Good morning! Tomorrow is the 4th of July! It is the time to celebrate with friends and family and eat some barbecue. Anyone have any plans for the 4th?
This is a new case for Winchester! We are moving onto to something new and fun and different from the last case. I have to say, I’m having a lot of fun writing this series for you guys and I hope that you enjoy reading it.
This story is an Adventure, so enjoy!
It had been one week since Winchester had interrogated Kayla and sent her to jail, but it still hadn’t hit him that he was working with the police. His father had taken credit for what happened which was completely understandable. West didn’t want the credit for doing what he did, he was happy knowing that he had helped the police with a case.
He sat at his desk and typed some things to the internet search bar. He had told his parents that he was going to look for scholarships to help pay for his college next year so he had to get busy. He typed in ‘scholarships for high school seniors’ and waited for the results to pop up. How was this going to work?
The sound of the front door slamming shut startled him. Winchester turned to see his father walk into his bedroom. Anthony smiled. “Hey Bug. What are you up to today?”
Winchester shrugged. “Not much. I was just going to look up some scholarships to help pay my tuition for college.”
Anthony stepped into the large bedroom. “Well that’s good. But…I think that’s going to have to pause for a while. I need your help on another case. The only problem with this one is that it wasn’t recent. It’s a cold case from a couple months ago. I want you to take a look at it to see if you could find anything. If you are up to it.”
West stood up and slightly stretched. “Sure. Did you bring it here or do I need to go down to the station?”
His father motioned out the door and West followed closely behind. “I brought it here for you. This case was one that I worked on for a long time last summer and I had to give it up because there was nothing else I could find. It was a missing child case. Her name was Gemma Edwards, she was 5 years old when she went missing two weeks before her 6th birthday. We searched high and low and no matter what we couldn’t find anything.” They stopped at the kitchen table where there was large box. “We thought it was the uncle who was a confirmed pedophile and had a restraining order against him, but we looked though everything we had on him and we had nothing on him. The next thing we thought was the strange family that lived down the street from the Edwards’. According to Mrs. Edwards they were too friendly and very strange. But we did look into that avenue and we found nothing.” He let out a long sigh. “Just…see if you can find anything. Anything at all.”
Winchester nodded as he looked at the box. “Yeah dad. I’ll take a look to see what I can find. Do we have any other information on that family?”
Anthony took the lid off the box and starting digging through the countless files in the box. “Uh…let’s see.” He opened a file marked ‘Hanaway’. “Yeah…right here. The Hanaway family. Brad and Melissa and their two sons Kenneth and Devon. Both sons were older than Gemma, 10 and 14 at the time of the disappearance. But we haven’t kept up with them since the crime.”
West started pulling out folders and spacing them out on the table. “I will see if I can find anything. Maybe tomorrow you and I can explore any leads…if I find anything.” He sat down and started flipping through the pages of the case. He started reading every document that was presented as evidence or that may have been useful for the case. He poured over everything to see if there was any sort of evidence that was missed when the case was fresh.
He grabbed a notebook and started writing down things that didn’t make sense or things that he wanted to double check somewhere else. West filled out two whole pages of questions before he was finally able to start crossing off some of his questions. But as he went through all of the files, there was one thing that kept popping up. The Hanaway family. There were so many holes in their story and West wasn’t even sure if he believed their story.
The time seemed to pass so quickly and West wasn’t even sure what time it was. His parents both arrived home from work, but he was so engrossed in his work that he didn’t acknowledge that they were home. Music blasted through his headphones to make sure he didn’t get distracted from his work. His mother Sarah set a plate of dinner down next to him that he slowly consumed while reading every piece of paper. They tried to talk to West but he didn’t want to be drawn away from his work.
Winchester worked through the night and poured over all of the information, trying to grab hold of anything that might be able to crack this case open. But his eyes started to become heavy and he fell asleep at the dining room table in the middle of all of his work. He didn’t sleep well, dreaming about poor Gemma and what she was going through if she was still alive.
When he woke up he felt some pain in his back from sleeping in a chair. He rubbed his face with his hands trying to help him to wake up from his slumber. As his eyes adjusted to the morning sun, he looked around at the papers in front of his and fixated on a set of 3 words. Forester Elementary School. He looked closer at it. According to the police report, the Hanaway’s youngest son attended Forester Elementary School. He was 10 and in the 4th grade at the time of the disappearance. West immediately picked up the phone and searched for the number for Forester Elementary School and dialed it. He was hoping that they were still in school since it was summertime, but maybe they had to stay later in the year. He waited as the phone rang a couple times.
“Forester Elementary School how may I help you?”
West felt his heart skip a beat. “Good morning ma’am. My name is Officer Winchester West and I am a consultant with the Northridge Police Department and I was wondering if I could speak to the person who deals with admissions.”
There was a slight pause on the other end of the phone. “Do you have a warrant?”
He had to think quick. “No ma’am. I’m not looking to cause any trouble. I am just curious if you have a family by a certain last name. I just need a yes or no, that’s all I’m looking for. Would you be able to provide that?”
There was another pause. “Not without a warrant. I’m so sorry.”
West nodded even though she couldn’t see him. “That’s okay. Thank you for your time.” He hung up and ran up to his room to get dressed. He had to get his dad to get a warrant to get the admission records. If he could see how many kids were enrolled with the last name Hanaway, he might be able to find Gemma.