I raised my hand and knocked on the door of the young girl’s home. This is the one part of the job that I absolutely hate. Being the person that had to tell the parents about something like this is never easy.
“Can I help you?” said Mr. Blake.
“Mr. Blake, my name is Ethan Parker. I am a detective with the Washington County Police.”
“I remember you Ethan. What can I do for you at this hour?”
Trying to stay professional I replied, “I need you and Mrs. Blake to come to the hospital with me.”
“Why? What's wrong Ethan?” he asked as Mrs. Blake joined him at the door.
“We found your daughter Kiera. She was unconscious at the edge of road near Hastings High School.”
I watched as Allen grabbed his wife Karen as she collapsed against him hearing this news. There wasn’t anything I could do to make this any easier for them. I really wish I could but there is never a good way to tell a family that their daughter had been attacked and left for dead on the side of the road.
“What happened Ethan? Is she okay? How bad is she hurt?” Mr. Blake asked holding his sobbing wife.
“She is alive but critically injured. We don’t know how long she was held or what was done to her. She was still unconscious when I left the hospital but preliminary reports from the doctors tell me that she will recover. I would like to escort you and your wife to Regional Medical Hospital where they have admitted her if you want to get your belongings.” Turning towards my car I could hear them quickly getting a bag together. Giving them a police escort was the least could do to help them get to her faster.
As we entered into the hospital wing where she was located the nurse informed us that she was finally awake and able to talk. Turning to her parents I asked, “If you don’t mind I would like to ask Kiera a few questions since she is awake.”
“Of course Detective, just let us visit with her first.” Mr. Blake replied numbly.
I decided to wait in the hallway until Mr. and Mrs. Blake finished up checking in on her. Hearing the sobs coming from the room was excruciating. It equally pissed me off and broke my heart. Things like this happened in the city not in a small town. I should have been patrolling that area sooner maybe I could have stopped it before it happened. The door opening broke my concentration and brought me back to the matter at hand.
“Alright Ethan you can talk to her now but please try not to upset her, she is finally calm. We are going to wait here until you’re done in case she needs us.” He wrapped his arms tightly around his wife as he led her to the chair across the hall. Seeing the family go through this much pain ignited my anger towards the person that did this to her.
Walking into her room and seeing her broken took what was left of my heart and tore it to shreds. Speaking softly, so I didn't startle her, I introduced myself. “Hello Kiera, my name is Ethan Parker. I am a Detective with the Washington County Police and I need to ask you some questions about your attack if it's okay with you.” I paused waiting for her to allow me to continue.
When she slightly nodded her head I continued, “Your parents are waiting just outside the door if you need them.” My voice caught as I hesitated before going on, “We found you on the road just outside Hastings High School in the middle of the night. You were badly hurt and your clothes were torn to pieces. Do you remember anything about who attacked you or what happened?”
Watching her reaction as I asked the questions was not easy. This was extremely hard for me so I know it was even harder on her. She began to hyperventilate immediately as I mentioned the attacker. Her hands were trembling as she grasped the blankets. She began shaking her head back and forth saying “No, no, no….get away from me. Leave me alone.”
It took everything I had not to wrap my arms around her. I reached out touching her hand trying to reassure her but she jerked it away. “It’s okay Kiera, you are safe. I won’t let anyone hurt you ever again.” I turned and walked out the door as the nurses and her parents rushed into the hospital room. The monitors had begun to beep loudly as her heart rate climbed alerting them to how upset she was.
Turning to the parents before leaving the room I looked at Mr. Blake, “Can I talk to you outside?” I waited patiently for several minutes as the parents checked on Kiera to make sure she was calming down. I hated seeing her this upset. She had been a lively spirit in high school before I graduated. Now she just looks defeated and afraid. Berating myself again I wished I would have been patrolling the area before this had happened maybe I would have been able to stop it. The real question was how could I stop something like this from happening again?
Mr. Blake had gained my attention when he exited the room and shut the door effectively cutting off my inner struggle. I had no choice but to inform him where the department stood on the case.
“I can see that this is hard on her but unless she can remember any details we don’t have anything to go on. The attacker left no evidence behind for us to find. There weren’t any fingerprints, bodily fluids or DNA found. Our only chance is if she can tell us what happened. I know she is in shock right now but if she remembers anything please call us immediately.” Handing him my business card with my personal number on the back I added, “If you want you can request that I personally handle her case. I promise to do everything I can to find the person who did this to her.” “Thank you for everything you have done already Ethan. I’ll let you know if she remembers anything.”