This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
From Part 6
Stella pushed Ellie's hot and angry button. "You know how I feel? Oh, really! You and Alexander have this sixth sense, huh? Well, let me tell you, Officer, you don't know how I feel. You have no idea what it's like to be resting peacefully only to awake to this nightmare.So tell me - how do I feel." Ellie sat back and crossed her arms in a defiant huff.
"Honey, tell me if I'm right. You're extremely tired, to the point of exhaustion. You feel like you're dreaming. You don't believe what's jus' happened. You feel so many emotions at the same time, you can't separate them. Your mind's a blur, and Honey, you're jus' about ready to collapse. Yet you find the inner strength to carry on and reach the goal - finding your precious daughter.
"Now, don't answer Child, 'cause you know I'm right."
"Well, anybody can read a textbook on trauma psychology, but . . ."
"But Honey, I lived it. That's how I know what you're feeling. My little baby, my four-year-old Alise was stolen from her car-seat while I was pumpin' gas. Can you believe that? While I was pumpin' gas! Now, Honey, it's been twelve years and she's not home yet. I vowed right then and there that I would find her, and if I couldn't find her, I'd find all the other missing children God brought my way.
"Oh, Officer, I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have said those things."
"Child, I'll tell you this. I've not found my Alise, but I've solved every missing person case that's been laid on my desk. I don't say that proudly. I say that because we gonna find your girl, too. Now, we need to get to business. There's a little girl out there calling for Mommy."
- Dear Ellie - Part 6
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price.
It was time to begin the search for Carrie in earnest. 300 neighborhood volunteers arrived to take part. The meeting place - the Branson;s back yard. The search party, led by Stella Washington, was divided into three groups. One group of one hundred people was sent shoulder to shoulder through the back yard and into the woods behind the Branson home. The other two groups were divided into fifty each and started out shoulder to shoulder through the neighbor's yards.
"Before you head out on our mission, this is what we need to do," Stella announced. " We're looking for Carrie-Anne Branson who was taken from her home last night. Some of you may know her, but here's a picture for each of you.
"We're looking for anything that might be associated with her. Even if you're not sure, bring it to my attention anyway. When something is found, the search immediately ceases until I have seen the evidence and its location. Mission control will be right here in the Branson back yard for now. Is there at least one mobile phone in each group? . . . Okay. Good. If evidence is found, this is the number where you can reach me.: Stella emphasized the phone number on the information sheet that was distributed to each person.
She continued. "We're looking for anything, and I do mean anything that might relate to Carrie. I'm told her small, brown, teddy bear is missing. Hopefully, we find that. She was wearing pigtails when last seen. Maybe we can find a rubber band. Anything, anything at all that might lead us to Carrie, bring to my attention immediately. Now, let's go bring Carrie home!"
Scott headed out with the group of one hundred. Ellie started to go with the group going east through the neighborhood. Stella called her back.
Stella Talks with Ellie
"Honey, let's talk. They can do the search." Ellie headed her way. "Honey, can you think of anybody who would want to harm your little girl? Anybody that might want to harm you or your husband by harming your little girl? I know we talked about a lot of things las' night, and I couldn't help but think, the one who took Carrie - he or she knows her. This had to be something planned out in detail. They had to have been watching your family for a time before las' night. Can you think of anybody, Child.?"
"No, Officer. I really can't. I can't imagine anybody wanting to harm us."
"Wes' Mifflin High - they lost the homecoming game las' night, right? Any irate parents you know of?"
"No, We have a good spirit, even when we lose. The parents are behind the kids no matter what happens on the field."
"All the kid's happy players? How 'bout their relationship with your husband?"
"There are two boys Scott hasn't found a way to work into the game yet, but they're faithful and loyal to the team. They love Scott."
"Maybe they do, but what about their parents? Sometimes it's the dads that get more involved than the kids. How 'bout it?"
"Well, I do remember an altercation Scott had with Tim Martin's dad, but it wasn't this year. Last year Scott had Tim run extra laps after practice for insubordination. Tim was okay with it. He knew he was wrong, but his dad got in Scott's face and was really upset. That's all been taken care of though."
"Has it? I think I'll need to pay Mr. Martin a visit. Do you have his address?"
"I can get it. Scott keeps them all on file, but I really don't think it's necessary."
"Honey, right now everything is necessary."
The neighbor's dog barked, shaking Ellie back to reality. She placed the note carefully on the table and grabbed an iced tea from the refrigerator. She longed to have her once perfect life back but doubted that would ever happen. She sat down again and looked at the note. She couldn't help but relive the painful experience. She almost thought it was therapeutic, but she knew better. She was still in too much pain. She continued to work through it as best she could.
"Oh, yes. I'll get Tim Martin's address for you, Officer."
"Honey, I've been calling you Honey for way too long. Call me Stella, Sweetie. I'm not jus' the officer assigned to your case. I'm your advocate, Honey, and I'm here to fight for you. We gonna find that sweet little Carrie
Stella's celll phone rang. Officer Alexander was checking in. "Hey, Stel. How thing's going?"
"Nothin' yet. Hopefully, we'll get somethin' soon."
"Mrs. Branson been eliminated as a suspect yet?"
I really don't think it's her. Her alibi checks out and she jus' seems so sincere. Besides, you know, my gut tells me so. Let's jus' call her a person of interest for now. See, I sent the search party out and called her over to gather more information. She didn't protest. Most mothers would insist on trying to find their child. But that might jus' be a quirk. She really seems okay. How 'bout you How did Mr. Branson check out."
"Same here. Everything checks out, but something doesn't feel right. His eyes never focused, and he was quite fidgety.Let's just call him a bigger person of interest. Gotta go, Stel."
"Oh, wait a minute! Mrs. Branson did mention one of Mr. Branson's team members was reprimanded las' year for not following the rules. Branson had him run extra laps. It seems his dad wasn't too happy. May be worth looking at him. The kid's name is Tim Martin. I'll get you the location."
"Sounds good, Stel.Keep me posted."
- Dear Ellie - Part 8
Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price
© 2017 William Kovacic