Miranda Danchev stared at the two patrol men incredulously in the hectic police station, “You’re telling me you’ve already lost one more American citizens in the process to locate two lost American citizens?”
“Yes ma’am,” the officer mumbled to his toes.
“It was a simple pick up, I don’t understand how you two could possibly fail with such an easy mission!”
“We went to the apartment and rang her twice and she didn’t answer. We were let in by another tenant two minutes later and she didn’t answer when we knocked on the door so we busted in and no one was in there. So we searched for evidence and a window to the fire escape was open so we went down and walked around the alleys. The best lead we got was a man in a dumpster that said two girls with a knife made him get in there because he overheard them saying they were running from the police. The trail ran cold after that.”
“We need to find out who she was with. I want you to find the security footage and figure out who left with her and bring in the dumpster man for the sketch artist.”
The two patrol men nodded quickly in response.
“Now!” Danchev shouted and the two were scurrying away immediately.
Miranda walked to her desk and picked up her phone, “I need an AVL on Nicole Austin, there is no registered vehicle for her but I do need to get a location on her mobile phone if possible… thanks.”
Hanging up the phone Miranda picked up again right away requesting all patrol cars to be on the lookout for the woman as well. Miranda was sure that they couldn’t have gotten very far as the streets were empty after the city-wide broadcast going out on all radio frequencies and television channels.
“Danchev, I just got Clark Wolfe’s bank account records and get this,” detective Adam Merritt slapped a bunch of papers in front of Miranda so she could see for herself, “He drained everything, debit, savings, personal, business, everything is empty and zeroed out.”
“What could he possibly need with all that cash?” Miranda asked thinking out loud.
“That’s what I wondered so I called the banks he withdrew the money from and they said that he came in seeming extremely anxious saying he needed all the cash he could get and he would pay whatever fee necessary to do so. Basically, what he cared about most was a receipt showing he emptied his accounts.”
“Do you think someone was blackmailing him?”
“Exactly what I said so I looked into it but there’s no phone calls, emails, texts, nothing that show someone was demanding the money.”
“Maybe he knew he was in trouble and was just trying to get out of town fast.”
“But why empty the account of a bank that’s in every city?”
“I know it doesn’t make sense, unless…”
“Not a possibility Merritt.”
“I know, but honestly it’s the only thing that makes sense.”
“Chief made it explicitly clear that we find the culprit within the borders. What would we do with a suspect from,” Miranda looked around for any prying ears before whispering, “Shanty Town.”
Adam lowered his voice as well to continue the conversation, “Well I don’t know what they expect us to do? We’re not magicians, the case either goes unsolved or we arrest an innocent person.”
“I don’t get paid enough for this,” Miranda mumbled picking her phone up to call the two patrol men that lost Nicole Austin, “Where are we with who was with Austin prior to her disappearance.”
“We’re reviewed the tapes and the woman was in a hooded sweatshirt so we couldn’t get her face. The man they threatened is describing her now though and hopefully we’ll get a match. Ok call me back as soon as the artist is done, I want to see the sketch.”
Miranda disconnected the call and looked up at her partner Merritt, “That was Terrance Polinski and Kendal Mein, I sent them to pick up Austin and they lost her.”
“How did they lose her?”