Mystery and Crime Fiction posted May 23, 2019 Chapters: 2 3 -4- 5... 


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Sarah finds the truck on video tape

A chapter in the book A Light in the Darkness

The White Truck

by Roxanna Andrews




Background
Young rookie detective is given five missing women's cases to solve.
Ending of previous chapter: "Why wasn't there anything in the notes about a white truck?" Sarah said once they were in the car.

Don shook his head. "Somebody messed up."

*****************

"I never got any message about a white truck," said detective Marks. "I don't know who she talked to, but it wasn't me. Don't you think we would have followed up a lead like that?"

"Yes, I know you would have. That's why it's weird it wasn't in the notes," said Sarah, respectfully, trying to calm the detective down.

"Well, I didn't know anything about it."

"I'll go look at the camera footage we have, see if a white truck shows up," said Don.

Sarah was nervous about looking at the footage. She was relieved when Don said he would do it. Even though she would like to see it for herself, everything about this case was bringing back bad memories. Having been stalked herself made working on it difficult. At times, she felt a panic attack coming on. But she kept it to herself. She didn't want the Chief to bench her. It was her fist big case and she wanted to do well.

Sarah made some phone calls, then went to the media room to talk to Don. "The Harris family can see us tomorrow. Still can't get a hold of Rick Taylor or Ryan Matthews. I left another message. Any luck with the footage?"

"I don't see a white truck in any of it. Maybe it's a dead end."

"Yeah, maybe." Sarah agreed.

The next morning they went to interview the Harris family. Their daughter, Madison, had been missing three years. The couple sat next to each other on the couch holding hands.

"We have come to accept that she may be ... dead. We just need to know ... what happened to her," Janet Harris's voice broke. She dabbed her eyes with a tissue and cleared her throat. "How can we help?" 

Sarah swallowed and took a deep breath. Seeing this couple so emotional made her think of her own parents and the fear they felt for her when she was being stalked.
If not for the grace of God, they could be her parents.

Sarah put her mind on the job and worked to keep her emotions in check. She and Don went through their list of questions, but the answers revealed nothing new. Before leaving, she asked one last question.

"We think she was stalked before being abducted. Did she say she saw the same vehicle or person hanging around?"

Neil Harris thought a moment. "Now that you mention it, she did say she kept seeing the same white truck. But, that was months before the abduction. Does that help?"

"It just might, Mr. Harris. Did she describe the truck, any dents, decals, who was in it? Man, woman?"

"I asked her. She just said a white truck. Madison knew nothing about trucks. She did say a man was driving, and the license plate had mud on it."

Sarah wrote in her notepad and stood. She put out a hand and could see it was shaking a bit. "Thank you so much for speaking with us. I know this is hard."

"We'd answer a thousand questions if it helps us find our daughter."

****

"Do we have video surveillance on Madison? If we can just get one frame of that white truck, maybe get the make or model, even a license number," said Sarah as she got behind the wheel. Don always insisted she drive.

"From your lips to God's ears. Yeah, we have tape of the night she was abducted. When we get back to the station, I'll go through the footage we have. Maybe you can listen to the interviews we taped, see if there is anything we didn't catch."

Sarah listened to the interviews, but didn't hear anything new. She dropped them off to be transcribed, and went to see Don. It was almost quitting time and Don wasn't in the media room. She went to his desk and it looked like he'd gone for the day.

She wrestled with looking at the videos herself. She would feel better if she knew what was on them, but the panic threatened to come to the surface. Maybe I need to see a doctor to get some meds for this.

She forced herself to go to the media room and with a shaky hand put in the tape marked 'Renee Cummings'. About ten minutes into the video, she saw it, the white truck. Why had Don said he didn't? It was blurry and dark. No chance of getting a license, or a model for that matter, but it was something. Maybe one of the crime tech guys could clean it up.

Next she put in the 'Madison Harris' tape. Just when she decided the truck wouldn't be there, it showed up, almost at the end of the tape. It drove slowly past Madison as she left her job. They estimated that about thirty minutes after that, she had been abducted.

Sarah enlarged the frame and zoomed in on the license plate. Part of the plate was covered in mud -- just two numbers showed. The mud had to be deliberate. It would take a lot of time to track down, but maybe Max could help. Max was a genius with computer searches. At least she had the make and model now, a Dodge Ram.

She zoomed in on the driver's side window, and half expected to see David Lawson driving. I have to stop this. She could see nothing through the tinted glass.

Sarah went to write down the info and realized she had been sweating. She had to wipe off her hand before she could write.

Leaving the media room, she went to see if Maxine Davis was still at her desk. She was in luck; Maxine sat fixated on her screen.

"Hey, Maxine."

The young woman jumped.

"Man, don't sneak up on a person like that."

"I wasn't sneaking up on you. What are you doing?"

"I'm engaged in the fight of my life. I'm playing War Craft with my online video game club. Just a minute, I'll ask them to hold on. Hey guys, I have to tend to some business; so can we freeze the game for a half sec?"

Maxine took off her headphones and gave Sarah her full attention. "Just so you know, I'm off the clock; I'm not playing video games when I should be working. What do you need?"

Sarah shrugged and handed her a piece of paper. "I'm wondering if there is a way to trace a license plate with just two numbers? I have the make and model."

"I can do it, but it's going to bring up like three thousand cars."

"Well, this is a truck, a white truck. Does that narrow it down?"

"Yeah, to like... five thousand. Everyone around here has a truck."

"It's a white Dodge Ram." Sarah said, raising her eyebrows.

"Everyone has a white Dodge Ram."

"I know. Do your best; and it's for my eyes only, okay."

"Oh, intrigue. I love it. Roger, boss, for your eyes only," she laughed,
and went back to her game.

Sarah's phone blinked with a message, and she hoped it was either Taylor or Matthews calling back about an interview.

"Hi, this is Rick Taylor. Sorry I haven't gotten back to you. I've been out of town. Tomorrow afternoon is fine if you can come by then."



Okay, let me have it. =} I did a last minute redo but since I spent the money to post, I didn't want to pull it for a couple of days and lose that money. Is there a way to get your money back if you pull a story? Anyway, sorry, I'm sure this is a mess.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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© Copyright 2019. Roxanna Andrews All rights reserved.
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