The morning after I received the visit from the two FBI agents, I decided I needed to discuss all of this with Jack. After trying several times to reach him by phone, I finally drove to his house, hoping I could catch him in.
I was about to ring the doorbell when he pulled into the driveway. He jumped out of the car, but he was on his phone so he didn’t see me until he was almost to the door.
“I don’t know! I DON’T KNOW!” He yelled into the phone. I’ve looked everywhere and called everyone I can think of and it’s as though they’ve vanished into thin air. Yes…please send someone over. I’ll remain here. Tell them to hurry.”
“Jack…what’s wrong? What has happened?”
The girls have disappeared. I dropped them off at school yesterday morning, but they never got on the bus to come home. I’ve checked with their teachers to confirm they were in all of their classes, so something happened in the brief period of time between the end of the school day and getting on that bus. Mrs. Martin called me to tell me they didn’t come home.
“Oh Jack, what can I do?”
“Let’s go inside, Kat. The police are looking, too. They’re sending a detective over soon. You can wait with me. Where could they be, Kat? Where are my little girls?”
I had never seen Jack like this. Vanessa and Alice were is world and I could tell he felt helpless.
Soon, a car pulled into the drive and two men came to the door. “I’m so relieved they sent you two,” Jack said. “Kat, meet Blake Stedman and Tom Black. The three of us go back a long way.”
“But this can’t be,” I said. “Two FBI agents came to my house last night. They had badges and their names were Blake Stedman and Tom Black. They most definitely were not the two of you.”
“What?” Jack looked even more alarmed…and confused. “Kat, I’ve known these guys for years and why would the FBI come to see you, anyway?”
“We’ll deal with it later, Jack,” the new detective Stedman said. “What can you tell us about Vanessa and Alice’s disappearance?”
Jack relayed what he knew which was basically nothing.
“I’ve been up all night driving around looking, and making phone calls. They would never do something like this to me on a whim. Something has happened to them.”
A thought occurred to me. “Jack, when I got home, yesterday, Annette was there with a man named Carl Drake. She had a gun with her and she was acting very strangely. Those detectives told me she was no longer part of the team and Carl Drake was back in jail. Is it too far fetched to think they may have something to do with the girls’ disappearance?
“I wonder how dear old dad is doing without his little darlings,” Annette said. “I’m sure he’s half crazed by now.”
“Please Miss Morris,” Vanessa begged. “Let us call our daddy.”
“NO! My mother will be here soon with some clothes and other things you’ll be needing on your trip. She’s taking you to the mountains. You’ll love the cabin. It’s beautiful.”