The Missing Persons Case
Today, this is Andrew writing about our great family experience this morning.
Mom woke up and left the house before I ever woke up (I woke up around 11:30 I think (and only because Grandma woke me up)). Around 12 or 12:30 we began to wonder where she had gone. You see Mom's phone got wet a few days ago so she has been without one so we couldn't just call her. Also, Grandma couldn't remember if she had been told as Mom was leaving where she was going but had been too involved in a new toy to remember, but both she and Grandpa figured that Mom had been gone close to two hours or so.
So, like I said, we were starting to wonder where she was because in my family if you are going to be gone that long on a non-work or school day you better dang well leave a note. So Grandma started to worry about her being gone for so long with no phone. And as mothers and grandmothers do she started to fear the worst. So she opened up an investigation! Luckily I have been watching enough NCIS, White Collar, Blue Bloods, Flashpoint, NCIS LA, Hawaii Five-0, Psych, etc ... that I have plenty of investigatory experience.
First, Grandma had me hack into Mom's bank account to see if she had spent any money that day that would tell us where she had gone. I was pretty sure she hadn't since we had just got done speaking about how she had spent practically all her money upgrading and shipping her new phone a few days earlier. But I did it anyway for my own health. Since my online account didn't show enough of the numbers for Mom's account we decided to look in her room for a checkbook. I made Grandma sift through the dresser drawers though ... there are some places that no man will ever willingly go and Mom's underwear drawer is at the top of my list. We didn't find a checkbook, but Grandma did find a great strategy for maintaining the structural integrity of certian supportive undergarments using softballs that she liked!
I eventually found a bank statement in Mom's files with the account number and accessed her online banking (I'm a whiz with passwords!). No charges other than a Sonic trip (little did I know that particular clandestine trip had been made a few days previous ... and I was not invited!!) to tell us where she had gone so Grandma and Grandpa took off in their car to the nearby Wal-Mart which had both a Sonic and a Verizon store (our cell carrier) in the same strip mall.
While Grandma and Grandpa were out and about I had a brilliant detectivey idea: I got Jeanette to use her superior cell phone camera to take a picture of Mom's shoe rack! She sent it to Heather and I asked Heather to identify the missing pair of shoes so that we might thereby ascertain what kind of trip Mom had made! And she came through!! She asked if Mom's brown flip flops were still by the back door, and since they weren't we new it was a flip flop kind of outing!! ( This actually ended up being a misleading clue as her destination was in fact not typical of a flip flop forray).
Around this time Grandma called Jeanette to refine their own search. They had found the right color van in the Wal Mart parking lot and wanted to know if one of the tail lights on Mom's van was busted. I passed on the information that the driver side tail light had indeed been busted but had been repaired within the last week. Jeanette also added that the interior for my mom's vehicle was a tan color and reminded Grandma to check the license plate number (which I had obtained from some other paper in Mom's files). The license didn't match, and the tailight was clearly busted, but Grandma decided to take a closer look anyway. This is when she noticed a dashnoard mat and cross hanging from the rear-view mirror that clearly eliminated that car's eligibility. However, Grandma was still on the phone so Jeanette was able to hear her remark, "Oh it's dirty in there." Jeanette started laughing pretty hard and relayed this info to myself and my aunt Jo Anna, who had recently joined the party, and we all laughed a little and remarked on Grandma's now obvious traumatic worry (Jeanette was no longer on the phone with Grandma at this point ... we're not dummies!).
Then came my best investigative breakthrough: I hacked Mom's email!! I figured since she was without a phone her Facebook and email were her only forms of communication! Oh yeah, I hacked her Facebook too! (told you I'm good with passwords! (regrettably I did not, at the time, think to post a silly status on Mom's page ... missed opportunity there ...)) There were no pertinent emails in her inbox, and her sent and deleted folders were both empty. Luckily, I know that emails never disappear! So I recovered those that had been deleted recently and found that she had gone into work!!!
Now I had called her work phone earlier in the investigation but since we had already ascertained the shoes that she had worn out of the house I hadn't thought it an efficient use of time to leave a message. So now I called Barbara Axe, a longtime friend and co-worker and got the number of another co-worker whom I knew worked on the same floor. From him I was able to discover that she had just left minutes previous to my calling him!
So the whole adventure turned out to be a big nothing. Mom made it home safe, Grandma and Grandpa brought back lunch (it was during lunch that we discovered that Grandma had given some sort of description to the police officer in the Wal Mart parking lot), and we all laughed long and hard about it all.
But, let the record show, that had she really been lost I found her in like 30 minutes!!!