’s uncle, said Thursday that the family decided to appear on Grace’s national show to “kind of start to venture out and do things on our own.’’ He said he would be appearing on the Nancy Grace show again Thursday night.
Rockport police returned to Long Beach to “follow up on a lead’’ Thursday afternoon, but found nothing. Procopio said a man walking his dog said the animal “reacted strongly’’ to an area of sand near where Caleigh vanished.
Procopio said State Police would continue to follow leads as they develop and urged the public to contact Rockport police at 978-546-1212 with any information that might be helpful.
State Police also have created a poster of Caleigh that has been added to the Massachusetts Missing Persons Clearinghouse and sent to law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The toddler has also been entered into national missing persons databases.