“I’ve solved a few of those cases. Sometimes it can be good news, sometimes it’s simply tragic. There’s nothing worse than having a family member disappear off the face of the earth…the not knowing can eat away at the family forever.”
“Had any cases where you were particularly pleased you were involved and found a missing someone?”
Nigel stopped walking and stared straight ahead. “Yeah, a case involving a little boy. We found him, dehydrated, weak, disoriented scratched up but otherwise safe. He’d wandered a couple of miles from home. It was a fenced yard and the parents went into the house for a couple of minutes to bring refreshments out and by the time they’d returned, he was gone. We discovered a very small hole in the hedge dividing their property from the neighbours and he’d managed to squeeze through and escape.”
“What made that case so special?”
“The parents had adopted, unable to have their own kids and they loved that little boy and it showed. They were completely devastated and grateful he was found safe and unharmed. It was very rewarding.”
“I guess that means there have been others that weren’t as rewarding? How do you handle those?”
“It eats at you, I give you that. Sometimes I wonder “what if” but that’s a scenario you can’t ever answer like what if the elements weren’t so bad that day if the persons’ choices had been different if they weren’t disoriented or confused; there are always a number of factors that play into the outcome. A seasoned hiker, for example, stands a much better chance of survival while someone out on a jaunt, unfamiliar with the area or how to respond, perhaps not equipped properly, can carry an entirely different result.”
Several hours later, having hiked through dense mountainous terrain, the two sleuths stopped, taking a quick break before continuing. They’d examined every inch of the pathway since finding the boot print hoping to find another clue. So far, nothing. Although he wasn’t given to second-guessing himself, he had wondered if the boot print were a plant until he looked at the picture he’d taken with his cell. Right depth for a man walking, which to him at least, indicated it had been worn at the time the impression was left. He was sure Roland had managed to leave that print. That there was only one, his alone, worried Nigel.