John Gray: A Tale of Hearts Part V

Welcome to the Mystery World of Reason…

“Marcy, explain to me what happened?” Steve says.

“Based on the autopsy the baby was still alive when the killer cut out her heart.” Marcy says sadly.

“That doesn’t make sense. I don’t think the killer would do this on purpose.” I say.

“I didn’t think so either,” Marcy says, “I was puzzled so I ran a bunch of tests and found out the baby had St. John’s Wort in her system.”

“St John’s Wort? That’s that herbal antidepressant isn’t it?” I ask.

“Yes.” Marcy says.

“I don’t get it, what does that have to do with the BZD not putting the baby to sleep?” Steve asks.

“St. John’s Wort is an inducer.” Marcy says. We both look at Marcy with blank stares. “What that means is St. John’s induces liver enzymes which increases the metabolism of the drug.”

“Ohh,” Steve says. “Still don’t get it.”

Marcy shakes her head. Sometimes, she forgets we didn’t all go to medical school. “Basically this herbal supplement made the drug that was supposed to put the baby to sleep, go away faster than it was supposed to. So the sleeping drug…umm…did not have enough time to put the baby to sleep.”

“Why was this in the baby’s system anyway?” I ask.

“That is a good question. St John’s is not supposed to be used in babies. The mother was probably depressed and was talking them herself. She probably thought it was safe.” Marcy says.

“So you don’t think the killer give it to the baby?” Steve asks.

“I have no reason to think that.” Marcy says plainly. “If this mother had postpartum depression, she may have thought it was safe because it is a herbal remedy. People often assume herbal remedies are always safe.”

“Can we try and find who prescribed St John’s, then maybe we can find the mother.” I say.

“St John’s is over the counter.” Marcy says. “But you can look to see if any doctor prescribed any antidepressants to a new mother. The mom may not have wanted to take the hard stuff, because she thought it would harm her baby. So look at women who have recently been diagnosed with postpartum depression.”

“Let’s go John, I have a friend who might be able to help us with this.” Steve says.

As we are walking out of the coroner’s office my phone rings. “Hello.” I answer.

“Hello, is this Detective John?” A woman says.

“Yes, who is this?” I ask.

“This is Lisa, from the children’s hospital, I’m calling regarding the birthmark you wanted us to locate. We found the baby that birthmark belongs to. How soon can you get here?” Lisa says.

“That’s great, we’ll be right over.” I say.

“Okay.” Lisa says, “Umm one more thing, the mother of that baby is here. She’s a bit confused and I’m not sure what to say.”

“What do you mean she’s confused?” I ask.

“Well,” Lisa begins to say then hesitates, “She’s asking for her baby. She said last thing she remembers is putting her baby down for a nap and then she took a nap herself, and when she woke up her baby was gone. She says there was a note in the crib saying to come to this hospital.”

“I don’t understand.” I say.

“She thinks she put the baby down this morning.” Lisa says, “But didn’t you guys find the body like two days ago?”

***

“Where is my baby?” Mary screams.

“Ma’am I understand you are worried, but please try to calm down and talk to us.” I say.

“But I don’t understand, where is my baby? Why did I find a note saying come here? Who took my baby?” Mary cries.

I turn to Steve, I just don’t have the heart to tell her that her baby is dead. “Mary, may I call you Mary?” Steve says.

“Yes.” Mary says.

“Where is your husband Mary?” Steve asks.

“He’s on his way here, he was on a trip, but I called him when I found the note. He should be here soon.” Mary says and she starts to cry again. “Why won’t anyone tell me anything.”

“What time did you find the note in the baby’s crib?” I ask.

“Her name is Cheryl. My baby’s name is Cheryl.” Mary says. “I found it a few hours ago, I came right here. This is the hospital I gave birth to her in. Please tell me why I am here. Who wrote this note?”

“Honey, honey, oh my God, what is happening?” A man comes into the conference room they have allowed us to use.

“Sir, my name is Detective Meres, you can call me Steve. This is Detective John Gray. What is your name Sir?” Steve says.

“Detective? What is going on Mary? Where is Cheryl?” The man asks frantically.

“Sir.” I say.

Mary’s husband looks at me, takes a deep breath then says, “My name is Barry.”

“Okay, Barry, why don’t you and your wife have a seat.” I say.

Barry and Mary both take a seat. “Mr. and Mrs. Hudson, a few days ago we found the body of a baby girl. She was about four months.” Mary starts to cry. “Ma’am we were not able to find the identity of the baby. Would please come with us and see if you can identify her?”

“What does this have to do with our Cheryl?” Barry says.

“Take me to see her?” Mary says.

We take the Hudson’s to the coroner’s office where they positively identify the baby as their daughter Cheryl.

“Please have a seat.” I say, after we arrive at the police station.

“Mary, I know this is a difficult time, and I cannot imagine what you are going through right now, but this this is very important, there might be another baby in danger. So can you tell me exactly what happened?” I ask.

“The last time I saw my baby was…I guess two days ago. But for me it was this morning. I fed her, and put her in her crib for a nap. I was so tired, so I went to lay down just for a moment before I got some chores done.” Mary says.

“Did you have anything to drink or to eat before taking the nap?” Steve asks.

“No.” Mary says. “I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

“Think Mary. You have to remember.” Barry says.

“Sir, is it normal for you to go a few days without talking to your wife?” I ask.

“Yes, when I am on certain business trips I can’t always talk on the phone so we usually just text.” Barry says.

“So you did receive text from your wife’s phone these past few days?” I ask.

“Yes.” Barry says.

“I had some tea before bed, it helps me relax. I had some ginger tea.” Mary says crying.

“And you didn’t see anyone or hear anything unusual in the house, is that correct?” Steve asks.

“Yes.” Mary says.

“So you’re telling me, someone broke into our house, stole our baby and my wife’s phone, and texts me. And then killed my baby. Why? Why would someone do this to us? This doesn’t make sense. The neighborhood you found her in, we don’t even know where that is?” Barry says.

“That seems like what happened Sir.” I say.

“Excuse me Detectives, can I speak to you.” Captain Philip says stepping into the room.

“Excuse us.” Steve says.

It must be important for Cap to interrupt an interview with these grieving parents. God please don’t tell me there’s another body. “Cap don’t tell me there’s another basket.” I say.

“No, thank God.” Cap says. “But I did get a call form that hospital, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the one where the first baby was born. Turns out the second baby was born there as well.”

“Did we identify the baby?” I ask.

“Yes, Marcy found out the baby had hemophilia, which is rare in girls. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital has a little girl on file who was recently born with hemophilia. Chambers and Stone are taking the parents now to identify the baby.” Cap says.

“Okay, keep us updated.” I say.

“Barry’s alibi checked out. He was delivering a speech in front of hundreds of people around the time the baby went missing. And Marcy doesn’t think Mary’s blood will have any trace of drugs because it’s been too long. But we do believe she was drugged. And the guys who searched their place came up empty. We have no idea how the killer got into that house.” Cap says.

We walk back into the room where Mary and Barry are holding each other crying. “Mary one more question?” I ask. “Do you have a baby sitter or anyone who would have keys to your house?”

“No, but we don’t usually keep the doors locked.” Mary says.

“You don’t?” Steve asks.

“It’s a good neighborhood, no one locks their door. You don’t think one of our neighbor’s did this do you?” Mary says.

“We are interviewing everyone now.” I say.

“I don’t understand why we could only see our baby through that glass, I want to hold her, one more time.” Barry says crying.

“We will release the body to you as soon as possible. We just have a few more test to run.” I say. We haven’t told them that their baby’s heart was removed.

“Can we leave now?” Barry asks.

“Yes of course. You have my card. And we will contact you as soon as we know anything.” Steve says.

We walk the Hudson’s out of the station. “These police officers will bring you home.” I say.

“Do you think the killer will come back?” Mary says.

“No we don’t think so.” Steve says.

Mary gets into the car, but Barry hesitates. “Was there something else, Mr. Hudson?” I ask.

“I just don’t understand this at all.” Barry says.

“Neither do we, to be perfectly honest.” Steve says.

“How could someone be so cruel? A baby is innocent and defenseless.” Barry says, “And to drug my wife. And text me so I wouldn’t suspect. This monster even sent me a picture of Cheryl. I never suspected anything was wrong. Anyway, please give us a call if you hear anything.”

“Wait, Barry, did you say the killer sent you a picture?” I ask, “Can I see that picture please?”

Barry takes out his phone and pulls up the picture. I look at it and show it to Steve. The baby is wrapped snuggly in one of the blankets the killer hand knit. “Have you ever seen this blanket before Barry?” I ask.

“No, why?” Barry ask.

“Mary, can you come out here for a second.” Steve asks, “Have you seen this blanket before?”

Mary looks at the picture and cries, “No, I have never seen it before.”

“Is this the only picture you received?” Steve asks.

“I also got this one.” Barry say as he shows us the picture.

Steve and I look at each other. “What is it? What is that look?” Mary says as she grabs the phone from Barry. “What is this? Why is my baby wrapped in this blanket? Why is she in this brown basket?”

Tune in Next week Thursday, June 25th to find out what happens next @wddij.net…

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