The afternoon began without incident. The girls and I were watching a movie upstairs in bed. I was sent down to the kitchen for a snack.
That's when the dogs started barking and I realized that there was a stranger at the door.
I approached the door and noticed that the man was older, late forties perhaps. His large belly was evidence that he had an appetite for fried clams and beer. His hair was grey and thinning and his face was mustached.
I opened the door.
"Hello, ma'am, " the stranger began, "I'm a private detective."
He flashed me a badge. It could've been from Toys R Us. It didn't matter. The moment I had been waiting for had finally arrived. My years of reading murder mysteries were about to pay off. I was on the case.
"There was an accident on a street near here on December 6, 2008. The 911 call indicates that there were two individuals in the car, a man and a woman. When the police arrived on the scene, there was only one in the car. The car was stolen and the cops are trying to pin the stolen car on my client, a young woman."
I began to work the scene in my mind. "Surely she must know this man if she was riding in a car with him." I said.
"She remembers nothing from that night." he replies, "She met him in bar that very evening. Her friends saw her leave with him.
I'm trying to track down the tox report. He probably slipped some roofies in her drink.
There were burrs in her hair and on her clothes. I think he took her to a field." He conjectures.
The detective has given me the facts and then he asks me a question.
"I looked at the police log for that night and noticed that an alarm had gone off on your property. Do you remember anything about that night?"
I did remember that night. "It was 11:30 when I got the call from the alarm company that the police were on their way. I wasn't terribly concerned since the lock to my husbands office, a renovated stand alone garage, was a little fickle. (Editors Note: David wants you to know that the lock is fixed and the office is now guarded by a surly dog who is trained to rip the throat out of thieves who come to steal his baseball cards. Thank you.) Still, I waited in the house until the police arrived. There was no one in the office, though the door was wide open."
The detective grew excited. "That was shortly after the 911 call was placed."
The detective and I began piecing together the scenario.
The perp crashes the car and flees when he hears sirens. He dashes through yards desperate for a place to hide when he sees the office. He tries the door and begins to walk in just as the alarm begins to shriek. Frantic, he continues to run, leaving the door open and his victim back in the car, injured, with the burrs in her hair the only witness to the horrors of the evening.
We try to figure out where the burrs might have come from. I give him a few leads. He asks if I have ever noticed a specific car, a blue Ford Focus with a bike rack. My heart drops. I have not seen this car, but I'll watch for it.
I want to continue working the case, but it is clear that there is nothing more I can add.
He leaves reluctantly, as if he can sense my innate talent for sleuthing. We could crack this case, I just know it.
I watch him drive away and begin to plan my new career as a Sara Padrusch, Girl Detective.