Tuesday, December 06, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 6

            Mr. Henry looked up to see his son, Jacob, stagger down the stairs. He grunted a hello, then turned back to his paper. He was too distracted right now for a conversation; he just didn’t have the time. The front page story today was another kidnapping, the third in a month. All of the kidnapees were girls, all between the ages of twelve and twenty-five. This rash of crime had all of the marks of human trafficking, which meant that it was Mr. Henry’s problem.
            Due to the recent string of kidnappings, Mr. Jacob’s unit at the station had been assigned to the job. He had the smartest and the best on the force working for him, yet after more than three months of kidnappings, they still had nothing. This wasn’t like the police force; in fact, it was practically impossible for someone to run a program like this as flawless as the criminals had. Nevertheless, as far as the police were concerned, it could be ghosts doing the kidnappings.
            Mr. Henry finished his breakfast and headed out to his car, thinking as he went. He was seriously ticked off at the kidnappers to say the least. Kidnapping was about the worst crime that you could commit in his book, but to do it this close to Christmas… He’d have thought that even kidnappers would have taken off for the holidays, but apparently not.
            The car growled to life, and Mr. Henry made another mental note to take it into the garage when he had time. He didn’t know how much longer it would last like this, but it certainly didn’t sound good. The car’s problems quickly disappeared from his mind as he mulled over his unsolvable case. For the millionth time he sifted through the few facts that he did have, trying to deduce anything from them. Perhaps the new ones could tell him something if he thought about them. Of course, “facts” was a rather generous terms for what he had learned yesterday upon interviewing the family of the latest kidnap victim. They were just as clueless as to what had happened or who would want to steal their daughter.
            Mr. Henry slammed his fist into the steering wheel in frustration. Of course they were just as clueless. Because no one wanted their daughter. If the theory on the force was correct, the criminals were only interested in girls in general, not specific ones. It made him so angry that he couldn’t think straight. Taking a few deep breaths, he shoved his anger out and began to think again. If he was going to help the families that he promised he would, he needed to be able to think clearly.
            The latest kidnapping had taken place at a park about two miles from Mr. Henry’s house. No one really seemed to know what had happened. The park was crowded, and the last thing that the girl’s parent knew, she had been on the swings. Sometime in a thirty minute period, she went missing without her parents seeing. Because so many people were at the park, the police had a terrible time trying to dig up witnesses to the event. A handful of them had eventually come forward, much later than Mr. Henry would have liked. What in heaven’s name did that say about people caring about each other? In any case, the witnesses had only been marginally helpful. They all agreed that there had only been two kidnappers, but that was all. Everyone had a different description of the perpetrators. They were tall to one guy, shorter to another. A lady said that one was light headed and other had dark hair. They were both men, one guy swore while another said that one was a man and the other was a woman. Even the vehicle description was up for debate. It had definitely been a dark van, a few people agreed, but others said that it had been an ordinary car.
            Unfortunately, that was the most useful set of interviews that they had had in the case so far. No matter where the kidnappings took place, no matter who was kidnapped, and no matter who saw it the details never agreed. It was impossible to run an investigation on no details, no facts, no nothing. That is why Mr. Henry considered this to be the unsolvable case.
            He arrived at the station in a foul mood, and he knew that it wouldn’t get any better.

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