Detective Story

Friday, March 12, 2010

Can you help me find my best friend?

Missing Person's Report Filed :

Name: Julie Simpson,
Age: 15,
Race/ Ethnicity: Oriental- hawaiian descent,
Hair colour: black,
Eyes: blue
Additional Identifiers: Tall, slender body build, approx. 115 lbs.
Clothing: last seen wearing pink and polka -dotted mini dress and
brown cardigan.
Last seen at: Alpha Beta Kai celebration party, in downtown
Chinatown district, New York city
Missing Since: 2 weeks missing since Feb. 13, 2010

There was a picture stapled to the top of the report, but it sure didn't
look like the last image I had of my friend in my mind.
It seemed too young and innocent looking. The police detectives must
have spoken to her mom, and gotten her last school photo.

I was being questioned at police headquarters for our section of town.
About this friend who seemed to always crave excitment, pushing the
envelop way past what even I thought was reasonable. Although it's true
she WAS my best friend still, asuming of course that she WAS still
alive! It rattled me a little to realize, that I couldn't be sure.

I sat in the chair, and stared at the detective opposite me. Was he
going to MAKE me tell? I tried to suss him out. Whose side was he
on? I was sworn to secrecy about what I knew, so I had no
intention of talking. At least not to the police.

After an hour of sullen silence and gritting my jaw together, they
finally released me into the lobby. As I was leaving, they brought in
her mom, in tears of course, and very agitated. She looked at me
breifly, with entreaty on her face. She would do anything, I knew, to
find her daughter. And it broke my heart, but I wasn't going to be
able to help her.
I had my own backside to cover. No-one was telling me my own business!

(section or chapter break)

Several days later, they contacted me again. There was a room, they
told me , where they had found signs of a struggle, and these photos.
They wanted me to come in and identify them. The good news was, there
was no body to go with the pics. Would I cooperate and come in to
identify the pics?

"What will it gain you if it does turn out to be her?" I said to the detective on the phone.
"If there's no other evidence?" I said.

"Well, there could be!" she said. It was a new female detective that had been brought in on the case. I couldn't tell what her specialty was,
but maybe she was a shrink. I searched for stalling tactics.

"We're going to cut to the chase here," she said. "I'm sending a cop car down to pick you up." "Don't try to leave till it gets there!"

"Damn, this is escalating way too fast!" I thought as I hung up the phone.

Now I was agitated.

I didn't want to be involved any more than was necessary to keep my
reputation out of the mud. I was already in for it with the boss. He'd
never put me on another job, if he found out how much I'd already given
the police about this.

The thing is, I really do want to help her, I just don't see how,
without making things even worse for her. That's assumiing of course
that she's still out there alive! At this point I had no way of knowing
that.

She had disappeared.
They had some photos.
That was it.

I got my coat, and reluctantly followed the detective down the stairs to
the cruiser, waiting at the curb. The motor was running, ready to scoop
me away. I drew up my collar, pushed my hat down over my face, and
got into the back seat.

"Dammed if I let the whole neighbourhood know that I'm involved in this" I thought, as I pulled the door shut behind me.

I turned around and got the shock of my puny life.

There beside me, on the seat , gagged and handcuffed, was someone I'd
never thought I'd see again!

(end of chapter)

Writing by Regina Stemberger

Photo "________________" by klaireebearr

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