Jason gathered up the driftwood that was scattered about his living room and took it to his study. He spent half of an hour surfing the web for information. There was nothing on any of the official shipwreck sites about any ship by the name. A site about the Bermuda triangle turned up an unlikely match, a schooner that was reported missing in 1955.
Jason showered and changed his clothes before heading to the emergency center. He wanted to see Jane Doe before visiting hours. When he arrived, an orderly was busy changing the sheets and her charts were gone from the room. “What’s going on?” he asked, “where’s the patient that was in this room?”
“She was checked out this morning. Her parents came for her.” The orderly continued to make the bed. “She wasn’t awake though.”
“Did you see which way they headed?”
“Yeah, flew her off in a helicopter.”
Jason walked to the nurses station and logged into the patient records database. A search for Jane Doe brought up only two records and none of them were recent.
“Hey, Denise,” he spoke to a nearby nurse. “You wouldn’t happen to know the name of that Jane Doe that came in yesterday, would you? I can’t seem to find her records in the computer.”
“Sorry, Jason. I wasn’t here when she was released. Maybe Becky knows.” Denise nodded in the direction of the nurse headed out the door of the ward.
Jason watched the doors swing closed and debated chasing Becky down, but he decided that it wasn’t that important and just signed out of the computer.
“Thanks, Denise. I think I’ll head back home and enjoy the rest of my time off.”
A few times on the drive back to his condo, Jason thought he was being followed, but the car always turned off at some point and he arrived home without incident. He ate some lunch before heading back to his study to sort through the driftwood he had collected the day before.
He spent the afternoon tossing the unwanted pieces out to sea to wash up on someone else’s beach. When he got back to the condo, there was a message for him on his answering machine.
“Mr. Telford, this is Detective Andrews of the State Police. I just wanted to let you know that the Jane Doe you found has been returned to her family in Virginia. She was lucky that you found her out on the beach.”
Jason dug the card out of his wallet that the State Police officer had given him. The name on it didn’t match. He dialed the number on the card and Detective Conrad answered.
“Detective Conrad, hello.”
“This is Jason Telford. From the beach, yesterday, with the girl in the pile of driftwood.”
“Yes, I remember. What can I do for you?”
“I received a call today from a Detective Andrews about the girl. I was wondering who she is.”
“Let me look.” Gene Conrad put down the phone and did a quick case search on his computer. “That’s odd,” he mumbled. He picked up the phone, “according to our records that case is still open and still assigned to me. I have no idea who Detective Andrews is, but he hasn’t been assigned to this case. Why are you asking?”
“She’s been checked out of the medical center, by her parents who flew her off in a helicopter. Her records were gone, not even a referral to another record, which is strange.”
“If she’s been kidnapped, this could very well be a Federal case. Keep my card. I’ll get back to you.” Gene rechecked the file, or tried to, only to find the file suddenly reassigned to Detective Aaron Andrews and himself locked out.