“The mysterious and brutal murder of twenty three year old Amy Reeves that happened exactly one week ago this evening, in her second story apartment in downtown San Francisco, still has local police and investigators baffled. And now, the disappearances of Michael Anderson and Lucy Lyndale, who have been missing since late Monday night, Law Enforcement Officials believe may be related. Michael Anderson was an office manager at the San Francisco Chronicle and Miss Lyndale was one of the company's top reporters. It is rumored that the two were also investigating the murder of the young woman, and may have been working and/or centralized in the same area as the original incident. However, no official reports have been made to substantiate this claim. Police are still investigating, and tip lines remain open. If you believe you have seen Lucy Lyndale or Michael Anderson, please contact your local police department or our toll free hotline. You'll see the number on the bottom of the screen now. In other news, people of San Francisco are still advised to keep your pets indoors at night, as disappearances of local cats and dogs continue. One report even states that a cow disappeared from a farm just over the Golden Gate Bridge without a trace. Police are still investigating. Stay tuned with KGO Bay Area, where we will keep you up to date on this story as it develops. Now, over to Tom in the Golden Gate Sky Box, with the weather... Tom?”
I heard the news broadcasting on the small TV in the living room as I straightened my, black with silver pinstripes, tie, gazing at my sunken eyes and paled complexion in the full body mirror mounted to the bathroom door. I hadn't been able to sleep in days, not since Lucy went missing.
Yes, that's right. The Lucy from the news broadcast. She's my baby sister. I am five years older than her, at thirty two, myself. She had been living with me up until about three months ago. Landed herself this awesome paying job at the Newspaper, and decided she wanted to move out, get her own apartment.
I couldn't say I blamed her, no one wants to live with your big brother when you're twenty seven years old. But ever since our parents died in the earth quake a couple years back, and we lost our home and all of our belongings, I had become very protective over Lucy. So, when she came to me with the idea of moving out on her own, I hated it. I didn't want to risk losing her too.
We fought like cats and dogs over it for weeks and finally, I gave in. I decided it was better to let her do her own thing, and not push her away by fighting with her. Besides, the apartment she had found was only about a half mile away from mine. So, if need be, I could be there in minutes.
I agreed, and helped her pack and move all of her things.
Lucy loved living on her own. She used to call me every night to tell me how wonderful it was to be able to watch her chick flicks, and not have to clean stubble hair from the bathroom sink. She said her favorite part was not having to worry about the toilet seat being up in the middle of the night. (She used to fall into the toilet religiously, in the middle of the night, when she was trying to pee. And would curse me to the high heavens every time I forgot to put the seat back down.) I used to laugh at her little antics, and the way she always insulted my taste in movies, or the way I decorated the place.
Shit! Here I am talking about her in paste tense! She is just missing, Ray. She could show back up any time. I scolded myself.
Turning to face the sink, I turned the knob for the cold water and let the stream run for a minute, allowing it to get really cold. After a moment, I cupped my hands, put them under the stream to collect a pool and splashed my face, hoping to alleviate the swelling of my puffy eyes from lack of sleep. It had been four days since anyone had heard from Lucy and I hadn't slept more than a couple hours in that entire time span. I hadn't been able to find anything regarding her whereabouts. None of her friends had heard from her, and her coworkers all said the same.
Her boss was missing too.
I swear if that creep had tried to elope with Lucy or some other crazy shit, I'd have his head on a platter! I thought to myself, feeling a satisfactory smile sweep across my face. That was probably exactly what had happened, that scum and my little sister had probably run off to Vegas or Los Angeles to do something stupid.
Feeling slightly better with this realization, and the cool water refreshing my attitude, I stole one last quick glance in the mirror before leaving the bathroom.
On my way out the door to work, I switched off the television in the living room, filled my travel mug with the freshly brewed, steaming black coffee and grabbed my briefcase.
The morning air was cold and crisp, stinging my eyes as I walked to my old beat up green Subaru. I unlocked the door, and with a metallic Creeeaaak it opened. I climbed into the driver seat and planted the key deep into the ignition.
With a quick twist, and a couple of seconds of the starter turning over, the engine caught and roared to life, emitting a puff of smoke out of the exhaust and into my rear-view mirror's view. I turned the heat knob to defrost, and cranked the temperature dial all the way into the red zone.
The windshield was completely frosted over with tiny snowflake-shaped ice crystals, so travel would be impossible for at least a couple of minutes while the defroster warmed the glass enough to melt the tiny jewels away.
Breathing into my now frozen hands, and rubbing them briskly together for a moment, I looked around the narrow alleyway where my apartment building's designated parking was located. The sun hadn't peaked the horizon just yet, so it was still eerily dark, with just a faint glow in the sky to remind the city that the sun was on its way.
I could see steam rising from the manhole cover that sat in the middle of the street, just behind my car, as well as the trash truck, picking up and dumping the contents of the large green dumpsters into the cavernous back end.
Aside from the Waste Management truck, and the steady plume of exhaust coming from my own vehicle's tail end, the street was totally quiet. Not many of my neighbors started their day much before 6:00 or 7:00am. My day started at 4:30am, and now it was 5:30.
After about 5 minutes, the ice crystals had begun to turn into shimmering little water droplets descending down the surface with ease. I switched on my windshield wipers for a moment, clearing away the rest of the moisture clouding my view, and in two full swipes, I could see through the glass clearly.
Depressing the brake pedal, I pulled the gear-shift down one notch into reverse, backed out onto the street, dropped down two more notches into drive, and began my twenty mile trip to work.
Lucy's apartment was on my way to work. Driving by, I could see her apartment windows on the third floor, dark, as they were the morning she didn't show up for work. Her bicycle was still chained to the banister it had been. She was funny like that, she didn't drive, because she said she couldn't trust the other people on the road. So she preferred her bicycle, but most days would just walk the half mile to the San Francisco Chronicle building, leaving her bike at home.
I didn't like her walking, and always advised against it, but she never listened to me. Instead, she would laugh and call me silly and overprotective.
I wish she would have listened to me, just once. Now look... No one even knows where she is. She could be...
I let my thoughts trail off. Not ready to come to that realization.
People go missing every day, and turn back up, because they weren't really missing, they just went off somewhere without telling anyone.
Yes. I was sure Lucy was just fine. She just didn't call anyone to let them know where she was going. She probably forgot to bring her phone charger, and so she couldn't get phone numbers to call anyone to let them know she was Ok. She would probably be home in a day or two, and laugh at everyone for being so worried about her.
Wanting to escape from my thoughts, I depressed the power button on my car's old beat up CD Player. The machine clicked to life, and the green screen illuminated the darkness. Kurt Cobain's voice filled the cab and my ears.
“Hey! Wait! I've got a new complaint. Forever in debt to your priceless advice. Hey! Wait! I've got a new complaint. Forever in debt to your priceless advice.” I sang along to Heart Shaped Box, belting the lyrics out at the top of my lungs, allowing the music to consume me for the rest of the trip.
Sooner than expected, I pulled onto Geary Boulevard and made the right turn into the underground parking garage beneath the building where my office waited.
Waynes and Thurman Law Firm.
Our firm owned most of the building. At least the first ten floors, out of fifteen total.
The parking garage was unusually dark, even for 6 am.
Most of the time, when I arrived at work, the entire garage was already lit up.
Come to think of it, neither the office manager nor my secretary had arrived.
That's odd. They usually beat me to work in the mornings.
Thinking nothing else of it, I slammed the gear-shift down into park, and killed the engine. Grabbing my briefcase, coffee and banana, I opened the door, and began the walk to the parking garage elevator access door.
The darkness of the concrete substructure was unsettling as I made my way to the elevator. I pushed the Up button, summoning the contraption from its resting place somewhere above.
I heard the gears begin to spin, as the cables loosened, allowing the conveyance to descend to my location.
Above the sound of the elevator coming down the shaft, I could swear I heard scuffling of footsteps coming from somewhere in the darkness that loomed behind me. I turned to face the darkness, squinting my eyes, willing them to see further than reality would allow. Finding nothing, I shrugged it off to lack of sleep, and turned back to the elevator.
I could hear it drawing closer now, probably just a floor or two up.
Tapping my foot impatiently... or nervously... I'm not really sure which, I waited.
Ding - Creeeeeeaaaaaak
The door opened, basking the concrete chamber with a welcoming yellow glow. I leaped into the elevator, my nerves getting the better of me, and slammed the Door Close button.
After a few chest-pounding seconds, the entryway slipped shut, and I punched the 6th floor button, a sigh of relief escaping my lungs.
I could hear the gears chugging along as the cables hoisted the cart up; one floor... two floors... three floors... four...
The cable snagged, jerking the elevator to a grinding halt.
Drawing in a huge breath, I stepped backward, pressing myself into the metal wall and grabbing a hold of the hand rail for dear life.
No way! No way was this happening, my thoughts screamed.
The car was stuck between the fourth and fifth floors.
Setting down my briefcase, I slid along the wall to the corner, never letting go of the hand rail. Slinking along the corner, I reached for the button panel. I pressed the Emergency button, and then stretched as far as possible, barely making it, I grabbed my briefcase and planted myself on the floor, in the corner next to the power panel.
An alarm sounded from the car, a direct result of pressing the Emergency button.
Hopefully San Francisco Fire Department would get the signal, and come... soon.
I released the breath I had been holding for way too long, and drew in another long swig of air. I could feel panic rising in my chest as I began to hyperventilate.
I knew I hadn't been in there long, but already it felt like I couldn't get any oxygen. I was suffocating. I grabbed frantically at my tie, loosening it from around my neck.
“Help!” I began to scream wildly. “Can anyone hear me? I'm trapped in the elevator! Help!”
I knew it was no use, as I was probably the only one in the building this early.
Go figure! The one day I show up before anyone else, I brooded.
Reaching upward, I smashed the button to open the doors on the control panel repeatedly. Even if I was stuck between floors, if I could fit through the opening, maybe I could escape before things got worse.
I could hear the cogs struggling to turn as the doors attempted to open. The grinding noises were awful to my ears as the metal labored against metal endlessly.
Please. Please. Please just open. I pleaded with the machinery, gasping for air.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the gears caught, and the doors began to slide open.
Yes! I breathed a sigh of relief as the cool air from the elevator shaft fled into the confined area. Glancing upward cautiously, I could see the service ladder inside the shaft for repairs. I also saw a foot wide gap at the top of the entrance where the fifth floor was. I wasn't sure if I could fit through the opening or not, but it didn't matter as much now. I could breathe.
The emergency alarm was still sounding, ringing in my ears ferociously. I stood carefully and began desperately searching the hallway for any semblance of someone else in the vicinity.
“Hello?” I cried. “Is there anyone there? I'm trapped!”
I listened fiercely. And after a minute or two of just alarm screaming, I began to lose hope.
Of course I was the only one here. It was like 6 in the damn morning! I yelled at myself silently.
The sound of the alarm was now beginning to flood my thoughts completely, as I slid back down the wall into the seated fetal position next to my briefcase.
I heard the cables straining to do.... Something. I couldn't tell if it was trying to pull the elevator car upward, or was struggling under the weight.
“Hello!! Please, someone, Dear God, I don't want to die in here! Someone, please, HELP!!” I cried perilously over the sound of the alarm ringing.
Suddenly, I could hear footsteps racing down the carpeted hallway.
“Hello?” a voice called from above.
“Yes!” I shrieked. “I'm in here. Help me please!”
Three sets of big rubber boots appeared in the entryway above.
“Stay calm, sir. We'll have ya' outta there in no time,” the gruff voice called over the earsplitting alarm.
After a second, I heard a metal click, and the alarm fell silent. “Ok sir, we just powered down the elevator, so it's not going anywhere. Do you think you can reach my hand?”
I saw a gloved hand reach into the enclosed space. A thick tan jacket covering his arm.
Firefighter. I realized. They got the alarm call.
“Yes. I'll be right there,” I answered. I left my briefcase and coffee mug, only caring to be out of the elevator car. I stood carefully, not wanting to strain the cables, and walked carefully to the doors. Reaching up, I grabbed a hold of the gloved hand and began to pull myself upward. After a bit of squeezing and wiggling I had escaped through the tiny hole.
“Thanks, so much guys!” I exclaimed with a smile, dusting off my tie and, now horribly stained, white shirt.
“Sure thing,” one of the heavily dressed firefighters said with a smile. “Did you need your briefcase?” another one of them asked, glancing into the cart.
“Uh, yeah, if it's not a big deal,” I answered. “But I don't mind waiting until you have the elevator functioning properly. No sense in anyone else trying to fit through there.” I motioned to the small opening.
“Absolutely,” the third one granted. “Which floor are you workin' on, I'll come drop it by once it's up an' runnin' again.”
“Um, I'm on the sixth floor. Waynes and Thurman Law. Suite C. Thanks again guys.” I smiled, and shook all three of their hands. “I think I'll just stick to the stairs from now on.” I said with a laugh, and headed through the heavy door leading to the stairwell.
I used the door on the sixth floor to exit the echoing stair way, a much brighter attitude swept my feet down that familiar hallway now.
I didn't even mind the idea of spending all day in a stained shirt, which usually would have bothered me to hell and back. I was just happy to be alive.
I made it to the suite where my office was located, and aside from all the lights being off, and neither my boss nor my secretary had entered the building yet, all else seemed normal.
I flipped on all the switches, bathing the pool of cubicles in a comforting fluorescent glow, and headed to my own desk. Flipping on the small table lamp, I rotated the chair around facing the right way, and plopped down.
With a sigh, I pressed the power button on my tower, and brought the computer to life. Turning in the chair slightly, I glanced at the desk, trying to get a refresher from all the manilla folders containing evidence for my current case.
The case was a child negligence case, where the mother of a four year old boy, had laid down to take a nap, after putting the boy down for a nap as well. However, while she slept, the young boy had gotten up, and filled the bath tub with water. The boy had electrocuted himself with the mother's plugged in curling iron while the mother slept, resulting in the death of the boy.
The father was now suing the mother for negligence, but upon further investigation, traces of a heavy tranquilizer had been found in the mother's bloodstream. The mother denied taking any sort of substance. It was a mess, and accusations were flying everywhere.
Two new folders sat upon my desk now, which had not been there, last night, Thursday, when I had left. Presuming they were new information pertaining to the case, I snagged the top one, and flipped it open. Inside were photos of the husband/father's house, including his bedroom nightstand, the top drawer opened, displaying empty prescription bottles of Halcion, the same sedative found in the wife's system. Along with case reports from the police station, and notes from my personal investigator.
The bastard did drug her.
Fuming to myself, I set down the folder, and reached for the second one. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that this one was actually a legal sized envelope, white instead of the usual off-white cream color. It had my name written across the front of it in a black permanent marker, the noxious fumes still radiating from its surface. There was nothing else on the envelope to determine where it came from, though.
Curiosity getting the best of me, I turned the package over, and began to gingerly run my finger through the seal, breaking it. Two large photos fell out of the envelope, along with a piece of paper, with the same black, permanent marker lettering on it.
Immediately, I recognized what the images were.
The first photo was of Lucy's apartment, her bedroom light on. The second one was of Lucy, leaving her apartment. It was still dark out, probably early morning, as she seemed to be dressed for work. I didn't understand. Was someone following my sister? How could they get close enough to her to take these pictures, without her knowing?
I knew my sister, and she was an amazing reporter because she never missed anything. It didn't make sense that she would miss someone staking out her house. Not unless whatever she had been working on had her really distracted. I vaguely remembered her speaking to me about the story she had been following. It was the murder of the girl in inner-city San Francisco. She had said that she had been working non-stop trying to make sense of the thing, and hadn't had any luck. I remember her being so frustrated with it.
My gaze drifted from the photo of my sister to the black and white letter lying in front of me. It only had three lines. The lettering was rough, chicken scratch. After a bit of studying, I was able to read it.
"We warned her to leave it alone.
She didn't listen to us.
Drop it Ray."
That was it. And it didn't make any sense at all.
Who were these people? How did they know my name? How did they know Lucy?
I was yanked from my thoughts suddenly, when I heard a loud rapping on the glass door leading to the office. I snapped around quickly, holding my breath, but it was just the firefighter trying to return my belongings.
I exhaled, walked to greet him and murmured a groan of appreciation, taking my suitcase and coffee mug. He nodded in return, and then disappeared into the looming darkness of the main hall.
I took a swig from my mug, only to be greeted with the bitter taste of cold coffee.
Damn! I thought to myself, and walked over to the office's community coffee maker. Filling the pot with water from the tiny sink, I emptied the contents into the machine, and switched it on. As the gurgling of fresh coffee being brewed filled the silence, I dumped the contents of my mug into the sink and set the cup on the small counter.
I sauntered back to my desk, deep in thought. It didn't make sense to me that someone would go to the trouble of following my sister, let alone tracking down my office to leave communication with me. I picked up the letter once more, studying it closely.
The stench of permanent marker was fresh, meaning it hadn't been written long ago. Probably less than twenty-four hours' time, meaning there was a fairly decent chance that someone had been here to see them drop it off.
I glanced down at my watch. 6:45AM. Where the hell is my secretary? I thought impatiently. I reached for the phone on the desk, and began flipping through the Rolodex to find Janice's personal cell number. She was usually here by now, and had me worried.
Finding the number, I dialed, and waited. One ring..... Two rings..... On the third ring, a gruff male voice answered.
“Uh, Hi, my name is Ray, and I was trying to reach Janice. She is the secretary here at the office where I work, and she's usually here by now. I suppose I was a bit worried.”
“Hello?” I queried, “Are you there?”
Again, no response, but I could hear faint breathing on the other end of the line.
“May I ask who this is?” I inquired. “I thought this was her personal cell phone.”
I heard the man who answered the phone breathing, and then a click, and a dead line.
“Dammit!” I cursed aloud.
Flipping through the Rolodex again, I found the insert for the office manager, Larry, and dialed his personal number.
It rang and rang, and went to voice mail.
I began racking my brain, trying to remember if I had missed a memo, or email, about everyone taking this particular Friday off. I couldn't think of anything. It wasn't a holiday. There was no logical reason for everyone to be this late. Even if the office didn't technically open for business til 8 o'clock.
The latest of our employees tend to show up by 7:30am, and most of us show up before 7. Gives you a chance to get caught up on the day's work. A bit of a head-start, before all of the interviewers and interviewees show up. A chance to collect your thoughts and organize your facts before court. A lawyer is always early.
The coffee machine finally stopped dripping. So I headed back to refresh my mug, and heard the tapping of fingers on glass.
Someone was here.
I turned to face the door, mug still un-lidded in my hand, and saw Larry fiddling with his key in the lock.
Capping my coffee, I headed over and let him in.
“Hey, Larry. How's it goin'?” I mumbled, still a bit shock-ridden by my morning thus far.
“Hmmh...” he grunted in return, as he tried to juggle his briefcase, keys, sport coat and coffee mug through the entrance.
“That bad, huh?” I joked. “Coffee's fresh.” And I made my way back to my desk.
“Thanks Ray,” Larry said, as he set his briefcase and mug on his desk, and took a seat. “How's the Rodgers\Ramirez case coming?” He asked, opening his own briefcase.
“It's coming,” I replied. “I got some new information on it sometime between when I left last night, and when I got here this morning. Did you happen to see who dropped it off?”
“No, actually, when I left here last night, Janice was the only one still here. She said she was leaving shortly thereafter.” Larry answered nonchalantly. “I didn't see anyone drop anything off for you before I left.”
“Hmm,” I said thoughtfully. “Any word from Janice?” I asked.
“Not since yesterday. Odd, she is usually here by now, isn't she?”
“Yeah, usually, I called her cell but a man answered. Strangest thing, he said hello, but when I announced myself, and asked about Janice, he didn't reply at all. Just breathed into the phone a bit, and then the line went dead.”
“So, that's why you called?” he declared, “Sorry I didn't answer, I was in the elevator. You know how the reception is in that thing.”
“Yeah. That's why I called,” I answered, not letting on to the fact that I had had a terrible experience with the elevator less than an hour prior.
“Well, maybe she's stuck in traffic or something. She does have to come up Market Street to get here.” Larry answered with an unconcerned smile as he sat at his desk. “I'm sure she'll be here soon.”
Trying to roll off the curious events of the morning, I turned back to my own desk and case notes. I needed to contact the police department about the sedative found in Mr. Rodger's apartment. Flipping through the folder, I searched for the lead detective's business card.
After a minute or so of shuffling things around, I found the card. Turning, I faced my desk phone, lifted the receiver to my ear and dialed his number. After a couple rings, it went to his voice mail. This coming as no surprise, I left a message identifying myself and a brief description of the nature of my call, along with my office and cell phone numbers.
Hanging the receiver on the dock I again picked up the strange envelope addressed to me. The overwhelming smell of chemicals washed over me as I turned the sheet of paper over looking for any other markings to help tip me off to where it came from. The page seemed blank aside from the three lines regarding my sister.
I examined the page closely, front and back and saw no distinguishing markings, but by luck, I held the page up to the light, and there, hidden in the background of the white page was a water mark. It was of a bridge. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was, in fact, the Golden Gate Bridge, a well-known landmark of San Francisco.
Obviously, the Golden Gate Bridge was a common theme among paperwork in this part of California. But a hidden watermark of the bridge was probably a less likely occurrence.
Turning back to my monitor and keyboard I pulled up my browser and typed Google.com into the address bar. After a minute of DSL style lag, the page loaded onto the screen. I typed “companies that use the Golden Gate Bridge as a watermark” into the search bar and tapped enter. Google did what it does best and brought up a bunch of crap about the Golden Gate Bridge and a few construction companies that had done work on repairs for the bridge in years prior, as well as a bunch of useless information on watermarks.
On page two of the results, it listed a trucking company, which used the bridge as their logo, “Golden Gate Transit” though, the angle of the bridge's image was wrong for the watermark. As well, it listed a small landscaping company that also used the bridge. “Golden Gate and Garden” was the name cited, and the bridge was pictured from a wide perspective, allowing it to boast a three dimensional profile, as opposed to the dead on shot used for the trucking company. I clicked on the link for the landscaping business, for their logo seemed to fit the hidden image on the page perfectly.
After much reading and skimming of their site I found a phone number, local to the area. Along with the phone number, it listed a number of properties where they do landscaping work. Among the list was Sutro Heights, the apartment/lofts where my sister resided.
The site listed how long they had been servicing the properties listed and next to Sutro Heights it listed eight years. Which means this company had been in business longer than the office where I worked, and was most likely a reputable company.
What I didn't understand, was who sent me the warning, and who had apparently warned my sister about the case she was working on. I tried to pull up a list of employees at the landscaping company, but they weren't referenced on the site. So I referred back to the phone number on the page, picked up the receiver and dialed.
Stealing a quick glance at my watch, 7:30am, I listened to the speaker ring back into my ear. After the third of fourth ring, I'm not really sure which, it switched over to the answering machine.
Thanks for calling Golden Gate and Garden, you've reached our office after hours. Please call back between 9am and 5pm Monday through Friday and 9am and noon on Saturdays, or leave a message with your name, number and reason for call, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
I hung up the phone. I certainly wanted to leave a message, but what could I say? And I didn't even know who to leave it for. Tapping my fingers on the desk, and listening to Larry click away at his computer keyboard, I attempted to formulate a plan. If the place didn't open until 9 then I had a little more time to research it.
My eyes wandered back to the computer screen and the internet at my fingertips. Returning to google, I looked up the Better Business Bureau's website. Opening the link, I navigated to the in-site search query and typed in Golden Gate and Garden. I activated the search, and waited while the site pulled listings for permits, licenses, comments and complaints filed against the company. Maybe even employee listings. Being a lawyer certainly had its perks in regards to acquiring information.
After a few minutes of loading, the results began to appear on screen.
Business License: Valid through 12/2016
Licensing Agency: Jackman, Carter and Klein
Owned By: Paul and Sandra Collins
Employee Listing: Paul Collins Age: 37 SSN:545-23-7765 Owner
Sandra Collins Age: 35 SSN: 521-49-5623 Co-owner
Orville Smith Age: 29 SSN: 550-63-9793 Driver
Ryan Hendrix Age: 30 SSN: 551-93-5566 Driver
Jennifer Catz Age: 27 SSN: 232-52-3135 Receptionist
Armando Cortez Age: 34 SSN: 547-99-0016 Landscaper
David Lopez Age: 37 SSN: 521-51-8898 Landscaper
I skimmed the page looking for things that stood out. There seemed to be no comments or complaints listed, which seemed strange given the company had been in business for as long as it had.
None of the employee names stuck out to me. However, the receptionist, Jennifer Catz, was the same age as my sister, which was something. Maybe this girl knew my sister.
I minimized the browser window, and double-clicked the people finder application. The simple green screen with three separate search bars on it fitted to my screen.
First Name(Optional): Jennifer
Last Name: Catz
Date of Birth(Optional):
I left the date of birth blank and initiated the search.
3 Matches for “Catz, Jennifer”
Catz, Jennifer DOB 12/16/1972 click to see more
Catz, Jennifer DOB 06/06/1992 click to see more
Catz, Jennifer DOB 01/06/1989 click to see more
I clicked the last one, as the birth year was eighty-nine, the same as my sisters.
Jennifer Catz Age: 27(01/06/1989) Birth Certificate Issued: California
Residence: 558 Presidio Boulevard C-33 San Francisco, CA 94129
No dependents listed
Parents: John Catz Age: 58(03/16/1958) Birth Certificate Issued: Montana
Sherry Catz Maiden Name : Sherry Kelly Age:51(02/24/1965)
Birth Certificate Issued: California
Residence: 3252 Hamonton Smartville Road Marysville, CA 95901
Under the lists of information, there was a “See More” link, which I selected. After a moment the page began to load.
Catz, Jennifer: Grade School : Waldorf Elementary 2938 Washington Street
High School : San Francisco University High School
3065 Jackson St (415) 447-3100
Academy : City College of San Francisco
This girl had gone to the same college as my sister. Maybe Amy knew her. I didn't recognize the name at all, but the college is really big. She probably has a million friends that I've never met. Everyone loves my sister.
Snapping back from my thoughts I glanced back up, at this girl's current residential address. It wasn't far from Amy's place. Actually, it was closer to mine. Maybe I could pay her a visit this evening. Perhaps, she has heard from Amy more recently. If this girl and my sister were close friends, maybe she would know if my sister really had fallen for her boss.
Knowing full well, the illegality of my action, I grabbed the notepad from the top drawer. Slipping the ballpoint pen from my dusty shirt pocket, I jotted down Jennifer's phone number and home address.
As smoothly as I could muster, I tugged on the sheet of yellow lined paper, until the perforations gave way and the page freed itself with a zip. I rolled the note up quickly, and tucked it into the inside pocket of my sport jacket. Returning my pen to its home inside my shirt, I straightened my coat and returned my gaze to my desk.
I tucked the two photos and the ominous note back into the white envelope, and wedged it in my briefcase. Returning my attention to the folder regarding the Rodgers\Ramirez case, I began reading through the notes left with the photographs from my Private Investigator, all relevant to the search warrant he had carried out with the local police department of Mr. Rodgers' home last weekend. I familiarized myself with their findings, as well as the prescribing doctor's name, while I awaited a return phone call from the police department's detective.
As the morning wore on, more and more of the employees showed up for work. By 8, everyone had arrived. That is, everyone but Janice.
In the five years I had been at this office, Janice had only called in one time. Because her dog had been hit by a car. She spent all day with him at the vet. And she had called my cell bright and early that morning. So, this was extremely out of character for her.
By 2:30 PM, I had fumbled my way through all the menial tasks that outlined my day at the office, including those usually performed by Janice, and was sipping hot coffee at my desk. The Private Investigator still had not called. I scratched my head and continued flicking the mouse wheel back and forth... Up and down. The now, screen burned into my mind, images of words, Jennifer Catz … Golden Gate and Garden … (415) 933 -05.....
Ripped from my mind's unconscious ramblings, I heard a commotion in the hallway, outside the unit where our office inhabited. A couple of the other lawyers had stacked up at the doorway and were pointing with hushed whispers. Curious myself, though not wanting to lose my own head, I took one more quick glance at the letters on the screen, ensuring they were indeed permanent in my memory, and closed the window.
I stood with a slight groan, my knees protesting movement after being bent for too many hours, and took another swig of coffee. I sauntered over to the door, figuring it probably wasn't worth all the excitement, and was greeted with a mass of people all huddled in the hallway encircling the elevator I had been stuck in only hours prior.
“Oh shit!” I stammered, as all the terror and horrors from the morning came roaring back fresh and renewed.
A couple of the other lawyers had torn their gaze from the hallway to stare questioningly at me0.
“Uh...” I stuttered, “Got stuck in that damned thing this morning.”
I was met with awestruck stares and glances of both pity, and relief from some, as well as from a few others in the nearby area who had overheard the conversation.
A metallic crash from the hallway interrupted the thoughtful silence that had followed my confession, accompanied with a few cries of horror. One of the guys right at the door, Jacob, pushed open the door to assist whatever crisis was unfolding among the crowd. When the glass door was jostled from its rubber seal the sounds of terror from the hallway crept into the room, poisoning the atmosphere with panic and fear.
People appeared physically unsettled by the mood as some followed Jacob into the hallway, while others bustled about gathering their own things or calling friends and loved ones. I slid around and dodged coworkers, finding my way to my own desk. I had had enough of the events unfolding in the office on this particular Friday afternoon.
Grabbing my briefcase, I opened it and tucked the case folder in the pocket alongside the strange envelope. With a few clicks of the mouse, my computer was on its way back to a slumber and I was on my way out of the chaos.
Or so I thought.