Sheriff Porter 60
Wilson time to go to work,” I said. “We got a missing person.”
“I’ll be out in a minute,” he said through the thin door.
I knew he had a woman in his bedroom and I wasn’t worried a bit about it. I figure it was either Margo or the mom from the B&B. “You take a shower and clear the cobwebs from your head and I’ll go out and get us some breakfast. Will that be breakfast for two or three?” I asked.
“Three,” he said. Got it, see you in fifteen minutes more or less,” I said. I drove the pick up truck to Mr. BJ’s. I got three full breakfast biscuits. I had better coffee at home. I could brew it faster than I used to reheat it in the microwave. I parked my truck in the marina parking lot. I had no idea which car belonged to Wilson’s guest, or if either of them did.
Imagine my surprise when Wilson’s sleep over friend turned out to be the twenty two year old daughter from the B&B. “Well hello there,” I said. She at least had the good manners to look embarrassed.
“Hi, I told Mr. Wilson not to bother, but he insisted,” she said kind of shy it seemed.
“Oh it’s fine honey, he has women in all the time,” I said.
“I do not. Don’t you believe a word she says,” Wilson said. After the biscuit she excused herself saying she had to be going. Wilson walked her to the parking lot. When he came back, he was prepared for the kidding I’m sure.
“Wilson what I want to know is are you fucking her and her mother?” I asked.
“That does not deserve an answer,” he said indignantly.
“So you are. Damn man, don’t you know that’s a sure way to get killed?” I asked.
“Well the daughter knows,” he said.
“What is mom going to say when she finds out and she will find out?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said.
“Well forget that for now. Antonio Garcia in Capitol City for School at that resort called South Brunswick University,” I said. “I want everything there is on him at the school. Then expand the information net outward all the way back to Florida. His mother last heard from him a week ago Sunday. There should be an email waiting with all his personal information including pictures.
“I’m going to wait while you run his credit cards, his name through the national crime computer, and see if his car has been reported as recovered, stolen, or abandoned. In other word what activity there has been of his digital footprint.”
“When you take a break from that, I need some fake IDs. A couple from the school will probably do for now. You might get me a minor government ID. I’m not looking for a FBI or anything. IRS or something should do,” I said.
“When I get time?” he asked.
“I have to head up there. It’s a two hour drive. I’m going to take the Honda,” I said.
“What was all that about the Honda was mine?” he asked.
“It was yours to choose and handle the maintenance details, but when I need it, I need it,” I said.
“I’ll drive your pickup then,” he said.
“That was the plan. Back to the ID’s. I need them right now,” I said. “I paid for all this twenty first century shit, now I want to see some results.”
It might sound like I was giving him shit but Willie loved it. He felt empowered when he got to perform an impossible task. It gave him a chance to prove his worth and he just loved it. Of course, screwing a mother and her daughter had to empower him as well. He would never have gotten that chance in County Seat.
Thirty minutes later I not only had three IDs, I also had three card cases. I was Lucille Friday. “Who the fuck is Lucille Friday?” I asked Wilson.
“It’s a tribute to two of my favorite TV shows,” he said.
“Okay one is for the university’s private security service and one was for housing inspections department of the same school. I was definitely starting at the school, so I was going to need it. I also had my private investigator and private protective services licenses. Neither of which gave me permission to use fake IDs.
I made the two hour drive up to Capitol City. The weather had turned to a late summer storm from a low pressure system that threatened to linger. It would have been a warm rain in December, but it was chilly and damp one in early May. Yes, I had been in a bikini a few days before, but that was on the coast.
I used the Internet map of the very fancy campus to find his dorm suite. The school had built several very fancy apartment type dorms. Antonio Garcia occupied one of the units alone. When I slipped the lock and opened the door I said to myself, “Shit, if I lived here I would never graduate.” It was by far one of the most beautiful spaces I had ever seen. The kitchen even had those fancy stainless appliances and granite counter tops. I expected security to come running. Since they didn’t I did a walk around.
The unit was far from a mess, but I could tell it had been lived in. There were clothes lying around consistent with a college student living there but no signs of a struggle. I turned on the net tablet phone and got Wilson on the line. I got the hi def web cam on the line so Wilson could look as well.
“Doesn’t look like a struggle,” he said.
“Let’s see what the kid had in his cabinets,” I said opening the doors. “Here you go drugs check on this shit for me.” I took close ups of the bottles. Then I went through his underwear drawer. Unless the kid had more underwear than a sear store, he didn’t plan on taking a trip for more than a couple of days. That was not a good sign.
“So Wilson, his tooth brush is here, and the tub is bone dry, as are the towels. There are clothes in the hamper and all his drawers. The clothes in his closet looked as though they haven’t been disturbed. I’m thinking it’s time to get the police involved, but that’s a move the parents have to make.”
Before I tell them that, I want to ask the neighbors. Someone might know something. No sense talking to his parents at this point. He is either in the wind, or something is happening that shouldn’t be. Wilson you keep looking for his car.”
“Hello, name is Lucy and I’m with the campus housing maintenance staff,” I said to the young woman who opened the door beside Antonio’s apartment/dorm unit.
“What can I do for you?” the woman asked. I had been prepared to write down a list of repairs, but she must have been satisfied. Why not, the place had everything.
“We had a report that the unit next to you might have been abandoned, but it seems to be occupied,” I said.
“Tony Garcia, I haven’t seen him in over a week, but as far as I know he is still living there,” she said.
“I need to verify that. Does Tony have a girlfriend or anything like that? I really have to get a definite answer. You don’t really know what the story on the unit is do you?” I asked trying not to sound negative.”
“No, I don’t know. You might try Albert. He lives in one of the dorms. They were pretty good friends. I saw him over here a lot,” she said.
“Would you know Albert’s last name?” I asked.
“Geese, we didn’t socialize, but it was a biblical name I think. Sampson or something like that, yes that’s it Sampson. I thought it was funny for a sissy to be named Sampson,” she said.
“Oh okay,” I said. I stepped out of the building and phoned Wilson. “Wilson do you know what was missing. There were no photographs in the room. Not of him or his mother or anyone. The walls looked like a motel. So what do you make of that?”
“Maybe he didn’t want anyone to know who lived in the apartment,” Wilson said.
“Or maybe he took them with him?” I asked.
“Why the picture, but not his tooth brush?” Wilson asked.
“You want my guess, witness protection. If that is the case is there anyway to prove it. And why are we really hunting him down?” I asked myself. “Wilson the minute we confirm he is in witness protection, we drop this thing.”
“You got it boss,” Wilson agreed.
“It looks as though I have to go see the Marshal Service,” I explained to Wilson.
“And what are you going to tell them?” Wilson asked.
“I’m going to tell them the truth,” I explained.
“I think you should. After all we have had such fine cooperation from the government,” Wilson continued.
“Okay then we do it the hard way, we have the mother raise hell with the university and the Capitol City PD. Somebody will let something slip,” I said.
“You better be careful with that,” Wilson suggested.
“Unless it is a Capitol City case, nobody there will know anything,” I explained. “I’m going to ask about them in my capacity of private investigator employed by his mom. I think she will go for it,” I said. I put in a call to the mother who was willing to answer her phone. She probably knew all about burner phones, so I used one of the several I had with me.
“Mrs. Garcia, my name is Sylvia Porter. I have been asked by your husband to check on your son. I am in Capitol City and have just left his housing unit on the campus. It appears that he did not take any clothes or his toothbrush. I need to know a couple of things. I thought I should call to give you and update, and get some information from you. Would that be okay with you?” I asked.
“Yes of course,” she said.
“First of all did Antonio have any particular photographs in his apartment?” I asked.
“Just the usual I think. There was one of Antonio and I. His father didn’t want to have his picture made with us,” she said.
“It was probably safer for you and Antonio that way,” I said. “I am sure there is a picture of Antonio and his sister as well,” she said.
“Okay, did Antonio have a girl friend?” I asked.
“Yes he dated an Anglo. Her name was Ruth Paulson. She went to the university as well,” she said.
“Very well, I will check that out. I have one more question. You might want to consult with your husband for this one. It looks as though Antonio’s car might be missing. Could I report him missing to the police to try to locate his car?” I asked.
“I will check and call you back. You are working for me not him,” she insisted even though she did not hire me.
“Even so, we should all be on the same page here,” I said.
“I immediately called Wilson. Wilson there should have been photographs. What is the word on the drugs,” I asked.
“Nothing anyone could use to get high. They would be easy to replace under an assumed name, if the Marshal Service had him. They could be using them to mislead anyone looking for him. It would get a head start, if they have him,” Wilson said.
“Or if a drug rival has him, he might not need them,” I said. “So what would one use those drugs to treat.”
“Nothing good I’m afraid. The are to build the immune system for cancer or HIV patients. There are other uses but only his doctor will know for sure. One thing for sure none of them are good.”
Edited by Walt