Out of the summer darkness her eyes sprang open. Yet, she wasn’t out of the darkness. With eyes wide open, black loomed all about. Scrambling to her knees, she felt along the concrete walls that imprisoned her.
Her heart pounding in her throat and sweat beading on her body, she screamed, “Help! Help! Will someone please help me?” Her voice faded hoping for a response, but none came.
Running into the bright and busy Mystic, Massachusetts Police Department, a middle-aged gentleman pushed his way to the front counter. “You have to help me,” he pleaded between pants of breath. “My daughter, my daughter, she’s gone. I – I don’t know what happened to her. You have to help me find her.”
Officer Gloria Wheeler tried to calm the man. “Sir, please come with me. We’ll do everything we can to find her.” She came around the counter and escorted him down the hallway. “Officer Wilson, will you tell Detective Perry he’s needed in Interrogation Room One immediately?”
“Yes, ma’am,” the young office said.
Gloria and the gentleman entered the room and sat on opposite sides of the table. She opened the notebook she had brought with her. “I’m Officer Wheeler, what’s your name?”
“I’m Martin Endicott.”
Before he could say anything else, the door opened and another man walked in.
“Mr. Endicott, this is Detective Nathan Perry,” Gloria said.
“How do you do, Mr. Endicott,” Nathan said. “Gloria, what do we have here?”
“Mr. Endicott said that his daughter is missing.”
Nathan sat down next to the gentleman. “How old is she?”
“She’s twenty-two. You have to find her, she’s all I have left.”
“How long as she been missing?” Gloria asked.
“I’m not sure. I left her apartment last night after dinner. That was around seven, I think. We made plans for today and when I went to her apartment, the door was unlocked and she was gone.”
“Could she have just stepped out to go to the market or something?” Nathan asked.
“Her purse and cell phone were on the counter, so no, I don’t think so.”
“Does she have a boyfriend?” Gloria asked.
“I don’t know. Barbara moved here around a year ago after graduating from the Springfield Business College. The career office at the school helped place her as a paralegal with the Benson Law Office here in Mystic. I came a few days ago for a vacation and to spend a little time with my daughter. My wife passed away two years ago and Barbara is my only child.” Tears formed in his eyes, which he wiped away with his sleeve.
Nathan looked at Gloria, nodding with his head to the door. The two officers stood. “Mr. Endicott, if you will excuse us, we’ll be right back,” he said.