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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Gloucester, Mass.) – A Massachusetts family is opening up about a heartbreaking disappearance.
Many of Caleigh Harrison's relatives say they've accepted their missing toddler is gone, and they're backing off from earlier comments suggesting she may have been kidnapped.
It’s been emotional from the start.
Closure isn’t the best way to describe this. This family is having an extremely difficult time letting go, but saying some things have changed and in that way they are trying their best to move on.
“The possibility of her being taken from the beach is so slim, still a possibility, but you need to start looking at things in a different way,” says Caleigh’s father Anthony.
Nearly three months after their little Caleigh went missing on Long Beach in Rockport, her grandparents and father have all but dismissed any other possible theories for her disappearance.
“The possibility that she was swept out to sea is very, very strong. We’re never going to stop looking for her. We’re never going to stop praying,” her father says.
It’s been much more than a trying ordeal.
Two-year-old Caleigh was at the beach with her mom, older sister and the family dog. When her mom went to retrieve a ball, Caleigh was gone.
An exhaustive search by state and local police turned up nothing. They went to national news for help, appearing on the Nancy Grace show.
They had a seaside vigil with much of the Gloucester fishing community, and they turned to investigators, former law enforcement, with the group Mission for the Missing, that also interviewed several witnesses by the beach.
Alan Tate, co-founder of Mission for the Missing, says nobody saw a vehicle that didn’t belong in the neighborhood.
Caleigh’s older sister used to speak about seeing a strange man on the beach that day, but her father says she doesn’t speak about that anymore.
So after all of this, there will be no memorial service and no easy days ahead.
“People say some days are better than others,” says Anthony. “I say some days are worse than others because every day is horrible.”