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JAN 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 1

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JAN 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 1

the room” He twisted

the room” He twisted the doorknob, gently opened the door, and the reality of 666 Pinecrest burned an image in my mind I still have until this day. Both a male and female were in bed with gun shots to the head. The bed was soaked in blood as was the carpet in the room. Two things came rushing into my mind. One, where was their daughter? Is she alive? Second, we are fucking up a crime scene big time and we are going to get our ass handed to us by shitload of detectives and supervisors that are about to swarm this fucking house. I could see the look on Gary’s face echoed my thoughts. Gary walked into the room just far enough to clear the bathroom, and I got close enough to see that both victims were in fact DOA. We backed out of the room and called for everyone. Supervisors, CSU and detectives. We both looked at each other, looked up at the stairs, and at the same time said, “What about the girl?” Do we clear the upstairs and check on her knowing full well we will be fucking up what was already a contaminated crime scene? The biggest part of me didn’t want to walk up those stairs. I didn’t want to know what was up there and I was scared shitless I was going to find another body. The body of a small child the same age as my daughter? Not a happy thought. On the other hand, maybe she wasn’t there. Or maybe the fucking suspect is still in the house and holding her hostage. We needed to make a decision and make it NOW. Thank God at that moment I heard my Sergeant call out on the scene. I had him come to the back door and meet me. I told Gary to stay put and don’t take his eyes off the top of those stairs. I walked to the back door, met my Sergeant and told him what we had. Two DOAs in the master bedroom and one unaccounted for 5-year-old female. “Have you checked the rest of the house?” he asked. No sir, we were about to go upstairs but we know we’re fucking up the scene. “Fuck that. Get upstairs and look for that girl. Try and not touch any more than you have too. And Mitchell, watch your ass.” I knew he had a daughter that was six and I’m sure the same thoughts were racing through his mind as well. I met back up with Gary at the stairs and told him the Sgt was holding the downstairs and gave us the green light to check upstairs. Neither of us wanted to climb those stairs. But we both knew what we had to do. At the top of the stairs was a hallway that split in two directions, one towards the front of the house and the other to the back. I held the top of the stairs while Gary walked left to an open bedroom door at the end of the hall. He motioned the room was clear. Immediately ahead was a bathroom that I had been covering that was closed. Gary opened the door while I stepped inside to clear it. Nothing. We both knew the only room left had to be the child’s room. Was she alive or dead? Or was there a damn suspect inside holding her hostage? Neither of us wanted walk through that door. But we knew what we had to do. Gary opened the door, and I ran into the room fully expecting to have to shoot someone. The room was clear, and the bed was empty. Thank God. But something wasn’t right. Having a daughter of my own and knowing what her room looked like, something didn’t seem right. I couldn’t place it, but I noticed toys scattered in front of the closet. I motioned for Gary to cover the closet, while I opened it. I jerked the door and Amy screamed the moment it opened. Truthfully, she scared the shit out of me. I grabbed her in my arms, and I know I tears were streaming down my face. I was so relieved this little girl was alive and unhurt. The emotions running through me were indescribable. I told her that everything was going to be OK and the bear hug grip she had around my neck reminded me of my little girl when she had nightmares. I radioed the Sergeant that we had located the girl, she was unharmed, and the suspects were GOA. Gary grabbed a blanket off the bed and wrapped it around her and we made our way downstairs. Sarge was waiting by the front door. I walked out that door into a group of grown men I knew had tears in their eyes. I spotted the neighbor talking to one of the detectives and she ran over to take Amy from me. I handed this precious little girl to the neighbor and walked them over to my car and let them sit in the front seat. I could tell by the look on her face that no one had told her what nightmare was about to unfold in her neighborhood or to her best friend. She looked over Amy’s shoulder and had that questioning look in her eyes and I shook my head side to side to say I’m sorry it isn’t good. I looked down at my watch. It was only 7:45am. All of that had transpired in only 45 minutes. I spent the next 10 hours documenting that 45 minutes and reliving what had happened on that first day of 2000. The crime scene and bloody bodies etched in my mind. The sight of that baby girl screaming bloody murder in that closet. Her little NOW OPEN BY APPT. ONLY arms in a bear hug so tight she remined me of my own daughter. The look of despair on the neighbor as she realized that she would never see her best friend again. The following day we would arrest the ex-husband who had been stalking his ex-wife for months. The child heard her dad yelling at her mom and knew “he was a mean man” so she hid in the closet. Amy went to live with her grandparents. The neighbor couldn’t bear to live on the same street that her best friend had been murdered on, so she moved a thousand miles away. And me, well I’m the dayshift captain now and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that day. Amy and my daughter are both 25 now. Ironically, they work together and are in fact best friends. See Amy and my daughter Michelle are both police officers and are partners on the evening shift. My friend Gary is their Sergeant. Strange how life changes who we are and what we become. 32 The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 33

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