Maggie looked over at her partner as he suddenly exclaimed as the two settled down for dinner to discuss the Land’s End case. “Bullshit!” Delaney shook his head. “They’re lying. Every one of them, except that Demonis kid.”
Maggie furrowed her brows. “The entire town is lying?” Delaney nodded. “That’s right. Did you notice how every one of them told the story in exactly the same words? No one does that, Maggie. Not if they’re telling a story from their own perspective. They’re lying. I think the Demonis kid is the only one who told the truth, and I think those three boys are in danger if we return them to their father. He wasn’t drunk, but he smelled like booze to me. My father was an alcoholic. You can’t get rid of that whiskey smell by just going dry for a few hours. It permeates the skin. Maybe I’m extra sensitive to the smell, but I could smell it.”
Maggie glanced over at her partner again. “Do you think you might have imagined it, because your father was a drunk, John? I know that the brain can bring up odors with memories?” Delaney frowned and grumbled. “Maybe, but I’m just not convinced that it’s safe to return those boys to the town. If the Demonis kid is telling the truth, then not a single one of them did a damn thing five years ago when those little kids disappeared, and there’s no record of a call being made to social services or a scheduled visit. We checked.” Delaney shook his head again. “Things just don’t quite add up, Maggie.”
Maggie nodded. “Yeah, well we just started the investigation, and we still haven’t talked to the boys yet. Maybe they’ll shed some light on all of this. For now, we just take the information as its presented and work from there, because even if the entire town is lying. We got no proof otherwise.” Delaney scowled. “We could talk to Craven further…” Delaney paused as his cell phone rang, Agent Wesson on the other end. He was silent for a long time as Wesson filled him in on what the Sheriff had just confessed to.
When done he looked over at Maggie and said in a smug tone. “I was right. They were lying. The Sheriff just called the FBI and confessed everything. He threatened the town members to agree to the fabricated story that they all told. Even locked up the two deputies, the doctor and the old man at gunpoint to keep them quiet. He only let them out when they agreed to support his lie. He’s still sticking to the story of a social worker appearing out of the blue five years ago, but apparently, Floyd told his boys to run and hide in a cave the boys like to play in and his twin brother… according to the boys themselves came and took them. They thought it was their father because he was dressed like him.”
Delaney continued filling Maggie in on the details, her eyes going wider by the moment, then she said when he was done filling her in. “I want to go back and check on Craven. He confessed to not only locking the boy up but beating him. I want to make sure he’s okay. I didn’t see any other kids in town, but he’s still somewhat of a minor. Also, who the hell is Jarrel? You said Jarrel’s mad room? We didn’t interview anyone by the name of Jarrel. You think they got some people locked up there still?”
Delaney did a half shrug. “Maybe. Wesson just rambled off all the information. I didn’t even think about that aspect yet, but okay. Let’s get a doggie bag and we’ll go back. The FBI is picking the Sheriff up in the morning but he’s turning his badge and gun into one of his deputies tonight. Since he confessed they didn’t feel the need to come and get him right away. He asked for some time to get his affairs in order first.” Maggie frowned in disapproval. “The man belongs behind bars in my opinion. Did you see those poor kids? Who doesn’t report three missing boys? Especially having been raised in an abusive home. Floyd could have possibly killed them and buried them in the woods.”