Chapter 28 - Darla, Darla Lang
Detective Henry was on the move. He spent over an hour listening to Mrs. Morrissey ramble and ramble on as she became more and more intoxicated on her vodka and cranberry. She did say one thing of value that actually caught his attention though. Mrs. Morrissey had started really going off on certain people and two of the people she seemed to despise the most were some kid named Daniel something and his father. She had said the dad was a complete asshole and the fact that he was as creepy as they made them. And well Daniel, Daniel was almost just as creepy. That in and of itself didn’t mean that much until she continued and mentioned that Bryan idolized his brother Mark and it was clear to her that Daniel despised Bryan.
That was pretty odd Todd thought, speaking about a little brother idolizing their older brother and then immediately mentioning one of Marks friends despising that same younger brother. To Detective Henry, it just seemed not quite right moving so quickly from idolizing to despising another together like that. Most mothers, Detective Henry had spoken too, when a child was missing or killed in an accident or something would mention how much a brother loved another or sister or something to that affect. They would speak in detail, but one short statement on that and then into some kid despising her son just seemed out of the ordinary. It was odd to Todd.
“I caught him rolling his eyes many times when I would tell Mark they had to take Bryan with them riding their bikes?” she said angrily “and I could see Daniel just hated Bryan, and no I am not crazy. There was something more than just a normal kid not liking another kid there Detective!”
“Oh, did they go ride over by the lake a lot where I read they searched for Bryan?” Todd asked intrigued on some of the things Susan had said.
“No, NO WAY! I never saw or heard of Bryan going there to ride his bike and I knew my boy Todd! He would never at ten years old ride by himself all the way to the back of the neighborhood by himself. That’s about two fucking miles. Now, he may have gone there with Mark and Daniel once or twice, but never would he go that far by himself. Never!”
“I believe you Susan.” Detective Henry stated and meant what he said.
“My boy was a kind soul, a pleaser type. He always wanted to help out in anyway. He was a little reserved and a little nervous type of ten year old kid. He just wouldn’t go that far by himself and everyone thinks I was crazy for saying that. When they drained the lake, I was standing there smoking thinking what a complete waste of time this was as I knew they wouldn’t fucking find him there.”
Todd listened closely as he could tell she needed someone to really listen to her and what she wanted to say.
“A fucking waste of time. That’s all draining that lake was Detective! After all this time of thinking, and I have done a lot of thinking, too much fucking thinking. And you believe what you want Detective, I don’t fucking care anymore what anyone thinks about me. You may think I’m crazy, but I think Daniel and his dad somehow had something to do with Bryan’s disappearance. Daniel is the only one that said he saw Bryan that day. Daniel was always with Mark. Always! It didn’t mean much to me then, but it does now. I told the last cop that came by and I could tell he thought I was crazy and you will probably think I am just this sad and pathetic lonely mother soon to be fucking divorced, that has gone cooh cooh, but I am telling you; there is something just not right about that boy and his father and I saw it.”
Susan continued, “I felt it. I saw it before he disappeared, and I saw it at the funeral. “I saw it when he would come over here trying to play with Mark after Bryan was gone. Something isn’t right about that boy and it probably stems from his weirdo ass of a father too.”
“I don’t think you’re crazy Susan. What about his father?” Detective Henry asked.
“His father was just an asshole. Mean to Daniel and his brother Mike who was I think about two years older than Daniel. I wasn’t around him much but when I did see him or was around him, I always had a bad vibe about him. He just was the cruel type to those kids and I could tell he didn’t like Bryan either!”
Todd wanted to hear more. “What about his mother?”
“Joyce? Hell Todd, she is as sweet as they come. All of us ladies here in the neighborhood would joke with her about being June Cleaver and she had a good laugh with us. As good as they come Todd. He didn’t let her out of the house much but the few times I was able to spend a little time with her, she, well, she just was a saint! She was a person I wish I could have been closer friends with but her asshole husband wouldn’t see to that. She didn’t deserve that asshole as a husband.
“It sounds like she was a great lady that didn’t deserve a husband like that. Where would the kids go and ride together?” Detective Henry asked
“Well that’s simple; they always went riding over on the trails off Edinburgh road on the front edge of the neighborhood. Up where those stupid apartments are going in! I told the other officers this over and over. They searched everywhere. They found nothing!”
Detective Henry continued, “Where are Daniel and his parents now?”
“Far the fuck away from here and I am glad. They moved to Nashville, TN a while back I heard and it wasn’t soon enough.” Susan said rolling her eyes.
“And how do I get to these trails Susan?” Todd asked interested in seeing these woods first hand.
“Follow the kids Lieutenant, simply follow the kids. It’s the main trail and it’s going away soon, so I have seen a lot of kids out there trying to get their last few rides in before they tear everything up. Ridiculous those things can’t stay the same. Why do they always have to try to put more and more stuff in, taking away all the trees and natural beauty?” Susan said.
“Not sure Susan, but you are right. They sure do that a lot. There are too many structures and too many people and before we know it, all of our natural beauty will be gone.”
Todd asked a few more questions and thanked her for her time. They walked to the door and Susan Morrissey ended the conversation by saying,
“Save your thanks Detective! Just find my fucking son!” And with that, Susan closed the door and that was the last time Detective Henry ever had a conversation with Susan Morrissey in that house!
Detective Henry walked back to his car parked on the curb and within five minutes or so he saw a few kids on their bikes coming out of the woods on some dirt trails. He parked his car and walked into the woods and after a minute of walking, he walked up on a group of two boys and one girl standing with their bikes. All were probably around eleven or so years old, standing next to a small jump in the middle of the trail.
“Hey guys, my name is Detective Todd Henry with the Greensboro Police Department and I want to ask you all a few questions.” As Detective Henry finished this statement, he carefully slid over his sport coat showing his shiny gold badge and Glock 9mm model 17 handgun.
And that’s the last time Detective Henry ever saw those two boys. To his surprise, the two boys quickly turned their bikes around and took off and pedaled as fast as they could, away from him standing there. The girl just lowered her head, shaking it back and forth in disgust.
That was odd Todd thought to himself. As the boys pedaled out of site, the girl and Detective Henry just looked at each other without saying a word or without showing any emotion. Detective Henry looked up towards the boys and they disappeared around a corner of the trail.
“Well now, why in the world would those two boys take off like that on their bikes as fast as they did?” Todd asked the young girl still shaking her head in disgust.
“I don’t know,” was all she said never looking up as she said it.
Yep, she knows Todd realized.
“Well young lady, you seem pretty smart so I think you should tell me why they left here so fast.”
This is getting interesting thought Todd.
“They stole some gum earlier from Jakes market. We had ridden our bikes up there. I told them they shouldn’t, but they are just stupid boys that don’t ever listen to me. Just so you know, I didn’t chew any of the gum they stole.” She stated proudly!
Dang, interest gone Todd thought. “Ok, I believe you. What’s your name young lady?
“Darla, Darla Lang.” Darla said looking proud as she stated her name.
“Well that’s a cool name. I have two daughters a little younger than you. How old are you Darla Lang? I am guessing around thirteen years old?” Detective Henry asked.
“No, I am twelve years old but I will be thirteen years old soon enough.” Darla said.
“Oh, well I really appreciate you being so honest with me and not riding off like those scared little boys.” Detective Henry said.
“You’re welcome and all boys I have learned are scared. Since I am being honest and all with you along with the fact I didn’t run off from you, and also I didn’t chew any of that gum, does this mean you aren’t going to tell my mom about Jakes?” Darla asked.
“No Darla, I won’t say a word about Jakes to your mother, but I would like to talk with you about something else if you have a few minutes?” Detective Henry asked.
“And what would that be?” Darla asked in almost an adult mature voice.
“What do you know about Bryan Morrisey?” Detective Henry asked.