The Other Investigation

Saturday, September 13, 1997

His name was Sean Messina. We will get back to his identity later. I’d taken up a spot in the Liza’s Pizza window, staking out the police station, waiting for developments in the case.

“That’s him, Merry, that’s the Yankee,” Aunt Liza said as she reached over me to wipe down the counter. I scooted off my stool and ran across the street. Brant’s office was empty. The interrogation room doors were closed. I paced the hallway for 30 minutes.

Finally, the door opened. Brant and Sean Messina shook hands and then Sean squirmed down the hallway.

“Brant!” I called out. He walked towards me and I lowered my voice. “Brant, that’s him! That’s the guy who threatened Dani.”

“He’s not our guy, Mer,” Brant said.

“He’s lying!” I screamed. Brant inched his hand around my waste, but I shoved it off and ran out of the building.

Sean Messina left the station on foot. Obviously, he’d parked in the surrounding neighborhood. That way we couldn’t jot down his license plate while he recited lies in the interrogation room. I made sure to put exactly a block between us as I followed him down the street.

Brant should have been helping me. I shouldn’t have been chasing after a kidnapper while he chomped down on cold pizza. I should have waited and talked Brant into going after Sean. But then we would have lost him. Finding him once was luck – making sure we didn’t lose him was now my sole responsibility.

As we reached the parking lot behind Liza’s Pizza, Sean turned down Cherry Street. Once he got to his car, he’d have to come back up this way to get out of town. The surrounding roads were a maze of dead-ends. I sidetracked over to my own car, which was parked behind Liza’s Pizza. I waited in the lot until he got to the light so that I could tail him. Sitting in my car, I looked up and saw Aunt Liza windexing the back door window. I mouthed “thanks” to her, then pulled out behind Sean Messina’s Geo Prism.

It was definitely time to call Brant, but all I could do was wait to see if the place Sean was leading me to had a payphone. What in the hell had I done?




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