Fiction

The Boy Among Us

By Andrew Cull

RE: June 9 2016.

The following are transcript extracts taken from statements given to Detective Tom Scott of the Bakerstown Police Department following the events of the night of June 9th 2016 (Case # 54-060916). They have been abridged for this report. I’ve included a link to the full statements.

Statement of Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Miller Jnr.

Detective Scott: You want coffee, Charlie?

Deputy Miller: No, I’m good, thanks.

Detective Scott: You know you can have a rep sit in, if you want to.

Deputy Miller: No need.

Detective Scott: Okay, this is Detective Tom Scott, taking the statement of Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Miller Jnr. It’s now… 2:40 p.m. on June 15th 2016. So, Charlie, tell me what happened on the night of June 9th.

Deputy Miller: Well, the first call came in around 1:20 a.m. Heather Cooper. She was distraught, said she’d woken in the night, checked in on her daughter, Peg, and found she was gone.

Detective Scott: And how old is Peg?

Deputy Miller: She’s four years old.

Detective Scott: And what did you do next?

Deputy Miller: I briefed Deputy Gale and we headed over to the Cooper house. While I drove, Deputy Gale spoke to Heather, and got her to check over the house again. There weren’t any windows or doors open, no signs that anyone had forced their way in. At that point we thought—well, we hoped—she was still somewhere in the house. That Heather would find her.

Detective Scott: And then?

Deputy Miller: Well, then the next call came in.

Detective Scott: Gil Hillerman?

Deputy Miller: Yeah, he’d gotten home after a late shift at The Gold Room on Main. He went in to kiss his son goodnight, and found he wasn’t in his cot. He woke his wife. Tommy wasn’t in with her. They checked the house. Then he called us.

Detective Scott: What did you do next?

Deputy Miller: I called in Officers Torres and Keene, and had them head to the Hillerman house.

Detective Scott: At that point, did you think the cases might be related?

Deputy Miller: I didn’t have time to think anything. Before we’d even arrived at Heather Cooper’s house, three more calls had come in. All frantic parents. All young children, missing from their beds.

Detective Scott: What did you do then?

Deputy Miller: I woke Sheriff Jackson, briefed him, and mobilized everyone we had.

Detective Scott: You did something else at that point, didn’t you?

Deputy Miller: Yeah, I called home. I got Kelly to check in on Emma, make sure she was in her bed.

 

Statement of Officer Rex Keene.

Officer Keene: I picked up Officer Torres, and we were driving to Gil’s house when the call came from Deputy Miller to begin a grid search of the area from Maple down to Lakeview Drive; to the shore of the lake, basically.

Detective Scott: And do you know how many calls had come in by then?

Officer Keene: We’re a small town. My brother’s son was resident number 1709 last month. By the time we made it to Maple, there’d been fifteen calls. Friends were starting to call and wake each other to get them to check their kids were still in their beds.

Detective Scott: You searched that route for how long?

Officer Keene: We were on our third patrol when…

Detective Scott: You found the kids, didn’t you?

 

Statement of Deputy Charles Miller Jnr.

Detective Scott: And what did he say?

Deputy Miller: It was hard to hear him at first. There was a lot of static. I had to ask him to repeat himself. He said, “We’ve found them. The kids. All of them.”

Detective Scott: Did you know where he was at this point?

Deputy Miller: Not exactly, no

Detective Scott: What did he say next?

Pause.

Detective Scott: You okay, Charlie?

Deputy Miller: He said, “They’re not moving.”

Detective Scott: What happened next?

Deputy Miller: Straight away I said, “What do you mean?” He comes back, “They’re in a circle. They’re sitting in a circle.”

Detective Scott: And then?

Deputy Miller: Then someone screamed.

 

Statement of Officer Rex Keene.

Officer Keene: When I saw their eyes, I panicked. I mean, what sense does it make to come across nineteen children, all with their eyes closed, all sat in a fucking circle in the park at 2 a.m.? It looked staged. They looked… lifeless. I got out of the patrol car, and I ran up into the park. I was on the radio to Deputy Miller the whole time.

Detective Scott: What happened when you made it to the circle?

Officer Keene: Tommy Hillerman’s my godson. He’s two years old for Christ’s sake. I saw him and I ran for him. I hit the edge of the crowd and one of the kids’ eyes sprung open and she started screaming. Next thing I know they’re all, well, awake, I guess. Some of them were crying, some just sat there, stunned I suppose. We loaded as many of them in the patrol car as we could, and fired up the heating. It was only 50 degrees that night. Most of the kids were just in pajamas. We’re lucky none of them got hypothermia.

Detective Scott: I know your first concern was with looking after the kids, but did you notice anyone else in the circle that night? Anyone out of place? Someone who might have used the commotion to slip away?

Officer Keene: Look, I’ve heard the rumors, but I was there. There were nineteen kids in that circle. There wasn’t anyone else.

Detective Scott: They were in a circle, right? Like they were gathered around something?

 

Statement of Robert Halloran, Father of Rebecca (Becca) Halloran (5 years old).

Detective Scott: How long after that night did you first notice that?

Robert Halloran: It was at the weekend. We’ve got a photo from the party on the mantlepiece. She asked when it was.

Detective Scott: This was her birthday earlier in the year?

Robert Halloran: Yeah, look, it’s not just a photo. She chose that photo. It was her 5th birthday. We went a bit crazy, hired a magician, put up a marquee. She was so happy that day. Now she can’t remember it at all. I got out the album, played a video I shot on my phone. She just sat there, not a flicker of recognition at all.

Detective Scott: It could be shock, Bob. What makes you think it’s related to that night?

Robert Halloran: Well, she’s not the only one, is she?

 

Statement of Peter Estes (6 years old). Samuel Estes (Father) also present.

Peter Estes: Yes, sir.

Detective Scott: You can call me Tom, Peter.

Peter Estes: Yes, sir.

Detective Scott: Peter, your dad says you’ve been having trouble remembering something, is that right?

Peter Estes nods.

Detective Scott: What is it that you can’t remember, son?

Samuel Estes: What’s Grandpa’s name, Peter?

Peter Estes: I… er…

Detective Scott: It’s okay, son.

Peter Estes: I…

Samuel Estes: My father has lived with us for as long as Peter’s been alive. He’s grown up with him. But ever since that night, he can’t remember his name. What’s Grandpa’s name, Peter? Peter?

Peter Estes: Daddy, I…

 

Statement of Officer Rex Keene.

Detective Scott: Are there any lights at the park?

Officer Keene: There’s a streetlamp by the gate entrance, and one at the far end, on the edge of the woods.

Detective Scott: But not one where you found the kids?

Officer Keene: Not really. They were lit by the streetlamp on the street. If they’d been any further in I wouldn’t have been able to see them from the car.

Detective Scott: So, is it possible that someone else saw you coming and ran out of the reach of the light? That they could have still been there, in the darkness, while you were looking after the kids?

Officer Keene: I… I suppose that’s possible, yes.

 

Statement of Milly Townsend (4 years old). Kathy Townsend (Mother) also present.

Detective Scott: Milly, do you remember how you got to the park that night?

Milly Townsend: The boy.

Detective Scott: A boy took you to the park?

Milly Townsend: He had big teeth.

 

Statement of Stephen (Stevie) Sanders (7 years old). Eileen Sanders (Mother) also present.

Detective Scott: You were one of the oldest kids at the park that night, Stevie. Can you remember how you got there?

Stevie Sanders: The boy.

Detective Scott: A boy took you there?

Stevie Sanders: No. He wanted us there.

Detective Scott: Do you know why, Stevie?

Eileen Sanders: It’s okay, Stevie. Tell the policeman what you told me.

Detective Scott: It’s okay, Stevie.

Stevie Sanders: Because we were happy. He likes the happy memories.

 

Statement of Milly Townsend (4 years old). Kathy Townsend (Mother) also present.

Detective Scott: Do you mean big teeth like mine?

Milly shakes her head.

Milly Townsend: No! No! The fish! The fish!

Kathy Townsend: Milly, which fish honey?

Milly Townsend: At the aquaritum.

Kathy Townsend: The big fish? At the aquarium? Where they had the teeth on display?

Milly Townsend: Yes! Yes!

Kathy Townsend: She means a shark, detective.

 

Statement of Kyle Grogan, father of Emily Grogan (5 years old).

Kyle Grogan: We took her to get a CT scan. Thought maybe she’d hit her head when she was in the park, or, God forbid, it was something worse. The results came back clear. So we still don’t have any fucking answers.

Detective Scott: Has Emily told you anything else about that night, Kyle?

Kyle Grogan: What? Have you not been listening to me? She can’t remember her mother’s face. She doesn’t know who she is anymore. If Michelle is in another room, she can talk to Emily and she’ll call out for her mummy. But when Michelle…

Detective Scott: I’m sorry, Kyle.

Kyle Grogan: If she comes into the room Emily just starts screaming. “Who are you? Whose face is that? Whose face is that?”

 

Statement of Stephen (Stevie) Sanders (7 years old). Eileen Sanders (Mother) also present.

Detective Scott: Where did he go? Once Officer Keene arrived. When the police officer found you all.

Stevie Sanders: He didn’t go.

Detective Scott: What do you mean, Stevie? He was still there, when the police were there?

Stevie Sanders: He was there all the time.

Detective Scott: When you were in the car? When your parents came?

Stevie Sanders: Yes, sir.

Detective Scott: What did he look like? Was he tall, like me? Short? What about his face?

Stevie Sanders: Short, sir. Like me.

Detective Scott: Did you see his face, Stevie?

 

Statement of Milly Townsend (4 years old). Kathy Townsend (Mother) also present.

Detective Scott: What did the boy’s face look like, Milly?

Milly Townsend: Old. Really old.

 

Statement of Stephen (Stevie) Sanders (7 years old). Eileen Sanders (Mother) also present.

Detective Scott: Was there anything else about the boy, Stevie? Anything you noticed?

Stevie Sanders: His hands. The fingers.

Detective Scott: What about them, Stevie?

Eileen Sanders: It’s okay, Stevie. You can tell the detective. You’re safe here.

Stevie Sanders: They were long. So long. So long they can reach you in your sleep.

 

Statement of Milly Townsend (4 years old). Kathy Townsend (Mother) also present.

Detective Scott: Was that the only time you’ve seen the boy, Milly? Have you seen him before?

Milly Townsend: Yes.

 

Statement of Stephen (Stevie) Sanders (7 years old). Eileen Sanders (Mother) also present.

Detective Scott: You said he liked you because you were happy. That he likes the happy memories. The other children are saying that they’ve forgotten things. Are you saying that he made you forget?

Stevie Sanders: He reaches inside you and takes the memories.

Detective Scott: Did he take a memory from you, Stevie?

Stevie nods.

Detective Scott: What did he take from you, Stevie?

Stevie Sanders: There’s a little girl in pictures in our house. Her name’s Bella. Mum says that she was my little sister. That she died. I don’t remember her anymore.

 

Statement of Milly Townsend (4 years old). Kathy Townsend (Mother) also present.

Detective Scott: Can you tell me when else you’ve seen the boy, Milly?

Milly puts her hands over her face.

Detective Scott: Are you okay, Milly?

Milly takes her hands away. She looks slowly into the corner of the room and then back to Detective Scott.

 

© 2020 Andrew Cull

Categories: Fiction

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