When none of the pieces fit…
This isn’t what he had planned. He hoped to be sitting down with Chambers reviewing the documentation he had on a missing person’s case, but now he is reviewing interview notes on Chambers himself. Sergeant Jackson needed coffee. A lot of coffee.
He naturally assumed the investigation into Chambers disappearance simply because he was first on the scene. It wasn’t until later in the day when he was officially put in charge. Delegating others to handle the interviews and crime scene investigation, Jackson had time on his hand to ponder on tho “why” – why would somebody do this? The initial interviews revealed nothing as to who let alone why. Everyone seemed to have an alibi. They always seem to have an alibi.
Putting the notes aside, Jackson powered up his computer to look at the prior investigations Chambers was working on recently, searching to see if maybe a clue could be found there. The last case he was working on centered around a missing girl named Barbara Jenkins in Kentucky. Barbara had spent the afternoon frolicking in the leaves a month ago when she disappeared. Chambers focused his investigation on the child’s parents and a gentleman named Mark Branson. A search warrant of the Branson house led to the discovery of a secret room in the cellar of the house, large enough to hide a person but small enough to almost miss detection. Inside the room was some knotted rope and a child’s left shoe.
Chambers notes indicated that Mr. Branson later confessed to forcing Barbara to rake up all the leaves in his yard after she messed up all his hard work earlier in the day, and then placed her inside the secret room as punishment for her actions. However, he swore that he did not harm her nor knew where she disappeared to. All he remembered was her whimpering when he closed the door and slid the boxes in front of the wall and then headed up stairs. The fact that Chambers was unable to find the child continued to haunt him even after he was forced to turn the investigation over, causing him to decide on the vacation to clear his mind.
Searching through other open missing person’s files, Jackson came across a report of a wife who disappeared while on vacation in the Denver area. The husband eventually confessed to the crime, but was unable to produce the body. He claimed to have placed her inside the trunk of his car and drove it down to Las Vegas, but when the car was located, the trunk was empty.
Also in Las Vegas, a couple reported that their child disappeared while at College in Georgia. During a holiday weekend, a janitor traumatized and eventually kidnapped the son while the building was empty. He kidnapped him in the middle of the night and locked him inside a faculty supply closet, but some how escaped. The student was never seen again.
After a few hours of reading the numerous reports, Jackson was interrupted with a phone call from Indiana. Sergeant Chambers’s wallet was found along the side of the tracks. Jackson responded, “… but let me guess, no sign of Chambers himself, correct?” Unfortunately, Jackson was right, as he feared. The pattern of many outstanding missing persons cases of late result in the kidnapper being identified, but the victim never surfacing. “Turn that area upside-down,” Jackson demanded before hanging up the phone.
Holding his head in his hands, staring at the computer screen, Jackson struggled with the next course of action. If these cases are actually connected, then how are the victims disappearing? If they managed to escape their captivity, why haven’t they shown up yet? Flipping through the files once again, he identified at least 20 cases where the victim remained at large. It was time to look for a pattern if one existed.