Chapter 24 - Challenge Accepted
Detective Todd Henry was making a name for himself at the City Police Department in Greensboro, North Carolina. He had been on the force now just for just a little over a year, but had been hired from and transferred over from Raleigh City Police as our Chief felt our investigative division needed some fresh eyes. It was a first for the department to bring in an outside rank to lead a division.
Detective Henry was not only keen to solving crimes quickly that just occurred, but he had found a new love. Solving the cases that others in our department couldn’t. His bosses loved him. His wife loved him. His kids loved him. His fellow co-workers, well, they didn’t love him, and many didn’t even like him. Detective Henry got on their nerves as he had constantly done everything right, by the book, every day since he had arrived. That wasn’t fun for the troops and that got old and it got old fast. He was on the fast track to Lieutenant, then Captain, then Deputy Chief, and everyone assumed he would make Chief one day. That seemed to be a given.
“So you think you got it all figured out do you?” Asked Lieutenant Mike Stephens who was over the traffic division.
Lieutenant Stephens had been on the force now for twenty-four years and had gotten in trouble over his career for not knowing when to shut his mouth too many times to count. This was one of the reasons he had been stuck as traffic Lieutenant for the last six years. He couldn’t keep his mouth shut when the department changed the requirements for making captain. Up to that time, all you had to have was an associate’s degree which Mike had one from the local community college. The Chief wanted to make the department more professional so he implemented the requirement that anyone wishing to apply to the rank of Captain must have a Bachelor’s degree. Sounds a little harsh I know for a career police officer to now have to get their Bachelor’s degree, but the Chief also said the department would pay for it. This didn’t matter to Mike and he expressed his negative attitude to one too many people, the Chief.
“What do you mean Mike?” Detective Henry asked as one of his eyebrows rose as he had no clue what Lieutenant Stephens was talking about.
“You know what I mean Todd. You think you have all the answers and can solve any crime we have, don’t you?” Stephens asked.
“Well I do my best and so far my best has worked out well for me. I am shooting 23 for 23 cases solved. How about you Mike? What’s your record?” Detective Henry sarcastically asked.
“That’s not important and really, how many fucking cases do I get in traffic? None, that’s how many, oh wait I did have the case of the broken turn signal light two years ago.” Mike said with lots of attitude.
“Good point. I shouldn’t have said that Mike. I’m sorry.” Detective Henry stated and meant it.
Geez, see, he did everything right. He apologized when he should, showed respect where he should. It was clear why most didn’t like him, especially Mike.
“Well I have a case for you that I would hope you would remember.” Mike said.
“Oh you do now do you? Well what case would that be Lieutenant?” Todd asked wondering what in the world the case Mike was talking about was.
Mike continued, “The disappearance of one Bryan Morrissey that took place right here in little ole Greensboro, North Carolina. It happened right over in the Forrest Oaks neighborhood. Right where you and your family now live.”
“Bryan Morrissey, yes, it was that young boy.” Todd said recalling the case and continued,
“Oh yea, I remember that case. Heck, it was the most talked about missing person’s report I can remember. I recall something about how the kid just vanished one afternoon a while back without a trace. I followed that case for a few months but then it was gone as fast as it was here. I figured they found him but didn’t really talk about it. They didn’t find him?” Todd asked.
“No they didn’t find him Todd, in fact, not a single trace of the boy. In my twenty-four years of being a cop, I have never seen a kid just vanish like he went and did. It is as though aliens came down and took him away.” Mike said looking off in the distance thinking back to the case.
“I highly doubt that Mike but boy that would make some story if it were aliens out there abducting children. What it sounds like is one of those random abductions that unfortunately happens every so often. Definitely not a case I would want.” Todd said.
“NOT A CASE YOU WOULD WANT YOU SAY?? NOW I SEE CLEARLY DETECTIVE!! You’re only taking cases that will help you fluff your stats to make you look good to help you on your merry fucking way here in rank! You don’t really care about solving cases unless you believe you can solve the case you pick. Obviously you know you can’t solve this one!” Lieutenant Stephens said in a loud tone.
“That’s not true Lieutenant. I just don’t see the point in looking at a case where there were no clues and a kid just simply vanished. That’s all I am saying.” Todd said trying to explain his reasoning.
“There are always clues Todd. Always! And just simply vanished, that’s all you say? Man, there is something here but no one can figure it out. No one! How about you show us little peasants in this department how a street cop from Raleigh can solve a truly difficult case. I know it would mean a lot to me and others if you would take some time and look over the case and I know it would mean a lot to Mrs. Morrissey.”
There was silence... A long silence. Detective Henry was thinking and was attempting to collect his thoughts as quickly as possible. He was going over his different options on the best way to reply to Lieutenant Stephens. Detective Henry was just about ready to respond and tell Mike to go back to worrying about all the traffic issues here in Greensboro and leave the real case work to him when he realized two Sergeants and two officers had walked in during Mike’s speech. They were now standing there very attentive, waiting to see how he would reply to the Lieutenant. The troops mainly liked Lieutenant Stephens as he was one of them and spoke his mind to the higher ups and stood up for the officers.
This is not good, Todd thought to himself. What is the best way to respond Todd thought to himself? After a few seconds, he replied the only way he could.
“Well Mike, when you lay it all out like that, I see what you are saying and you leave me no option. I want to help you and this department in any way I can so yes Mike, I will take that case and review everything that is in the case file and follow up on the leads you all identified and see what I can figure out. When I commit to something, I go all in, but I need to warn you about something Lieutenant.” Todd said getting Mike’s attention.
“And what would that be Detective?” Mike asked wondering what in the world does Todd need to warn him about.
“I expect to be 24 for 24 before you know it.” Todd said with a big smile across his face and let out a loud laugh even though he was already thinking more than likely he isn’t going to be able to solve this one with so many that had worked this case.
Lieutenant Stephens rolled his eyes as the two sergeants did as they looked at each other realizing Detective Henry’s cockiness came out more and more as his time continued with the Greensboro Police Department.
And this is how a Detective Todd Henry became involved with solving the disappearance case of one missing young boy named Bryan Morrissey.