Another Girl is Missing
Damnit! Detective Jeremy Granger yelled as he slammed his fist on the desk. Where was she last seen? He asked in a calmer voice while rubbing the back of his head. The other officers in the precinct immediately gathered around his desk as they all knew this call must be about another missing adolescent. For the past two months, young men and women from Fork County, Washington, had been going missing under bizarre circumstances. There were no warning signs in their lives leading up to the days of their disappearance. No strange activity on their social media, no change in their daily routine, and no clue who or what happened to them.
Detective Granger hung up the phone and buried his face in his hands. He let out an exasperated sigh before looking up at the six pairs of eyes that had gathered around his desk. He knew that his officers already knew what the call had been about and he was relieved he didn’t have to speak it out loud to get them prepared for the work that lies ahead. Monty, you and Jason head to the scene and gather up any information you can. The detective began assigning tasks to his officers in hopes that this time things would be different. Meg, you and Diego go talk to the parents. Dusty I need you to get her phone and laptop and see what information you can find on it that may be useful. The young officers all nodded their heads and began to grab their belongings to begin the tasks assigned to them.
Sean, the most seasoned of the younger officers knew that he would be accompanying the detective to speak with the media. He had no doubt in his mind that they would be swarming all over the officers the moment they got wind of the situation at hand. Detective Granger walked up and patted Sean on the back. You ready big guy? He asked. Sean nodded his head and went to retrieve his notepad so that he could take notes on the briefing that he knew the detective would give their sergeant. He wanted to be prepared when the questions started flying at the inevitable press conference they would have to hold.
As Sean and Detective Granger walked towards their sergeants office, they both felt their hearts hammering in their chests. They knew this wasn’t a good look. Another missing adolescent, gone without much of a trace. How many more would there be? This was the sixth one, the third girl that had been taken. Detective Granger reached up and rasped his knuckles on the sergeants door. Come in. They heard the sergeant call. Both men shared a brief moment of silence before walking into his office to inevitably be chastised for their lack of information on this perpetrator. Once they entered his office Detective Jeremy and Officer Sean began filling the sergeant in on the information they had.
Sir, we know the latest victim was 16 years old. She was expected to meet her friends for a day at the beach. Unfortunately, she never made it down to the beachfront. Her car was found in the parking lot at the public beach access with the trunk still open and her belongings inside. Detective Granger began explaining all of the information he had received over the phone just a short while ago. He would have more information soon, once Monty and Jason arrived at the scene to question witnesses, Meg and Diego talked with the girls parents, and Dusty went through her phone and laptop.
What do you mean gone without a trace? How have we managed to gather nothing on this perp? Six adolescents missing! Six! Where are they? Who took them? The sergeant was red in the face as he hammered his fist on his desk while barking out his questions. Detective Granger and Officer Sean were at a loss for words. They too wanted to know the answers to their sergeants questions. The best officers in Fork County were on this case and yet they were no closer to finding answers than they were the day the first victim went missing. I reckon we will have to be prepared to answer the media’s questions. They’ll want to know why we haven’t made any headway on this case. Which one of you would like to speak at a press conference? The sergeant asked.
Jeremy, I think you should take the lead on this conference but I don’t want you answering questions alone. We all know how the media can be. Sean stated. Detective Granger nodded his head. He had already considered this to be the case which is why he had asked Sean to accompany him. He was well aware that the media was going to be in a frenzy. They had been this way since the third adolescent went missing and a connection had publicly been made. He was beginning to wonder if giving the public that piece of information was a mistake. He had hoped that the public connection would cause the young people in the area to be more vigilant while they were out and about. Instead, it seemed as though the young people didn’t care and the general public was angry that the police couldn’t answer their questions.
I’ll go ahead and begin making the preparations for a press conference to be held within the hour. Sean stated as he gathered up his notepad, gave a brief nod to the sergeant, and headed out the door back to his desk to begin making the necessary phone calls to organize a press conference. This wasn’t his first rodeo, and while he wasn’t as seasoned in the field as Detective Granger or Sergeant Thomas, he knew what he was doing. After making the necessary phone calls, he began preparing for the press conference by creating a list of all the information they had gathered up until this point in the investigation. There were some solid pieces of evidence in each abduction, but nothing substantial enough to lead them to any real suspect or persons of interest.
They knew that the first victim taken was a 16 year old girl named Kelli Akers. She had been at the shopping mall with several friends that morning. From what her friends shared, she was going to take the bus back home but she never made it on the bus. Her purse along with her cellphone, all of her money, and her shopping bags were found tucked away under the bench at the bus stop she would have been waiting on the bus at. Unfortunately, the cameras at the bus station were down for maintenance that day and the gas station across the street didn’t have a clear shot in the direction of the bus stop either. Everything was dusted for prints but there were none other than hers on her personal items and there were so many prints on and around the bench at the bus stop that there was no way to narrow down who had been there recently.
The second victim taken was a 16 year old boy named Chad Daniels. He had been at football practice the day he went missing. Chad was a big guy for his age and was the star quarterback for the junior varsity football team. His friends and family say he wouldn’t have gone without a fight, or without a ruse that made him feel that there was no threat. Like the first victim, Chads things weren’t taken along with him. In fact his bicycle and backpack were recovered right off the side of County Road 1668, which would have been on his direct route home. Similar to the first crime scene, there were no prints and since this was a more rural abduction site, there were no security cameras and no witnesses came forward.
The third victim was a young man named Ty Borden. Ty was a 14 year old who disappeared one afternoon after his shift at Dairy Queen. He didn’t have his drivers license yet, so he had to wait for his older sister to get off of work from her job at a local boutique before she would swing by the Dairy Queen and pick him up. On this particular day, when she arrived he was nowhere to be found. She assumed he left with a friend and didn’t think anything of it. When he still wasn’t home by 10 pm that evening, she began to get worried. She called her parents who were away on a business trip and they told her to call the police. By the time officers got to her house and took her statements down and realized what had transpired they rushed to the Dairy Queen. Unfortunately for the officers, the security cameras were a dead end. Upon further investigation, the officers found Ty’s personal belongings still inside of his locker in the Dairy Queen.
After the third adolescent went missing we made the connection. Unfortunately for us, two weeks later our fourth victim was abducted. A young woman who was 14 years old named Lizzy Beaumont disappeared into what seemed like thin air. She had been at the Fork County Fairgrounds that day. She had been grounded at the time so she didn’t have her phone on her, but she had been allowed to attend the fair as some of her artwork had been entered into a contest. Lizzy’s mother dropped her off around 10:30 am and was set to pick her up in the same location at 4:00 pm. When her mother arrived at 4:00 pm to get Lizzy, she wasn’t there. Her mother began making phone calls to the art teacher and other students and their parents only to discover that Lizzy never even made it to the exhibit. We did the best we could investigating her disappearance, but the fair is a very crowded event and the young girl didn’t stand out in anyone’s memory. Yet again, we had hit a dead end.
Things calmed down for a bit and just when Fork County citizens began to breathe a little easier the abductions began again. A 16 year old boy named Taylor Harrison was reported missing by his mother when he failed to return home from a night at the movies with friends. Based on the description of his vehicle we were able to track it down to an abandoned gas station parking lot just about 10 miles North of the theater. Like the earlier victims, all of Taylor’s belongings were still inside of his unlocked vehicle. We dusted for prints but our worst fears were confirmed when the only prints lifted were those belonging to Taylor himself.
That brought us to today, when 16 year old Hallie Cole went missing without a trace.