The publisher of the Blade-Citizen has hired a New York psychic to help in the search for 7-year-old Leticia Hernandez.
John Monti, the psychic, on Friday visited the little girl's mother, also named Leticia Hernandez, in her Oceanside apartment. The girl's mother said Monti spent 30 to 60 minutes with her. He was accompanied by a reporter from the Blade-Citizen.
Hernandez said Monti looked at Leticia's picture and asked about the moments before she disappeared. Friday marked two months that the first-grader has been missing.
The mother said she did not know what to think about this latest addition to the troop of people involved in the case.
"I have always had faith that she will be found," Hernandez said. "It is only faith that keeps me going."
Blade-Citizen Publisher Thomas F. Missett did not return phone calls from The Times on Friday, and the paper's managing editor declined comment. But a report in the Blade-Citizen said that Monti's expenses are being paid by the newspaper and that he will spend five days in Oceanside. Monti, according to the newspaper, believes that Leticia is still in Oceanside.
Interest in Leticia's case has inspired a song, a music video and T-shirts. Proceeds from the sale of the items have gone into a reward fund at Great American Bank.
Monti is credited with finding a 3-year-old boy in Maine who was kidnaped from Northern California, leading Massachusetts police to a murder suspect and helping to clear a murder suspect in New York City.
William Krunglevich, a spokesman for the Oceanside Police Department, said Friday that Monti has not met with any police investigators.
"This is an independent thing done at the request of the publisher," he said.