WHERE WE LEFT OFF: Staci and crew checked out the site where Lisa’s house once stood and found very little except for an odd little rag doll. They’re yelled at by the sheriff and they interview the mayor. Now it’s time to hunker down in the library and do some research.
WHERE WE PICK UP:
The gang arrives at the library. They try to enter with the camera running, but the head librarian stops them and orders Leon and his camera to stay out. Staci seems perturbed by this, but she comes up with a plan: Ray and Bethany will go into the library and do some digging. In the meantime, Staci and Leon will go out into the town and shoot more footage, maybe conduct some interviews with the locals. Ray and Bethany agree to this. When Ray seems particularly eager to get Bethany alone, Staci has to remind her that they’re here to work. Bethany agrees, but she giggles and Ray pulls her into the library.
Staci looks at Leon (or the camera, as it were) and apologizes. “I’ll work on her, I promise.”
The footage cuts to the small park and playground that Veronica was at. Staci and Leon interview several of the local citizens, mostly young mothers at the park with their kids, about life in Garretsburg. Almost all of them have glowing things to say about the town, about how friendly it is, how they all pull together when they have to. When Staci presses them about the mayor, the interviewees seem to get a bit more nervous. They’re still all smiles, but they don’t appear happy to talk to them anymore.
Eventually, they return to the hotel to see what Ray and Bethany have found.
It turns out that Ray actually did some of the work himself and found some items of interest. He dug through the old newspapers and found out that over the last fifteen years or so, Garretsburg has had a string of odd disappearances. Every three years or so, someone goes missing in town.
“Why do you suppose no one outside of Garretsburg has noticed?” Staci asks.
“Because they’re not all the same,” Ray says. “In one case, it was a teenage girl and the sheriff claimed that she ran away from home. Before that, a local farmer was supposedly murdered by a man passing through town. Before that, a little boy went walking through the woods and never came back.”
“So why do you think they’re connected?” Leon asks from behind the camera (and it’s obvious he’s not happy).
“Because like I said, there’s a pattern. These happen every three years or so. More specifically, there’s a period of 1,008 days between each disappearance.”
There’s a long pause. “1,008 days? You figured that out?” Leon asks.
Bethany ruffs Ray’s hair. “What can I say? My baby has a head for numbers.”
Ray looks ready to pounce on Bethany right there, but Staci stops them. “Did you guys find anything else?”
“One thing. After the little boy disappeared, the local Catholic priest resigned from his parish. He claimed that there was some sort of cult that meets in the nearby woods and they’re the ones responsible for the disappearance. Later on, the diocese claimed he had to leave due to ‘mental exhaustion,’ and since then, it looks like people have decided it was his fault the boy disappeared. But I don’t know. Think it’s worth going over to the church to check it out?”
Staci smiles. “I think that’s our next step.”
And that’s where we’re going to break for this week, folks. Come back next time. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.