Pittie, The Coffee Shop Detective

Updated on May 23, 2019

Pittie, We're Becoming Coffee Shop Detectives

Alright Pittie, let's see what we can do here. Maybe I should have paid closer attention to some of those crime shows I had watched. I guess we start with the victim, Ashley Redgrave.

With a day old bagel and a black coffee in hand, I was back on Ashley's page. Just as I expected, there was a link to her mother, Joanna Redgrave. I was almost afraid to follow the link to her page. If she just moved on without a care, that would break my heart. If she was like Diane and spent the last 16 years seeking the truth, that seemed even scarier. I clicked it and closed my eyes as though a jump scare was coming.

Her mother didn't post much, but most of her posts did revolve around Ashley and her kids. She had a son and a daughter. One had graduated high school and the other was in her senior year. Scattered throughout were birthday wishes to Ashley in heaven, pleas for information on her murder, and moments of dark depressing thoughts.

How could I help her? I didn't have any evidence. If I told her the whole story, as I know it, would she think I was crazy? (I would if I were her.) If she didn't the cops surely would. I thought long and hard about this. Finally, I made up a page called Coffee Shop Detective.

I sent Joanna this message.

Hello Ms. Redgrave,

I am Sam, a college student studying criminal science. I came across your daughter's article in an archive of the local paper. It was a very brief article, and I could not find any follow up information. Was your daughter's case ever solved? If not I would like to see if I can help. Please contact me back if you would be interested in a fresh set of eyes with a new vision analyzing the case.

Sincerely,

Sam

That wasn't totally a lie. I did have a vision. And if life hadn't jackknifed the way it did, I would be a college student. Never considered criminal studies, however. Who knows, maybe I found my calling in more than one way.

While I waited, I went back to my notebook. Casper Trucking... I wondered if they were still in business. (Dang Pittie, I wish you were a real. I could use someone to bounce ideas off of here.) A quick Google search, and no, they went out of business. I did find out they were located in Jacksonville, IA. That was interesting. Could the address I saw be Jackonville, IA?

Could the address be Idle Street? I did find and Idle Street, but that address showed up as a vacant lot in the street view. Like I said, 16-year head start. If that had been his address the house was long gone. Not sure if I thought I was going to just knock at the door anyway.

I lingered around the coffee shop for most of the day. The staff was beginning to look at me oddly. With little cash, I couldn't spend much money. I was limiting myself to one or two small cheap meals a day. Maybe I could be a medium on the streets for money. Not sure how to make that into a sideshow, but people will spend money on anything these days.


Pittie, A Desperate Mother Knows No Limits

Joanna finally got back to me. We sent several messages back and forth. Her gut told her I was a scammer, but her desperation made her listen anyway. (Now I understand how people get caught up in scams. They want something so badly they are willing try anything.) We made plans to meet at a park on the other side of town. It's a busy park with a lot of people around. I felt sure I wouldn't know anyone there. It was usually the place where pre-schools took the kids for the day. I remember going there when I was a kid.

I started making my way to the park today. I figured I would find a place to crash even if it was somewhere at the park itself. Pulling down the ARMY hat that was given to me, I started walking. I was trying to keep my head down. Getting to the park meant going past people and places I knew.

It's easier to not exist out here than you think. People try not to make eye contact with you if you look homeless. Some are afraid, some just don't want to deal with beggars, and others just want to pretend we're not there.

The next morning I cleaned up in a gas station bathroom and tried to appear like a normal college student. I stashed my backpack in the bushes. Most college students don't walk around with a sleeping bag strapped to their backpack. Then I sat on a bench and waited. I realized I didn't have wifi out here. I wondered if my cell phone was still working. If Joanna tried to contact me, I wouldn't know if it wasn't.

Seeing more than one crime show where the cell phone was tracked, I had taken the battery out. I hadn't tried to use it since I ran away. I looked toward the bushes and wondered if I dare try now. I decided to give Joanna time. If she didn't show I might. As I sat and fidgeted, I began to wonder what was on my phone. Funny, that thing was glued to my hand before, but lately, I hadn't given it another thought.

Of course, before, I was in constant communication with Sean. If we weren't texting we were sending funny things back and forth. I still want to find him. If these other people are around, why isn't he? Maybe tonight I will go by his house. I can peek in the windows and see if I see him. (That sounds so weird. I'm going to go by my dead best friends house to see if his ghost is hanging around with nothing to do. The idea made me chuckle. First laugh I had in a while. Leave it to Sean to somehow make my day better even in death.)

Joanna finally arrived, but she was alone. Part of me hoped Ashley would be with her.

"Are you Sam?" she asked.

"Yeah," I smiled. "Let's sit down."

I opened my notebook to the page where I was making notes. I thought for a second what I was going to say to this woman. I wasn't sure playing a nosey college kid would do the trick.

"So is this for some extra credit or something?" she asked me as she sat on the bench.

"No, I just saw.." (Saw what? I saw your daughter murdered and it broke my heart. Yeah, sounds like crazy 101 to me.) "the article on her death. The wording in the article really pissed me off. That was the only thing I could find about her. Nothing turned up about her killer or anything. My heart just went out to her." (That wasn't a lie.) "I thought I could help. I don't guess I can hurt at this point."

"That's true," she said quietly as she studied me closely. "If you're looking for money or something."

"No," I interrupted. "I just think I have some unique observation skills, and perhaps I can help Ashley out. I don't want the last thing the world knows about was she was a dead prostitute," (I realized quickly that was a horrible thing to say. Shit!) Joanna began to tear up.

"She had gotten caught up in drugs. Her last year of high school was unbearable. We started trying to be tough on her. We gave her a choice either rehab or get out. She chose to leave. She had a boyfriend that took her in. I think he was the one who introduced her to that world. The boyfriend left, by then she had two kids, and she got arrested for drugs. We tried to tell her again we would send her to rehab. She didn't want any part of it. The court gave us the kids. Otherwise, they would have gone into foster care. She did a few days in jail and was back in her usual routine as soon as she got out.

Our little girl was in there somewhere, and she loved those kids dearly. She knew they would be better off with us, and didn't put up much of a fight. We talked a lot about her getting her life together, but she just couldn't seem to get away from it. She never missed a visit with the kids. When she didn't show up, I knew something was wrong. I couldn't get her on the phone. She didn't' answer her door. I knew something was wrong.

A part of me knew she was dead, but I expected her to have overdosed somewhere. I guess that sounds horrible to say, but it was a fact I had come to expect one day. To find..." Joanna stopped talking. We sat quietly for a few minutes while she tried to gather herself. I reached out and took her hand and just waited. "To find her dead in a gutter somewhere. But I never expected someone to kill her. Not like that." Joanna got quiet again while she tried to hold herself together. I wanted to ask her questions, but I didn't want to rush her. I'm sure it was so hard for her to relive.


Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Faron Asher

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)