“Havin’ a new baby around can be a big burden at times. You know, all that cryin’ they do starts
workin’ on your nerves.”
Teary-eyed, Mary peered up at the soft spoken man hovering over her from where she sat on
the couch. “What are you saying?”
“Maybe you couldn’t take it anymore.”
Mary sniffled and sat taller. “You think I did something with my own baby?”
“It’s been known to happen.”
Mary shot to her feet. Her face inches from his. “Somebody took my baby and if you’re not
going to look for her, I am.”
Detective Kelly Rogers acknowledged this latest outburst from Mary Murray with a nod and
moved to the doorway. He mumbled something to the female officer by the door and left the
The uniformed woman stepped up to Mary. “You should grab a coat and we’ll go. Answer a few
questions for Chief Daniels. Then I’ll bring you back home.”
Mary didn’t understand the need for more questions when she’d already answered dozens
asked by the detective soon after she placed the 911 call. At first the man was sympathetic
before cleverly working his way to outright accuse her of doing something to Jena.
“Somebody took my baby.”
The officer looked away from Mary’s sharp gaze. Did she believe she’d done something with her
baby, too? Did the chief? Is that why she was being escorted to the police station?
Mary yanked a coat from the closet hanger and pulled it on. “Let’s get this over with.”
Neighborhood busybodies ogled from the sidewalk as Mary and the officer got into one of the
borough’s three police cruisers parked outside the two story brick complex.
“An Amber alert’s going out soon,” the officer said and turned the key in the ignition. “We’ll find
Her words startled Mary. She heard similar words years earlier in an attempt to comfort her and
her parents. They worked then. Now they created intense fear as the cruiser crept through
town, making it harder for Mary to keep from hyperventllating.
When the car stopped for the red light, her fingers tightened around the door handle. Her mind
flooded with thoughts of what might be happening to Jena at that very moment.
She closed her eyes, hopeful the darkness would take away the sudden vision of her brother,
Michael. His little body in that satin-lined coffin flashed into the darkness. When Jena’s tiny body
replaced Michael’s in that coffin, Mary’s eyelids flipped open and she cried out. “No.”
The officer placed a hand on Mary’s arm. “Take it easy. We’re gonna find your baby.”
Mary shook her head. “You don’t understand.”
The officer’s brow arched when she looked into Mary’s wide-opened eyes. “What don’t I
understand, Miss Murray?”
“It’s happening all over again.”