March 21, 2013
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I was sitting at my desk, looking over some fingerprints from the bank robbery last week, when a woman came bursting through the door. She had long brown hair and her blue eyes were red from crying. "Detective! Detective!" she yelled a bit hysterically, "I need your help!"
"Woah. Calm down." I said, "What are you talking about?"
"My father's been kidnapped! He's old and needs his medication! I need to find him." she broke down and began to cry. I felt sorry for her. It had to be hard if someone in your family suddenly disappeared.
"Okay Ms..?"
"Green." she said in between sobs, "Nicole Green."
"Alright Ms. Green." I said, "Tell me everything." she steadied her breathing and collected herself.
"Well, I visit him every day, but today when I got there, the house was empty. And this was on the door." she reached into her pockets and brought out a piece of paper. It read 'If you want to see the old man alive again, put one million dollars on his doorstep in three days.' Nicole began sobbing, and I noticed a few things about her that I hadn't before: She was wearing no sort of jewelry and her clothes were simple.

“I can't... I can't pay the ransom. And if I don't, they'll... they'll...” she broke down again, sobbing into her hands.

“Don't worry Nicole, we’ll find your father.” I said. “Can you take me to his house?”

“Of course Mr..?”

“Jones.” I said.

“OK Mr. Jones, I’ll take you to his house.” Nicole said, and walked out of my office. As we were walking down the hallway we passed my partner, Dave Johnson.
“Hey Dave.” I said, “Follow me, we’re heading over to the scene of a kidnapping.”
“Of course sir.” he said immediately, and he fell into line behind me. We left the building and piled into my squad car, Nicole opting to sit in the back. She gave us directions and we soon came upon her Dad’s residence. It was a small, average building, with two windows on the ground, one of them was broken, and two on the second floor.
We got out of the car and surveyed the house and surrounding area. I noticed skid marks from tires on the driveway and on the street. They looked recent. Whoever left must have been in a hurry. I walked up to the door and was greeted by a rather large Rottweiler. “Oh, thats just Rufus.” Nicole explained, approaching him without fear and scratching his head. I went inside, Dave behind me, giving the dog a wide berth.
The interior of the house was about as average as the outside. Simple furniture and appliances. But the floor was sprayed with broken glass from the window. “The culprit must have entered here.” I said, pointing to the shattered window. “He must of came over here and grabbed your father, then left out the door.”
“Should I get Forensics Team over here to look for prints?” Dave asked.
“Sure.” I said. “Tell them when we get back to the Station.” I looked around the rest of the house, seeing no other evidence. “Nicole,” I asked, “Can you think of anyone who would do this to your father?”
“Well,” she said, “In college, a friend of his, his name was Stephen Tanner, was stealing work and ideas from other students. My dad found out and got him expelled. Stephen lost a lot that day.” I thought about it. He definitely had a motive, and sometimes, thats all a criminal needs.
“We’ve gotten everything we can from here, until Forensics arrive.” I said, “Lets go pay Stephen Tanner a visit. Nicole, it may be better if you stay here, you can show the Forensics Team around, help them look.”
“Alright.” she said, and Dave and I got back into my car. After a few minutes on my laptop, I found Stephen’s address. He didn't live too far from Nicole’s father. I got out of the car and knocked on his door. A few moments later a man came to the door. “What do you want?” he asked, then, noticing my badge, “I mean, is there anything I can help you with.”
“Yes, actually.” I said, “We’re here to ask about the recent abduction of Mr. Green.”
“I’ve seen that on the news.” Stephen said, “Terrible. Come inside.” We went into his house and sat down at his table.
“I was wondering.” I said, “What do you know about the event in question?”
“Well, just what I’ve heard on the news really.” Stephen said. “Some time last night someone broke into his house and took him. That’s all I know.”
“And where were you at this time?” I asked.
“I was visiting my sister on the other side of town.” he said. “I may not like Joe, but I would never do something like this.”
“Thank you Mr. Tanner.” I said. “We’ll be on our way.” once we were in the car I did another search for possible culprits. There weren't many. The most likely was the recently released criminal Norman Henderson. We drove to his house and knocked on his door. He invited us inside. He, like Stephen, didn't know much about Mr. Green’s kidnapping.
“I was at my anger managment class last night.” he said. “Got home pretty late. All I saw was one of your cars barreling down the street.”
“Thank you Norman.” I said, and Dave and I left the house. We went back to the station and split up, me going to check out the suspects stories, Dave going to show the forensics team to the house. After watching recordings from various street cameras, I saw that both stories were true.
What was going on? How could the culprit be this elusive? I couldn't really think of any more leads. The door opened and Jane North came in. “Mr. Jones,” she said. “I just wanted to inform you that the forensics team has just left. Dave went off to the old manor to try and gain information. Poor Dave, first his car, then his arm.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, “What happened to his arm and his car?”
“He didn't tell you? Well, two days ago his car broke down. He didn't have the money to pay for repair so he’s been using one of the squad cars. When he was coming home last night a stray dog bit him.”
“He didn't tell me.” I said. “Thanks Jane.”
“No problem.” she said, and left the room. A few hours later forensics team arrived saying they couldn't find many prints. The ones they had found were too smudged to identify. The investigation was falling apart. And it was affecting Dave, he went home early, the bite on his arm getting worse.
Even more bad news. One of the cars was missing, it hadn't been signed out. And Nicole never went home that night. When investigators went to her house they found a note similar to the first. “Your deadline is up. Bring the money or they both die.” when I finished reading the note, it was as if I had just gained the last piece to the puzzle. The missing car, the stories of the suspects, the forensics team unable to find anything. I knew who the culprit was.
I raced to my car and drove as fast as I could. The streets were not too clogged, and not many people were out. Finally I got to my destination. I got out of the car and ran to the door. I opened it to reveal Nicole and a man who was most likely her father, tied up and gagged. “Are you alright?” I asked.
“Not unless you have the money.” said a voice. I turned to see my partner Dave holding a gun. He walked forward keeping it pointed at me.
“Why?” I asked. He smirked as if the question was irrelevant.
“I’m sick of living in your shadow. If I can't shine up there, then I’ll shine down here.” he walked in front of Nicole and her father. “I hope you have the money,” he said. “Otherwise things could end very badly for-” he was cut off by Nicole kicking him from behind. He dropped the gun and I rushed forward, tackling him to the ground.
The reinforcements I asked for arrived soon after. They took Dave away. Some people ask me if I ever want a reward. But as I got back into the car, I got the best one ever: seeing Nicole being reunited with her dad.

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