Kidnapping of Jeanie Turnburg
Life As It Was
I was a bizarre child and my mom Jeanie Turnburg who was a mother of a kid with autism was brought a new challenge every day. A lot of kids misunderstood me, and it made school rough. My mom named me Ethan, and I hated my name with a burning passion, but I never opened up to my mom about any issue, because I didn’t want to place a burden on her because in my mind I already was a burden.
It was a typical Tuesday morning. My usual 6:30 alarm went off and I hopped out of bed to begin to get ready for school. I went to go brush my teeth and debate taking a shower so instead I decided to brush my long blonde hair to make myself at least look presentable. After brushing my teeth and brushing my hair I went to my closet to pick out my usual outfit, which consisted of jeans and a button-down shirt. In my mind, I felt like I had to look good to feel good. Going down the slippery wood steps to the kitchen to eat my breakfast I stopped for a second and looked outside and saw what appeared to be the most disgusting day all month. It was rainy and dark out. The sky was almost as dark as the night sky, which didn’t help my already bad depression. Continuing down the stairs I smelt breakfast, which my mom made me every morning. I had my usual breakfast, which consisted of strawberry toaster strudel with frosting made in the shape of a smiley face. Considering that I was only seven this amused me every morning.
In the middle of breakfast the bus came and I didn’t know it till I heard the driver honking the horn. I still hadn’t gotten the 7:15 am bus arrival time down pat. My bus driver’s name was Boris. He was a cranky old man who looked like he was in his 80s. He had a gigantic bald spot and many wrinkles. He shook more than a Chihuahua, which was very unsettling considering he is a bus driver busing around young kids. After my mom kissed me good-bye and leaving behind my half-eaten breakfast I darted out the door to get to the bus.
After I boarded the bus I sat in my usual seat. It was a big bus, I sat in the 3rd row from the very back because I like the little hump where the wheel well is and the only downside to that seat was that the air conditioner leaked on me, but I learned to sit on the inside of the seat so it wouldn’t affect me. As we were on our way we pulled slowly away from my house. My bus route had 28 kids on it and I was the first stop, which meant I was on the bus for a very long time. It seemed like over an hour but it was only a half hour. The kids didn’t like me very much, but it was probably because I sang along to my music and didn’t realize it. They criticized my music and said to me “if you’re gonna sing to music at least listen to some good music.” Reaching 7:45 we approached John Adams Elementary School and I got off the bus. Of course, knowing me being the klutz I am I fell off the bus and into a gigantic puddle and my horrible day began.
I reached 1st period and Ms. Kurtz began taking attendance and she always pronounces my name wrong and it frustrates me so much. However, it wasn't as frustrating because I had my buddy Ryan with me. Ryan was quite an interesting kid in the sense that he was that fat kid in the school that no one talked to and he would try to involve himself with the popular kids who wanted nothing to do with him. However, he made up for his lack of social skills because he knew how to make someone laugh when they were upset. Ryan and I would hang out after school almost every day. It was nice to have Ryan since I was the kid who no one wanted to talk to or sit with. However, Ryan didn’t care. He saw the good in me. So, Ms. Kurtz began teaching and today we were learning multiplication and we were learning our 2 times tables. Math is my weak point and it showed. It was so bad the kids made fun of me. I was asked “alright Ethan what is 8x2?” trying to answer the best I could I said “82?” and the kids laughed and she said “no it’s 16. Because Ethan got it wrong class you get double the work and hopefully you will all be prepared for the upcoming test.” So now kids were throwing spitballs and yelling at me. I ran away without a hall pass into the bathroom to cry, but my absolute favorite person in the school Ms. Francine came to my rescue and calmed me down and then everything started to feel better.
5th period approaches and I walk into the lunchroom and open my brown paper bag that had my name on it to find a PB&J sandwich with the crust cut off. My mom always left a note for me in my lunch bag. Today it said, “Ethan I hope you have a great day and I have a surprise for you when you come home!” I got so excited I couldn’t contain myself. I had a gigantic smile on my face. I couldn’t wait for 8th period, because I could go home and see my surprise. I really hoped it was a puppy, because I always wanted a dog, but I wasn’t prepared to take care of it. 8th period came and my bad day was going to end great because of my surprise. Ryan was going to come on the bus with me, because we both thought it was going to be a puppy and I wanted him to help me name him.
I walked to the bus line where all the buses were waiting for the kids to get on and go home. I was the very first bus in the line, which meant a far walk, but I didn’t mind. I yelled for Ryan to move faster so he'd make it on the bus too. Ryan was also very bad at sports due to him being overweight and he had difficulty moving. Ryan and I hopped on the bus and because I was the first pickup I was the first drop off. Boris let me off at my house and I approached my doorstep, I found the newspaper was still there. Ryan looked at it and said to me “you shouldn't leave your paper on the step because it will get stolen”. Looking at him and rolling my eyes at the stupidity of the comment I then thought to myself this was strange because my mom always takes it in to read with her morning cup of coffee, before she heads off to work. Although she works weird hours, she always was home for me when I got home to ask me how my day was and to make me a snack. Her car was in the driveway so I knew she was home and I could get my surprise. I found the door was unlocked and slightly opened so I walked in and yelled “Ma! I’m ready for my surprise!” but there was no answer. I thought to myself maybe she’s sleeping, because she must have had a rough day. She vented to me about how her boss can be very hard and throws a lot of work on her and she thinks it is because she’s one of the few women at the FBI agency. But, I looked around the house and strangely the lamp in the living room was knocked over and broken and her coffee was still on the table instead of cleaned and put in the dishwasher. Even stranger was that the TV wasn’t on in the room with Oprah playing, which she DVR’s all the time. Now I got concerned and I ran up to her room to see if she was there, but she wasn’t. Ryan tried to calm me down but I got really scared considering she was the only person who lived with me, because my dad died fighting a fire as a volunteer fire fighter when I was very young. I got scared and didn’t know what to do. Ryan said to me in hope of calming me down “maybe she got lost on the way back from the grocery store” which I realized he said that because there wasn't much food in the house. However, I was in such a tizzy that I sat there and cried because my mom meant the world to me and I didn’t know how to cook or clean. I also doubt that Ryan knew how to do anything besides look through my kitchen and eat everything in sight.
I decided to do the next thing I could think of. I ran to the phone to call my grandma. My grandma was 78 years old and not in a good health state or mental state so I thought to myself maybe Gigi wasn’t the best person to call. I called 911 and said “I need help. My mom is missing and there’s a broken lamp and I think she was kidnapped.” They said to me “what’s your address and your name?” I told them what they needed to know and in 20 minutes they were banging on the door. I ran over to the door and this tall, buff, and intimidating police officer said, “my name is officer Bryan are you Ethan?” I said, “yes”. He responded with “so I hear your mother is missing. I’ll come inside and we’ll start investigating.” Ryan interjected and said, “I'm Ryan not that anyone cares”. Bryan ignored him and came inside with about three other people who had equipment and gigantic suitcases filled with tools and they began to look around. Ryan didn’t want to leave me alone in this unusual situation.
I was very curious as I had followed them around and was fascinated. I turned around to see where Ryan was and of course he was sitting at my kitchen table downing rainbow cookies and whatever soda was left in my fridge. So instead of yelling at him to come help I figured I’d let him eat. The investigators that came with Bryan were dusting the lamp and looking around at my door and whispered something to officer Bryan. He looked puzzled and approached me with a sincere and somewhat soothing tone and said, “Do you have anyone you can stay with?” I replied with “my grandma but she lives in a few streets down and doesn’t like driving why?” he said to me, “we think your mom has been kidnapped and we are going to do everything in our power to find her”. At this time, Ryan came over to comfort me as I started hysterically crying and thinking to myself “what am I going to do? who’s going to make me my favorite breakfast and kiss me good night and check in on me to make sure I’m asleep.” The other investigator who looked like she had kids came over to me and said, “don’t cry Ethan. We will find her. We always do and don’t worry we will drive you to your grandma’s. Pack a bag with everything you need and like to keep you occupied and we’ll head out in a half hour.” I packed Boo Bear my teddy bear and my clothes, but it was still hard to do, because my mom usually does all of this for me and I was new to this stuff. I really wanted Ryan to sleepover to comfort me and keep me calm. Reluctantly Ryan agreed to sleepover.
A half hour passed and we left in the cop car. I cheered up when she let me push the button to make the sirens go on. We began our 10-minute drive to grandma’s who lived a few streets down. As we approached her house she stood outside and with much confusion as to who I was and why I was here she soon put the dots together realized it was me and then hugged me. She was quite old and on the verge of becoming completely senile if not already senile I had to brace myself for what she would say to Ryan. After she saw Ryan I was happy I braced myself because all I heard was “who are you and why are you in my house fatty?” that’s when I realized this is gonna be an interesting night. After explaining to her who Ryan was and calming Ryan down after the verbal attack she took us inside to her house and I already felt uncomfortable and I assumed Ryan was even more uncomfortable. It smelt like mold and had a very doom and gloom atmosphere. It looked like she bought knick-knacks back in the 40s at a yard sale. I prayed my mom would be found soon. Gigi said to me, “it’s supper time so wash up, close the TV, and let’s get ready to eat!”. Ryan said to me “what’s supper?” and at this point I looked at him and had no words so I ignored his stupid question.
She wasn’t the best chef so I wound up eating her crunchy pasta and pretending to like it, because I didn’t want to make her feel bad. She attempted to make dinner conversation, but she wasn’t great at it. I missed watching TV during dinner and yessing my mom to death to make her think I’m paying attention. During dinner, she tried to figure out why we were there and eventually she gave up and said “not that I don’t love having you here Steven” I quickly interjected and said “Gigi it’s Ethan.” She said “oh right Ethan. Why are you here.” I assumed that the police had told her what happened. But, I guess either she forgot or they didn’t tell her. I proceeded to tell her “that mom is missing and the police are trying to find her.” After taking a second to grasp that she said “Wait what? Oh, I got to call Meryl and tell her what happened. She’s going to say I told you so. She said some gypsie woman she sees predicted this. Oh dear!” After finishing that awkward dinner and hearing Gigi shout into the phone I left the table and began my wind down time, which consisted of watching TV and relaxing while eating my mint chip ice cream. 9 PM approached and Gigi walked in and said, “Alright time to get off to sleep. Close the TV give me the clicker and let’s go off to bed”. Ryan asked her “where am I sleeping” and predictably her follow up was “who are you?”. I took control of the situation and said that I would blow up an air mattress in the room I was sleeping in. So, I shut off the TV and went into the dark and smelly bedroom. The bed felt like sleeping on rocks and the blankets were itchy like a wool sweater. I missed my night-light, which helped me feel like no monster in my closet or anything could get me. Sleep was impossible, but grandma was a heavy sleeper and I wanted to do some investigating of my own to find my mom. With Ryan by my side we went downstairs, put on our heavy jackets, our slippers, and went outside to walk home. It was a short walk and a cold wet night, but I needed the exercise and it would be good for me. However, I was wondering if Ryan could do the trip before sunrise. Much to my surprise he was quicker than I thought and had more stamina than I thought.
Approaching home, we scouted out to see if the cops left and to see what was what. I saw the police tape, but I didn’t care and we went under it being thankful I was still short and didn’t have to bend much. I was praying my neighbors didn’t see us and call the cops, because I knew we would be in major trouble. I looked around for clues as if I was an investigator and noticed a few peculiar things. I noticed a trail of what looked like dried coffee stains going along the carpet towards the sliding door that led to the backyard. There was a yellow plastic number next to the stain and I was confused as to why the numbers were there, but I just nodded it off. I looked at the door and sure enough it was unlocked, which was rare. We barely even used the door; because we weren’t outdoors people my mom and I were perfectly fine staying inside. I gasped in astonishment when I saw tire tracks as if someone put her in some sort of ATV and drove out of the backyard. Ryan was also a lot of help. Without him saying “let’s check outside” I would've never seen the tire tracks. Under the suspicion that I may have been right I went to see if the gate door that leads to the street was unlocked and once again I was right. I felt like a real investigator and Ryan was really good at it. Realizing we only had so much time before we had to be back at Gigi’s we followed the tracks to the street, where we saw a different type of tire tracks. Thankfully Ryan had an extensive knowledge on cars and was able to tell based on the tread design and size that it was an SUV. The tracks led off towards Oak Street and we were hot on the trail. We soon realized that the tracks would disappear and then we had no idea what we should do. I was upset when I realized it was hopeless and then it hit me like a pile of bricks although that may have been Ryan throwing rocks at me to get my attention, which I still don’t understand because he had nothing to say. I remembered the neighbors had cameras and I thought maybe I could hack into them and see what’s what. The neighbors were an angry, old, cranky couple and I was afraid if they found out what we were doing it would not be pleasant.
I soon realized we had to get back to Gigi’s because the sun was coming up. We snuck back into bed and pretended we were asleep. All of a sudden I heard a loud bang and I questioned if I should get out of bed to look. I got out of bed and looked in Gigi’s room. As I turned around the corner and saw Gigi had fallen out of bed again and was sleep talking about some old guy named Morty. Debating on waking her up I decided to go back to bed and go to sleep. Ryan was a very heavy sleeper so of course he didn’t hear any of this. But then all of a sudden I hear “Oh my god! I left the cat on the roof!” After realizing she didn’t have a cat sleeping at Gigi’s turned out to be worse than I thought it would be. Also, I wondered if Ryan would still be my friend after realizing how insane my family is.
6:15 AM came and we had to wake up and get ready. My whole routine was thrown off, because of a different house and the lack of toaster strudel. After doing as much of getting ready as I could I looked like a mess, because I left my hairbrush at home as well as my favorite jeans. Ryan looked and smelt even worse but there wasn't much I could do about that besides dousing him with her terrible air freshener. We came downstairs and looked to see what Gigi had to eat and all I found was an abnormally large amount of Raisin Bran and sadly no milk. Puzzled by the lack of milk I ate my Raisin Bran dreading every bite because it tasted like cardboard when it didn’t have the milk and surprisingly Ryan said he wasn't hungry and instead would eat something at school. At around 7:05 AM we began our walk home to catch the bus.
I was in a mood where I didn’t want to be disturbed and just wanted to be left alone. Sadly, Ryan was his usually peppy and very energetic self, which I didn’t want to deal with today. I was in that kind of mood where I would be very easily set off and it wouldn’t end well if I had a bad day. The bus ride went fine, but the real issue was 1st period. I rarely had a meltdown, but when I did it wasn’t pretty. Luke the school bully started picking on me and calling me names so let’s just say I hit my point. I got out of my seat so fast the desk itself flipped over. I screamed at him “shut up you dumb hog!” Now being in elementary school this was a big thing. Ms. Kurtz yelled at me “Ethan go to Mr. Weinberg’s office at once!” While most of the class had their jaws dropped at the comment the people he bullied were happy that someone stood up to him. Mr. Weinberg was the principal that everyone feared. He was in his 60s, fat, and loud and everyone feared him. When a kid heard the words off to the principal’s office it struck enough fear into you many would wind up soiling themselves. I was tough on the outside but weak on the inside. Thankfully I never soiled myself and wasn’t intimidated most of the time, but I felt like this time it would be very different.
Connecting The Dots
As I was off to the principal’s office the thoughts of my mom and the words Luke said lingered in my mind. I walked into the principal’s office, which was on the other side of the building. Nancy the secretary greeted me by saying, “you must be Ethan. We got a call from Ms. Kurtz. Head right in, Mr. Weinberg is expecting you”.
Scared out of my mind I stepped into the office and wondered what would he say to me. I proceeded into a very brightly lit room and it smelt of cheap old person cologne. The principal said to me “Ethan I’m not going to yell or scold you, I want to comfort you in knowing that the school and I are here for you for anything you need.” Puzzled by this I said, “I don’t understand”. He replied with “I heard about your mom and we are here for you if you need anything”. Feeling comforted I got up and went back to class, but on my way out he said “try not to have any meltdowns. You can only get so many get out jail free cards.”
On my way, back to class I passed Ms. Francine. Even though she was juggling a billion things and running late to teach her next science class she pulled me over and talked to me and expressed how sorry she was and how she would be here for anything. I never felt so comforted at school in my entire life and it made me feel like I was important and loved, something I never felt at school and never thought I would.
Things were easy at school but I panicked and was dreading the end of the day because I realized that I would be going to my grandma’s house again. I was going back and forth contemplating asking Ryan to sleep over again, but I realized I needed him to help me find her. This whole situation brought out a brave side of me that I never knew existed. The school day ended and we went to Gigi’s, ate my snack of cookies with no milk and of course Ryan ate more of them than I did. After our snack, we hopped on my laptop. While Gigi thought I was playing a game of some sort, I was really hacking into the neighbor’s camera network to access the footage. I was really good with computers so this helped a lot. I scrolled through the footage skipping through pointless times and narrowed it down to the occurrence happening at 8 AM. I zoomed in on the car and found it was a black SUV with the license plate CMA-4898. Part of me was shocked that Ryan was right about the type of car but the other part of me just wanted this to be over. I wanted to bring it to the police but then I would’ve had to explain how I got the info and that would open a whole can of unnecessary worms.
While Ryan and I brain stormed about what we could do we decided that we should go onto the DMV website and we searched the license plate and we got a hit. I was so happy and Ryan was so pleased with himself. We soon realized we were one step closer to finding her and I really felt like I was a grade A investigator. We found out it was a 2008 Chevy Tahoe that was registered to someone named Mark Lestman. I thought if I knew anyone named Mark, but sadly came up with nothing. I turned to Ryan to ask him but then I realized that he could barely remember what he ate five minutes ago so instead I went and looked more at the info and found an address. I looked at a map for the address 1284 Wickilow Drive and bingo I found it and it was so close. It was within a mile and that brought so much joy to me. I could only imagine what my mom was going through and if she was being tortured. I thought to myself when I get my hands on them they are going to regret it. I realized wait I’m 7 years old and my only backup was a 270 pound 8-year-old who was barely capable of moving and that we would be going against adults and I felt hopeless. It sank in that we hit a major setback.
We began to look for things we could use as weapons. I found a bat, brass knuckles, a Swiss army knife, and handcuffs that were moist and had seemed like they were used a lot. Even though I wondered why they were moist and used a lot I nodded it off. I recruited the team I thought would be best and I had my posse, because I realized Ryan couldn’t do much. I found Stuart from P.E., Jack from the wrestling team, and Ronny from the basketball team. I was shocked they wanted to help me and wondered why they were helping me, but when I asked their answers surprised me. They all had a family member with autism and felt sympathetic, because they wouldn’t wish that on anyone especially someone who relied so heavily on their mom and was helpless without her. I finally felt like I had the people and team I needed to accomplish my mission.
The Big Clue
Later in the day Ryan and I went over to the house on Wickilow Drive and we saw the Black Tahoe and I was too scared to look in the window, because I didn’t want to see what was there. Thinking to myself I was wondering if it was a dead body or a tied-up mother or something worse. Instead Ryan got a moment of bravery and looked in and found nothing and we hit a dead end. Strangely it looked like no one lived there. There was no furniture and rats were running around everywhere. I got so upset and went back to the crime scene feeling helpless and failed. Ryan came back with me and we went back to my computer and looked at the footage again and realized we missed something so critical. When the car was caught on the camera it was slowing down, because its brake lights were on. I entered a code and it switched to the next cameras footage and I was appalled to see what happened; My mother with a bag over her head and her wrists tied with a zip tie being thrown into a Red SUV with a huge dent in the bumper. I broke down into tears at the sight of it, but said to myself I got to be strong and keep doing what I was managing to do so well. Ryan comforted me and helped me realize I was making more progress than the police and that made me feel like a real detective. I felt like I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. When I mentioned to Ryan that I wanted to be a detective he said annoyingly “one step at a time. You haven't found her yet”.
We went back to the DMV website and found out that the red SUV was registered to Mark also, but it had a different address and I got really confused. I was thinking over and over again what could’ve happened. I even had a meeting with my posse and they said, “You’re missing the biggest thing. It’s right there in front of your face.” I was very puzzled. They said, “The car isn’t going in the direction of any of the houses. It’s going towards the town.” Then Ryan trying to seem like the smart one said “yeah Ethan how could you miss that?”. I didn’t want to insult him by saying he missed it too I nodded it off.
Feeling like a complete idiot I quickly jotted down the plate and the SUV info and brought it to a couple stores in town and tried to explain what happened without giving away too much info. Ryan made more progress than I did because he was much better with words. I don’t have the best handwriting, which basically means I have chicken scratch, but I did the best of making out what was supposed to be the license plate that I put on a post it to the store managers. Most of the stores let me see their videotapes. That surprised me more than anything. I guess they were sympathetic also, but they were also astonished at the progress I made and that a 7-year old with autism can do so much.
We looked at each tape and finally hit the jackpot and we found the SUV. It turned onto another residential street and things started to get heated. I had to hack again into another neighbor’s camera and boy were my hacking skills getting better and better. Ryan started to get nervous when I would hack because it was illegal and he didn’t want any trouble. I even taught my posse a bit about hacking, but they were not the brightest so I quickly gave up on that and trying to teach Ryan would've been more difficult than finding a vaccine to become immortal so I really gave up on that. In a half hour, I hit the even bigger jackpot when I got a glimpse of the kidnapper. He was tall, buff, and had a large Afro and it wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. He kind of looked more like a basketball player. However, something made me think that I knew him. Then it hit me. He worked with my mom and I didn’t think about how her job tied in with this. She was an analyst at the FBI branch in my town and I realized he probably kidnapped her to get information that he didn’t have clearance to get. I soon realized this was so far out of my league I decided to bring it to the authorities.
Rather than bringing it to the police I thought I’d cut out the middleman and bring it directly to the FBI. Most of the workers knew me because I went to work with my mom a lot. I was always fascinated at what she did and how she worked. They had really high tech computers and sophisticated security systems. They let me and Ryan in the building and I showed them what we found. The building has a hands-off policy, which is something that Ryan can’t comprehend and I was shocked that they didn’t kick us out. They were very surprised at how far we came with all this info, but they said they needed to wait until it was in their missing persons database before they could do anything, which takes around a few days. One of my many faults was my serious lack of patience.
I couldn’t wait the few days and had to spend more days at Gigi’s not that her falling out of bed and talking about her ex-lovers wasn’t fun. It’s just that I missed my own bed, my mom, and a household with milk. So once again I took matters into my own hands. I assembled my posse and we came up with a game plan. We had a stereotypical whiteboard and we got cracking. We decided to go in from the back and give it all we got. Even though this was risky I felt like we could do it if we all worked together.
Operation Rescue Jeanie
The next day after having another breakfast of Raisin Bran without milk and Ryan complaining about the lack of food we were ready for our fight. I assembled my posse and we got into position and being as good with computers as I am I was able to freeze the picture on their cameras and turn off the alarm that helped us more than anything. So, when I hit the button on my phone the door unlocked and we came in, but much to our surprise they weren’t home, but my mom was. She looked like a wreck. It looked like they tortured her to get info out of her. She was beaten up and looked like she was turned into a different person because her clothes were torn up, she was sweaty, and her hair was a mess. She was so happy to see me that she was nearly in tears. It was much to her surprise to see so many people helping me and the fact that Ryan came this far without passing out and there wasn't a giant pool of sweat underneath him. I then thought to myself this is way too easy. There must be some booby trap or something.
Ryan noticed something that I didn’t and thankfully he stopped me, picked a stone up and flicked it onto the floor to see what would happen and sure enough stuff happened. An alarm went off and I realized we had to move fast so I took Stuarts Swiss army knife and cut her free. We ran as far as we could and escaped with time to spare. Once again much to my surprise Ryan kept up. My mom was so happy to see me she was crying and hugging me and asked how everything was going, but we spoke too soon neither her or my posse knew she had a tracking bracelet around her ankle and we didn’t realize it till we were more than half way home. The kidnappers snatched both of us and that’s where I knew it was game over. Sadly, my posse went home already, but we didn’t know Ryan wasn't far behind so at that moment it was just my mom and I.
I knew I had to be a man and seem tough but on the inside I was upset, scared, and breaking down. When they brought us to some undisclosed location I remembered that a few days earlier I went to the FBI. I prayed they didn’t know that because I realized the FBI would step in. Hours passed with nothing from a rescue team. We were starved, electro shocked, and even water boarded. This seems quite messed up to do to a 7-year-old child, but I knew I had to be a man and tough it out, because it would help my mom stay as calm as she was capable of being at that moment.
When I thought all hope was lost I heard one of the kidnappers shout, “Mark you’re going to want to come look at this.” So, as Mark left the room my mom and I were insanely frightened. Not knowing what would happen to us next I thought it was going to be our last day alive and I was so upset and frightened, because I wanted to do so much more in life and not die at age seven. I heard gunshots and a helicopter and I had no idea what was going on. Tt sounded like there was a war outside.
I was crying tears of joy when I saw men with the FBI jackets on coming swarming in to our rescue. They said “Ethan you’re a very smart man and you have a great friend. He helped us find you guys as well as catch the kidnappers. He was tied to eight other kidnappings and murders.” My mom and I went home free. Although shaken up we were free and nothing felt better than that. With much graciousness for helping us we treated Ryan to McDonalds. Later that day in an attempt to calm me down my mom told me about my surprise. Ryan and I looked at each other wondering what it could be. My suspicions were right. It was a puppy. It was a golden retriever and I named him Paul after my dad who passed. Ryan wanted to name it Bob, but I gave him the look that says, “shut up I'm naming him.” Paul knows how to cheer me up and make me smile.
Although I still go day by day afraid and scared, my mom got me a trauma counselor who helps a lot. She helped me realize that without Ryan I wouldn’t have my mom back. Thankfully, now I can go to sleep with a warm kiss from my mom and a nice cozy non-itchy bed to sleep in. I felt kind of bad leaving Gigi because she is old and still falls out of bed talking about ex-lovers, but she still was a pretty good caretaker in the meantime. But at last it felt good to have my routine back to normal and have my mom sitting by my side ready at command when I need her.