MONDAY AFTERNOON 4:30 P.M.
The police cars surrounded the streets, traffic was unbearable, even for a Monday afternoon. Standing outside even across the cafe I could see the whole scene play out as the police started to put up the yellow crime scene tape. As the body bag was being carried into the ambulance truck , a loud shriek came from a distance. Everyone turned, including the people the people in the cafe as they continued to come up to the glass window one by one before they missed all the action. It was a woman, who appeared to have been a relative to the victim she was yelling incessantly.
Mother: " Jenny? Jenny!! Where is my daughter ? Who's in that bag? Let me see my daughter !!"
Police Officer: Excuse me Ma'am , I'm gonna need you to back away from the crime scene ."
Mother: " I need to know if that's my daughter Jenny. She went missing on Friday and I haven't heard from her since. I've called the police and they haven't given me anything I need some answers!!"
Police Officer: "Ma'am you have to believe that we're trying to do the best we can , but right now you just need to let the police do their job."
The woman just had a bewildered look on her face and wasn't hearing anything the police officer said.
Police Officer : "Can somebody please escort this woman to another location please?"
A nearby spectator grabbed the angry woman out of the way of the crime scene investigators.
I started to take off my apron gathered my things and clocked out for work. It was almost 5:00 I was gonna be late for my evening classes at NYU. I had worked for the NYPD for a while but my main career goal was the FBI catching the perps was one thing but I just didn't understand how they could do what they do and not have any remorse. As I walked into the parking lot and got into my car I knew I was gonna be late the traffic seemed to have no start or end. I had 18 minutes to at least get on campus and it would take forever.
MONDAY EVENING 8:45 P.M.
I got out of my car and ran to the door of my apartment, it was still raining as it was this morning . I couldn't find my keys." Ahh here they are." I looked at my own hand and just shook my head tiredly. I turned on the lights " Now where is that remote? Oh that's right." Walking, almost tripping over one of my shoes I went to the kitchen drawers and found the remote. Don't question my hiding methods , just know that they work.Turning on the T.V. I found the channel I was looking for.
News Reporter: "Hello and good evening everybody, here's our headlining story for today. A teenager's body was found in Central Park this afternoon. The teen appeared to have been running away from home. The cause of death is not apparent at the time nut investigators are doing all they can to find more information. For more on this story..."
My eyes were glued to the screen , I knew something was up I just didn't know what but I knew one person who could help me figure that out. I flipped looked in the contacts on my phone, I hoped I had still saved the number. I dialed.
James:" James Montgomery NYPD" A husky voice came on the line. I smiled.
Laura: " James is that you? What's up with your voice someone's been under stress lately, do yourself a favor lay off some of the guys at the station, you don't need to scare the rookies away.
James : "Not a chance Adams." He chuckled. " Besides they need to learn to toughen up down here."
I laughed. James Montgomery was Chief of the New York Police Department and long-time friend of mine. I had worked for the NYPD after college for about 4 years before deciding to go out for the FBI he wasn't exactly keen on my decision but respected it. This missing teenage case had something weird about it and like I said before James would help me find out what.
Laura: "Hey James you investigating the case about that teenager that was found in Central Park?"
James : "Are you kidding? It's been hell up here at the station . The phones have been off the hook
ringing for the past three hours. "
Laura: "You think I could help with investigation, you know, for old times sake? "
James: " Laura you're more than welcome to join in the investigation anytime , a former detective , we could use your eyes back on the force again."
Laura: " Thanks James, you're the best."
TUESDAY MORNING 9:00 A.M.
I arrived at the station around 9:00 A.M. , the rain had cleared up and it was bright sunny. the streets outside returned to its natural hustle and bustle and the people of New York were at a less quickened pace than usual , as they were settling into the week. As I walked into the station, I heard the familiar voices of all the people I had worked with.
Laura : " Hey Chief, long time no see."
James: "You said it, its good to see you again. I was just goin to ask Fletcher to go over to the house of the victim from Central Park.
Laura : "You're kidding, Fletcher still works here?"
Fletcher : "Yeah he's been on top of things for the last month, you know I'm think of givin that boy a promotion."
I turned around to look at the familiar face behind me, he hadn't changed a bit.
James : " When you workin your way outta the bottom then we'll talk."
We all laughed as James gave me my badge and gun.
James: " Now look you two, I need you to go to Jennifer Welden's house and speak and find out the last time Jennifer was home.
TUESDAY 10:10 A.M.
Ms.Welden:"That was the last time I saw her." She began to weep again. Fletcher handed her a tissue.
Fletcher:"Ms. Welden , was there any indication that
your daughter was going to runaway ?"
Ms. Welden:" No, we never got into any arguments , she seemed fine. I don't know why she wouldn't have at least taken her phone with her."
Laura:" Was it normal for to leave her phone at home?"
Ms. Welden: "Absolutely not, she took that phone everywhere, we argued just the other day about last month's cell phone bill."
Laura: " Was there anything unusual or out of place when you came home Ms.Welden?"
Ms. Welden:"No, I mean the house was as clean as it always was.
Laura:" So it didn't look like anyone had already entered your home?"
She shook her head no.
Fletcher :" Would it be alright if we took a look in her room?"
Ms. Welden led them into Jenny's room.It was a typical teenage room , pictures on the wall, green and hot pink spread across the walls everything down to the furniture and bed set. She was right, it was spotless."
Laura: " So nothing had been out of place in here when you realized that she was missing?"
Ms. Welden "Well the back window was wide open and her backpack was gone."
Fletcher: "Can you excuse us for one second please?"
The woman nodded her head and left silently.
Laura: " What's wrong?"
Fletcher: " When they found Jennifer's body, they found her backpack filled with clothes as well as money about $500. "
Laura: "So she was running away, but from what? This room though, it looks spotless if I'm a teenager running away from home, I wouldn't care how clean or how messy my room was. I'd just start throwin things around to see what I might need."
Fletcher:"Yeah and the mother said that there really was no reason to runaway."
Laura: "Think theres something she's not telling us?"
Fletcher: I'll bet on it."
We went back to the living room, as we proceeded to thank Ms.Welden and leave we saw a middle-aged hispanic woman come from the kitchen. Her eyes appeared to be red, she had been crying.
Ms. Welden:"Oh Ava, this is detective Adams and Fletcher. Could you please get them something to drink?"
The woman nodded and went back into the kitchen.
Ms. Welden :" Sorry about that , Ava's taken Jenny's death a little hard. She smiled through her red eyes.
Fletcher: " Right... Well umm thank you for your time Ms. Welden, but we really must be going."
Ms Welden:"Oh okay thank you for coming, it really means a lot."
Laura:" Did anything seem off to you?"
Fletcher:" You mean the fact that the daughter's room as completely clean, except for the window?"
Laura: " Yes, but Ava the housekeeper. She seemed more concerned and grieved about Jennifer than the mother was ."
Fletcher:"Oh yeah, that was odd, you think she knows something?"
Laura:"Well, if she does, she wouldn't say it in front of her boss, we gotta come back tomorrow."
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON 2:54 P.M
It was almost 3:00 when we came back to the Weldens house. I knocked on the door , Ava had opened the door just a crack, her eyes were still as red as they had been the previous day.
Ava: "Ms. Welden will not be home for a while." She had a very heavy Hispanic accent.
Laura:"Ava we're here to see you."
Ava:"How may I help you?"
Laura : We need to ask you a few questions about Jennifer Welden's death.May we come in?"
Ava slowly opened the door and allowed the two detectives in. They sat down in the living room.
Ava:"Would you like something to drink?"
Laura:"No thank you, Why don't you sit down."
As she sat down she was starin at a picture on the table next to the television. It was a picture of her, and Jennifer they seemed to be on vacation on the beach. Jennifer was looking directly at Ava face to
face , eye to eye like they had known each other their entire life.
Laura:"How old was she Ava?"
Ava :"She was turning17 in May." She silently weeped.
Laura" Ava did you see your daughter before she went missing?"
Ava: "The last time I saw her I was leaving to get some groceries for, Ms. Welden was helping her with her homework."
Ava:" When we first came here Ms.Welden wanted to change Brenda's name so it would she would actually seem like she was part of the family."
Ava turned around and looked us both in the eye.
Ava:" I came here because I wanted here to have a better life than I did, she had a chance here. Ms. Welden said that as long as I could work for her she would take Brenda under her wing and give her a good education."
Laura: "Did Ms. Welden mention any kids of her own that she had?"
Ava:" I know that she has a daughter that lives somewhere in Brooklyn, Amy. Her and Brenda grew up together they were practically sisters after she graduated from high school her mother and her just stopped talking.
Laura:" Any idea why?"
Ava shifted uncomfortably.
Ava:" I had heard from some people down in Brooklyn that she got mixed in with the wrong crowd , and got hooked on drugs. Ms Welden doesn't even mention her anymore. I know that she's tried to call the house several times , but her mother blocks her calls, I know.
Laura:"What about Brenda, did she know?"
Ava:" I didn't know, I had the feeling she might have but I wasn't sure. When she used to ask questions, Ms. Welden would tell her to worry about herself."
A thought came into my head.
Laura: "Hey Ava, did Brenda have any pictures of her and Amy together?
Ava:"Well she should in her room."
I ran back to Ava's room, Fletcher followed close behind. When I came to the board of picture I
noticed it, well it wasn't there that's how I noticed it, just a space.
Fletcher:" What is it?"
Laura:"We need to get Jennifer err... Brenda's backpack from the medical examiner."
Laura:"Because , I know who killed Jennifer Walden."
WEDNESDAY 4:15 P.M.
We went to the medical examiner, and showed our credentials.
M.E.:"Okay here it is Jennifer Welden's backpack."
Laura:"Here it is."
Fletcher."You still haven't told me anything since we got here."
Laura: "Look, it's a picture of Amy and "Jennifer" it was missing when we looked in her room because she had it with her."
Fletcher:"So she wasn't necessarily running away , she was just trying to find out what happened to Amy ."
Laura:"And someone couldn't let that happen."
Fletcher:" Because if someone like her who was a well educated , respected member of the community was ever found out to have a "drug addict " as a daughter..."
Laura:"She's no longer a gated member of the community."
Fletcher:"We've got to get back to the house.
Driving with all the speed that was possible in traffic I called Chief at the police station and asked him to send down units to the Welden house.
Fletcher:"Police open up!!" No answer."Ms. Welden this is Detective Matthew Fletcher and Laura Adams!!" Still no answer.
Fletcher busted the door open and several of the police units checked upstairs. I kept hearing "Clear!" For every room in the house. The I heard a small muffled noise coming from the food pantry.
I slowly checked the door and saw Ava tied up against the wall . She looked terrified.
Laura: "Its okay Ava I'm gonna get you out of here okay?"
But she couldn't say anything her mouth was duct taped then suddenly her eyes got wider and she started screaming through the tape. Something was wrong. I turned around only to be knocked out, from behind, the last thing I saw was a shadow that had grabbed some rope from behind the door and then everything went black..."
Ooooh Cliffhanger makes you angry doesn't it ??