Image of suspense author Mary Burton



The man grew silent for a moment as his shoulders stiffened. Reality had chased away the pleasant last moments. Neither Macy nor Nevada spoke. Each knew the man needed to tell his story in his own time.

Turner cleared his throat. “Tobi had only been driving on her own for six months, and we got worried when she drove off by herself.” He shook his head. “But there comes a time when you have to let them grow up, right?”

“Tobi never made it to the high school, did she?” Macy asked.

“The cops found our van at a parking lot a mile from the school. Sheriff Greene interviewed all the kids at the study session, but they said Tobi never came into the school.”

“Was she dating anyone at the time?” Macy asked.

“She’d gone out a few times with a kid from the debate team, but he’d been in Ohio at a math competition when she went missing. The cops cleared him right away.”

“Are you sure there wasn’t anyone else?” Macy pressed.

“I’ve been asked that question a lot. And the answer is always no. Tobi was focused on school, not boys.”

Macy knew young girls could and did hide many things from their parents. “When did you know something was wrong?”

“We had given her an eleven p.m. curfew. At half past eleven, I called her friend Jenna Newsome,” he said. “They were close that last year.”

“And what did Jenna say?”

“She said she didn’t know anything,” Turner said. “Jenna still lives in town, but I don’t know the exact address.”

“Was there anyone else close with Tobi?” Macy asked.

“She was friendly with the kids in the band. But she didn’t have much time for socializing. Are you going to talk to Jenna?” he asked.

“I am.”

“Okay, you speak to Jenna, then what?” Turner demanded. “It’s been fifteen years, and the cops came up with nothing. My girl was only found by accident.”

Macy sidestepped the comment. “When did you call Mr. Greene?”

“It was past midnight.” He shook his head. “I should have called the sheriff five minutes after eleven. It wasn’t at all like Tobi to be late, but my wife said to give her a little more time.”

“And did the sheriff launch a search?”

“The sheriff didn’t sound worried, and I remember I lost my temper. He said he’d look into it.”

©2019 Mary Burton