Excerpt from Through the Rain
"As the crime scene supervisor, one of David’s first actions was to call in the Crime Scene Unit. Investigators arrive and rope off the area. As the sun goes down, a trailer with a generator and spotlights is brought in to help illuminate the already dark and ominous woods that hide who-knows-what in the shadows. The area was sprayed with Luminal and no trail of blood was found. There wasn’t even any blood by the body, indicating that it was simply a disposal site and nothing more.........
......By now it was Midnight and officers would stop for the night because the darkness was working against them. They would all re-group at the church in the morning at 7:00 a.m. It would not be the usual Sunday gathering one comes to expect in a church parking lot. There would be no affirmations from the “Amen pew” in this investigation for four long years. Despite the late hour, officers could hear children laughing and playing in distance.
Because this was not an easily accessible or well-known area, David thought the child most likely was local and sooner or later a missing child would be reported. Someone would call the police in search of a little girl lost. Who wouldn’t report a missing child? She was young and he knew that statistics show that the younger the victim, the closer the killer is to the family - a parent, boyfriend or member of the immediate family. Young children are usually protected and stranger killings are uncommon. Best guess, given the level of brutality, one could assume either the father of the child or boyfriend of the mother was the suspect. A female rarely resorts to that level of mutilation, especially to a child. Surely someone, somewhere, knew something and would come forward. As soon as the child was identified and detectives determined who had care and control of the child at time of death, the case would quickly be solved or so he thought. Time proved him wrong.
Excerpt from By The Side of the Road
“So, tell me about this Annie Harrison. She signed up to play for me this spring.” The Raytown softball coach inquired about the high school sophomore new to his team as Danny Meng listened on the other end of the phone line. Danny was a fixture in the city of Raytown and, if Coach Meng said a player was right, you could bank on that recommendation. Ann had played for Danny, and he was the one who encouraged her to go with this coach’s team on the sign-up night. “Well, Annie isn’t the team’s best player, but you need her on your team. She’s the glue that holds it together. Every team needs an Annie Harrison. She’s the daughter that any dad would be proud to have. Trust me. You need her on your team.”
Ann Harrison–Annie to those she was close to–had just turned 15 years old one month before sign-up, and she was looking forward to a new season. Early March and teams were forming, but Annie-the team player, the friend, the universal daughter–would never play for the new coach. She would not play again. She had seen her last season.