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‘We love you, Lindsey’: Family, friends remember McCleary girl who disappeared in 2009

Taking a day off work to hand out photo flyers of missing 10-year-old Lindsey Baum, Neil Newell volunteers at a downtown McCleary, Wash. check-point on Monday, June 29, 2009. Newell's daughter is a classmate of the girl, who never came home after walking back from a friend's house Friday evening. (Steve Bloom / Olympian)
Taking a day off work to hand out photo flyers of missing 10-year-old Lindsey Baum, Neil Newell volunteers at a downtown McCleary, Wash. check-point on Monday, June 29, 2009. Newell's daughter is a classmate of the girl, who never came home after walking back from a friend's house Friday evening. (Steve Bloom / Olympian)

Tables in the church foyer were lined with photos of Lindsey Baum, from when she was a baby up to age 10. There she was in a cowboy hat, in her soccer team uniform, on the playground, with a toy guitar.

Also on display were some of her stuffed animals, her journals, a Valentine’s Day card she made her mom, a copy of “Breaking Dawn” with the cover missing.

Among the mementos of a young girl’s life was a grim reminder: a copy of the People magazine issue from fall 2009 with Lindsey, who’d gone missing, on the cover.

Lindsey disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house on June 26 of that year. This past May, authorities announced that human remains found last fall by hunters in Kittitas County had been identified as Lindsey’s.

Family and friends gathered Saturday at Evergreen Christian Community’s church in Olympia to remember Lindsey. They recalled her as a vibrant girl who dotted letter I’s with stars and dreamed of becoming an author, as a tomboy who didn’t worry about what people thought of her.

“I just want to let you know we never forgot her. We love you, Lindsey,” Becky Spalding, her former Girl Scouts troop leader, said during the service.

Members of South Puget Sound Mobile Search and Rescue came to support the family. They talked about getting the call when Lindsey went missing, going to look for her and following her case all these years.

Abe Daniel, a teaching pastor at Evergreen Christian Community, said there is no word for a parent who has lost a child, the way a woman who lost her husband is a widow, or a child who lost her parents is an orphan.

“I have thought about that because it is not a natural thing. The awful pain of a parent to go through when they lose a child is unimaginable,” Daniel said.

Lindsey’s mom, Melissa Pierpoint-Baum, said she is comforted knowing Lindsey is in heaven with Pierpoint-Baum’s mother, who died the year before Lindsey was born.

“I only take comfort in knowing that she’s with my mother, who she never had the chance to meet,” she said. “They shared a love of chocolate, so I just keep telling myself they’re having parties every night eating triple-chocolate fudge sundaes.”


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