Jim Sullivan was in the police station that morning. Wiry, but firm build, medium height, Jim looked as though he was in his early 50’s, but, in fact, had been an investigative reporter for more than 40 years. Jim always looked fit, healthy and much younger than his actual age. He had only recently relocated from Chicago to escape from a nasty divorce and hopefully get his life back to normal.
It was a lucky break that day when his editor and friend got a hot tip and sent Jim to the Mohave Valley precinct on a child abduction case that had just been reported.
An 11-year-old little girl by the name of Kerry Albertson had been abducted on her way to school that morning and the police station, as you might expect, was buzzing with unusual characters.
The police had literally nothing to go on, except the testimony of Kerry’s 8-year-old sister who witnessed the abduction, but could only tell police that the vehicle was a white van, and the man that took Kerry was a big man with a stocking on his head.
Jim had arrived at 9:30 AM, a couple hours after the abduction.
After reading the initial police report Jim approached the Albertson’s with permission of course from Detective Dan Murray, a so-so friend of Jim’s. He asked Mr. Albertson. “I’m so sorry for your sorrow, hopefully, my paper can be of some help, do you happen to have a picture of Kerry?”
“No, but we have a Facebook page that has hundreds of pictures.” “Great, we’ll get her picture out to the public immediately. Maybe someone saw something.”
They seemed grateful for Jim’s help, and a nod from Mrs. Albertson was as much as she could muster at this point.
For two hours more it was total panic. The police had nothing, when suddenly out of the blue, I see this little girl come out of the men’s restroom and walk straight over to Mrs. Albertson, and of course, it was quite a scene.
Kerry Albertson was found, in the police station. That’s right, it wasn’t reported by the police that way, but I was there, and I believe I was the only one that saw her come out of that restroom. And, to make matters a little stranger, little Kerry lied about being in the restroom. She actually told police; “someone left me at the front door”.
That was the exact moment when Jim realized that this wasn’t going to be a story about an abduction. He began to replay the entire morning in his head and a few peculiar events overlooked earlier now seemed to fit in.
Shortly after Jim arrived, a woman by the name of Samantha Garcia, who was a neighbor of the Albertson’s showed up. That wasn’t in itself unusual, except that this woman didn’t arrive because of the Albertson abduction, but to report her boyfriend missing. Was this a coincidence? Maybe! But, any similarity did seem to elude the entire Las Vegas police department.
Not long after Samantha arrived, a man came out of the restroom and walked quickly and without hesitation to Samantha and put his arms around her. Startled, she returned his affection and blurted;
“John, where have you been?”
It did seem a little strange at the time, but when little Kerry came out of that same restroom not 45 minutes later, Jim could feel the pounding of his heart and the thrill of knowing, he was about to embark on an adventure that was far more earth shattering than the abduction of a little girl.
No one else noticed John Smith and later, Kerry Albertson coming out of the same men’s restroom, but there was a connection and Jim had to put all his investigative talents together to figure out what exactly that connection could be.
An inspection of the restroom revealed nothing unusual. One window securely sealed and no other door for them to have entered.
John Smith could have walked into the restroom, unnoticed, but that would have been an odd destination for him because the front door is closer to where Samantha was then the restroom. So he would have had to come in the front door, seen her, and yet visit the restroom first.
But, there is no way Kerry Albertson could have or would have gone to the restroom unnoticed.
John hadn’t said much to Samantha, other than he was sorry for worrying her, and he had been stuck all night long in a deep ravine at the Canyon. Smith was curiously in a hurry to get away and, believe it or not, left by way of the restroom.
No one really knows about John being reported missing because it was never written up. The detective was just beginning to interview Samantha when John arrived and decided not to file a report.
When Kerry magically arrived at the police station there was a considerable amount of confusion and Samantha decided she would inconspicuously leave. After all, there was nothing left for her there. John had left quickly after his arrival and Samantha had stayed on to watch most of the event unfold.