Thursday, September 11,1997
Mr. Garrison stepped into the hallway. “I always knew there was a feistiness hiding behind that turtle shell,” he said, then lowered his voice. “If you really want to help, you can search the house. Bring me the clues that Brant may have missed.”
The next day, I brought Sheriff Garrison a storage key that I had found in Caleb’s grass-stained tennis shoes. The ones that he used when mowing the lawn. Dani refused to mow the lawn. She claimed that her parents never taught her how.
“Mr. Garrison,” I asked him, as I placed the brass key in his open palm. “Don’t you think this kidnapping theory’s a little far-fetched? Like isn’t there some statistic that most kidnappings occur outside of the home? If Caleb were going to kill his own wife, why would he need to kidnap her first? They share a bed for crying out loud.”
“Perhaps, Meredith, he was trying to make it look like it occurred outside of the home. That it was completely unrelated to him,” Pop answered. “Yet, sometimes even the smartest killers don’t cover all their tracks and there will be evidence that leads back to them despite their elaborate planning. And you do know, my dear, that if, God forbid, Caleb were responsible and he did put all of that time and energy into planning his wife’s kidnapping, he’d be guilty of premeditated murder.”
I should have tracked down the storage space, taken a look at what laid behind those doors, but instead I put my faith, and the only valuable clue, into Sheriff Garrison’s hands.
I didn’t know until years later that he gave the key to Joseph and told him to hide it.
“What is it?” Joseph had asked.
“That’s not important,” his father said. “You hear me? Just keep it safe.”