Jacob’s car sat idling outside the Murphy residence in a dark corner of the cul-de-sac. A warm cup of coffee between his legs keeping his groin warm. The car may have been fuel efficient but he quickly learned that it was not sealed well and no matter the heat setting it remained cold.
Jacob sat waiting for Jerry to return home when his phone vibrated in the seat next to him. Looking at the caller ID he noticed that it was Kelsey.
“What are you doing?”
“What do you mean, Kelsey?”
“I received a phone call from Mrs. Abigail Wilson who told me that you broke into her house and assaulted her seventeen year old grandson.”
“Don’t play with me Nathan. She wasn’t happy, I did you a favor, she isn’t pressing charges. But you gotta start telling me things. Like why you went to talk to him. This is my investigation, remember?”
“I do Kelsey. And I am sorry, but it came up so I went.”
“Who are you really?”
She paused for a moment, “First you tell me you are a broker, then a P.I. both in St. Louis, you tell Sheriff Rachel you have a wife and a kid.”
God I hate lying, “Those are true.”
“Well, here’s what’s happening, Nathan, I’m setting at my computer running a search, so if there is anything you want to say now would be a good time.”
He knew the only Nathan Collins she would get a hit on would be for an unpaid parking ticket in 2005, it had been paid and the warrant dismissed. He was a registered voter and lived in Chesterfield. The oddest piece of information would come from the various police and armed forces databases, if she searched them, there would be no one that fit his description with the name he was using. The closest she would come would be a Nathan Collins who had just retired from the police force in Flint Michigan. But he was a fifty six year old African American who had lived there his entire life. This Nathan Collins didn’t seem to exist.
“I got to go.” he said, hanging up on her.
He finally saw the headlights of Jerry’s SUV pull into his drive and Jacob stepped out into the snow to meet him.
“Jerry,” Jacob called.
“Hello Mr. Collins.”
“Can I speak to you inside please? It’s freezing out here.”
They sat around a fire that Jerry had started in the fireplace of the family room. He saw pictures hung on the walls of Haley at all ages, unlike that of the Kennedy home.
“I spoke to a few of Haley’s friends today. And the sheriff’s department.”
“First, did you know that Seth is..”
“I had suspected as much, however Haley never mentioned it to me.”
“What made you suspect?”
“He was,” he thought for moment, “I don’t know, I guess I just always kind of knew. He dressed really nice, liked show tunes, never showed any affection toward Haley at all when he was around here.”
“But you suggested that he wanted sex from her.”
“I said that was what she said, I don’t know.”
Jacob saw red, his anger began to well up inside him. He was tired of half truths already and it was only day one and hopefully there would be no day two.
“Jerry, I need to know everything, do you understand me. I don’t know why you sent me to Seth but you may have wasted a day of my time and yours.”
“I didn’t intentionally lead you astray, Mr. Collins, I can assure you of that. I want nothing more than to locate my daughter and find her safe.”
“Was there a ransom demand Mr. Murphy?”
“Ransom demand, how much did the kidnappers want?”
“There was no ransom demand.”
Jacob stood up and walked to the mantle above the warm fire place. “Jerry if there was no ransom demand, and you don’t think she ran away then what other reason could someone have for abducting Haley?”
Jerry sat in silence in his big lounger facing the fire. The flicker from the fire bouncing red light off his face.
“Exactly, Jerry. Do you want me to continue looking?”
“Yes. Absolutely. I believe with all my heart that she is alive. Possibly scared out of her mind and I can’t live everyday knowing that I haven’t done everything in my power to find her and bring her home.”
Jacob turned and sat back down on the couch. “You have to tell me everything, do you understand, I am not going to say it again. One more lie or half-truth Jerry and I walk.”
“I understand. Again it has never been my intention to lead you astray.”
“I also talked to Detective Lawson today.”
“Okay. She was the detective that came by here once. Said she would be working the case.”
“Have you talked to her lately?”
“I never am able to reach her. Seems to always be away doing something.”
“She said you weren’t worth a lot of money.”
“I’m not. I make about seventy grand a year.”
“But Haley is. It was her Grandmothers. After she died it went into a trust. Haley can’t touch it until she is eighteen at which time she gets twenty-five percent. The rest she receives upon completion of a four year degree.”
“It’s about time you answer a question Jerry. That is a big motive for a lot of different things. Kidnapping for ransom for one. Who is in charge of the trust?”
“I am. I’m allowed to buy things that directly pertain to Haley. I have to show receipts to the lawyers who kept track of it.”
“How did the Grandmother come by the money?”
“Her and her husband started Bledsoe industries in mid-fifties. They make motor parts for boats and cycles.”
“Is this the factory at which you are an engineer?”
“Yes, when I graduated from college I moved here as I said before. I met Carol, their daughter, who was the human resources manager. Sparks flew and we got married two years later. A year later we had Haley, two years later she left.”
“So you were together a little over five years?”
“Six years, four months and twenty-two days, from first date to signatures on the divorce papers.”
“And you stayed at the company?”
“She took my side Mr. Collins. She despised what she did to me and to her daughter. Her granddaughter.”
“Where did the money come from?”
“After Jack died in the mid-seventies, before I arrived, Noreen sold forty nine percent of stock to shareholders and kept the remaining fifty one. She put that money back for Carol. Luckily just before she died last year Noreen changed her will to include Haley.”
“Yes the original amount was forty and it was supposed to go to Carol. Noreen divided it in half and left twenty each.”
“So, Carol came to get her money?”
“Yes, and briefly met with Haley?”
“But enough to arouse a curiosity about her mother?”
“I suppose but she never said anything about it to me.”
“Maybe she didn’t want to hurt your feelings. Where did your wife run off to?”
“She went to Nashville to follow her music dream. Then settled in Memphis.”
“When did Haley begin her fixation with a music career?”
“She had always liked music, I guess it was in her blood. But she became focused after meeting her mother.” He stood obviously angry with himself. “How could I have not seen it?”
“You just weren’t looking in the right spot. Do you know who musicman28 might be? And any idea who she might have been having problems with? She talked about some guy giving her problems.”
Jerry shook his head, “No idea.”
Jacob left Jerry’s house thinking when he found Haley’s mom he would find Haley.
End of Act I
- New Man Part 16 (hughiegibson.wordpress.com)