This story is by Ross B. Perkal and was part of our 2017 Winter Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“Point of View–ABDUCTED”
FBI–Incoming Cases Log/Missing Person’s Report/Ransom Note:
Call received via Crimes Against Children Division, Albuquerque Police (CAC) at 6:32 a.m. on Saturday. CAC operator received call from Dr. Gordon Evans, father of victim/Angela Evans, mother of victim, both crying hysterically. Apparent victim Tanya Evans, 16, not present in their home.
Typed ransom note on pillow:
“To Whom It May Concern: Tanya is with us now. If you want her back alive you have until Monday at noon to deliver to us $100,000 in cash, unmarked bills. Safe for now. Will not harm unless you ignore this demand. Fail to pay timely and you will never see her again. Do not contact the Police or FBI. Will call your home phone from a pay phone to give you delivery directions. You can hear her voice then to know she is still ok. When you have made delivery and we have counted it, we will release her to return home.”
Field Agent Jerry Stevens (Stevens) dispatched to parents’ home in exclusive, gated and guarded suburb. Stevens interviewed parents, requested forensic team/CSI to the home/additional field assistance from APD CAC.
Stevens’ Crime Scene Initial Report: Arrived victim’s home Saturday, 7:13 a.m. Met by CAC officers/victim’s parents. Interviewed parents while APD searched garages, grounds/yard. Both parents talked at once, over each other, screaming/shouting. Each blamed other for daughter’s apparent abduction. Accompanied them to victim’s room. Cell phone charging on dresser/laptop plugged on desk. Room messy, bathroom same, second story bedroom window open, no forced entry visible. Walked/took notes/photos, parents behind me still bickering. Despite chaos learned victim only child, good student, religious, honor roll, class vice president, no known Rx, alcohol or drug issues. No known boyfriend.
Mom owns advertising agency/works 14-hour days/entertains clients for dinners; dad cosmetic surgeon, works 16-hour days, on call every night. Parents both have beds in their downtown offices (?)/swear never leave daughter home alone. Victim’s 2014 Honda Civic missing, dog also missing; put out all points bulletin (APB) on both.
Parents sleep on different floors of mansion, 5 car garage, swimming pool, etc. Last word from daughter had been text Friday 5:00 p.m. saying going to school dance with classmates/home late, don’t wait up.
Writer requested backup from forensics/sexual crimes unit, pending results of APB; CSI report on home and victim vehicle/laptop/cell.
Mom at Crime Scene: Insisted dad leave when interviewing her, he protested, but left. Parents estranged, each involved numerous persons, no communication, except about victim. Living under same roof till daughter graduates. Girl is mom’s pride/joy, “great” relationship, best friends/companions. “Perfect” kid/no bad associations/never trouble. Claims Dad sex addict who sleeps with every patient. During week mom or dad come home early AM/before victim awakens/family does not eat together–mom/dad never in same room with victim. Victim sees psychologist weekly and is handling “situation” fine. Mom demands Dad pay ransom/get “princess” back. Blames husband for ruining their marriage/family.
Dad at Crime Scene: Said money no object/will get ransom funds Monday, selling securities. Said mom was “whore” who slept with men/women at her ad agency past 10 years. Denied infidelity, prior to 10 years ago, when the victim was six. Caught wife in bed/young man/young woman, while daughter away. Marriage dead then. No counseling/separate lives/lovers. Daughter and he close/daughter and wife not b/c mom shares sexual exploits with teen. Daughter is his “princess.”
Victim[this portion report created post-rescue attempt, based on Victim’s journal:] Was worried parents will not send ransom, despite the ransom note. Mom brilliant/runs biggest ad agency; staff does work, mom takes credit; supreme narcissist; distant from dad/daughter. Gave kid credit cards, cell phone, birth control pills when she turned 12, “trusted her,” neither parent ever home. Both parents/serial sexual relationship/family home/also at downtown hotels, use “work” as excuse. Both try to outdo other in sexual conquests. Can’t trust either of them. Feels like orphan in empty mansion. Parents don’t talk/listen to other or victim, unless kid asks for something. Parents behave like hormonal teens, vying for “hottest” sex partner. Victim’s (weekly) counselor concurs. Family counseling sessions erupt into brawls. Victim’s daily life war zone, now this incident to deal with.
Stevens: No forensic help re intruder; no data on cell phone/laptop suggest anything wrong. Met with dad at home to discuss mechanics of a 10 a.m. delivery of the ransom money, tomorrow. Dad seemed distant/not helpful, benign neglect. Dad asked if there was chance of catching the kidnappers/getting money back. Did not mention victim. Said parents almost came to blows after I had left yesterday. No idea where mom was now. He will be at country club golfing if needed/carries pager.
Mom: Suddenly appeared from third floor as dad drove off. “He is a pig/does not care for daughter, only sex/money. Said him not golfing, would be fornicating, his only activity. Asked about her relationships or partners. Denied having either. Said when marriage failed put all energy into building her business. Cried intermittently. “No clue who would do this, or why?” Hypothesized whether ex-husband of patient he slept with found out/sought revenge. (?)
Victim [Post-Rescue Attempt Interview, from Journal]: Parents will never pay the ransom for me! Only care about glitzy THINGS and orgies. Their cell phones/laptops/journals left lying around the house prove it. Never a thought of me, or what I am doing, or who I am doing it with. I could be sleeping with every boy in school and have STDs/AIDS. They would neither notice or care. Despite counseling, I find my life in their home impossible. I would be better off if I “escaped” and hitchhiked to a new city and started over by myself. I am alone in the world now.
Stevens: New Note from Kidnappers:
Typed note arrived CAC via messenger–turned over FBI at noon Sunday:
“You seem unconcerned about your daughter, are you?! We are watching you, know nothing done to pay ransom Monday morning. Continue to display disdain, we begin dismembering your daughter, one digit at a time, starting at 8:00 a.m. Monday. Change attitude now and bring money by noon, or you get her back, fingers & toes missing. Don’t call our bluff!”
Met with parents and showed them the note, which had Tanya’s ring and bracelet and a shock of her hair enclosed. Both became hysterical. Mom slapped dad shrieking “all his fault.” He alleged whoever was behind this was discarded employee/lover from her ad agency. Asked if he had any suspects in mind, he said: Look in our town’s phone book!
FBI had no way to communicate with kidnappers, so following broadcast on all city radio/TV stations on the 6 pm and 10 pm Saturday newscasts:
“Kidnappers of Tanya Evans, the ransom is ready to deliver to you tomorrow AM, please advise when/where we will deliver! Her parents demand to speak with her now to verify she is alive and well!”
Victim: 8:00 a.m. [Post-Rescue Attempt Interview, from Journal]
I imagine they spent this weekend doing all the carnal things they do when I am gone. I won’t go back and pretend they are my parents. I am probably third on their to do lists as usual: first office, then sexual rendezvous, then check on me, if not too exhausted.
Time away has given me time to think and new insights. Things are going to change, they will see! They regret they take me for granted. I’ll bet they are both “at work” now, or still in bed with their current partner(s).
Mom: 8:00 a.m.
Canceled all appointments today. Did not sleep a wink all weekend, Johnny and Linda came over to keep me company and tried to take my mind off of the abduction with an all-night party. Now my body like a limp sponge. Don’t trust Dr. Screw-Em-All to get the money to them on time as demanded. If he screws this rescue up I’ll kill him.
Dad: 8:00 a.m.
Canceled morning appointments to be with FBI now. Wondering how Tanya is doing. Could not sleep Saturday evening so spent the night with my gay lovers, who put me through my paces. On the way to meet Stevens and surveillance team at the Bank. Had to handle all this myself, god knows where her mother was.
Stevens: 8:00 a.m.
Kid should be ok so long as selfish parents don’t screw this up. Another broadcast on local radio/TV at 6:00 a.m. said:
“Abductors of Tanya Evans, your instructions being followed now, do not harm her! Awaiting your instructions for exchange of ransom for girl in good health!”
The shrinks at the Agency said they thought the girl would be unharmed. Hope so. Waiting for reply.
Victim: Noon Post Rescue Deployment Journal Entry]
Spent the weekend alone with my puppy at our family cabin, 75 miles from home writing in journal and meditating. Had to rush back in time for my 12:30 creative writing class, and turn in my “Countdown” story, due today.