This December was set to begin like any other in the quaint small town along the Mississippi. The air was filled with the smell of the fresh fallen rain the night before, the gentle breeze rustled the leaves and branches, and the town was waking up to start their day. The traditions in this small town were very well known and December first began their Holiday Traditions. This was just like a regular small town, everyone knew everyone, their doors stayed unlocked, and everyone watched out for each other. Soon this small town would find out their town will be changed for good.
The day started perfect. Decorations began to be put up as the breeze blew. Soon all the streets would be filled with Holiday decor. There would be banners that hung from buildings, snowflakes that light up the night, and garland hung on the stop lights. Every person in town had started their morning duties. Nothing seemed to be wrong and it seemed like this December would go like any other.
Sheriff Blake Buchert was in his office cleaning and straightening when his phone rang at 0800. This phone call set the stage for this December in the small quaint town. On the phone was a frantic local women, Mrs. Strauss. She was calling to report her daughter missing.
"Sheriff, I haven’t seen my daughter since she left to go to her friend, Gabriella Waters, house to study and do homework. She left at 6:30 pm. She called me at 6:50 from Gabby's house phone to let me know she was there and left her phone at home on the charger and she would try to be home by 11:00." explained Mrs. Strauss.
"Did you hear from her after that?" asked the sheriff.
"At 10:15 she called and said she was going to leave by 10:30 because it was starting to rain. She said I could go to bed and not wait up since we leave our door unlocked. I went to bed with my husband and didn't wake up the rest of the night." continued Mrs. Straus.
"When did you notice she was missing ma'am?" asked Sheriff Blake.
"I woke up at 6:30 to get ready for work and I heard her alarm going off so I thought she slept through it and I went to wake her. When I got to her room her phone was still on the pillow and plugged up to her charger. I turned off her alarm and noticed her bed was still made. I looked at her phone and noticed she had text messages from Gabby asking if she had gotten home. I started to search the house for her to see if she had come in and crashed and just never checked her phone. I could not find her anywhere."
"Did you call anyone else to see if maybe she stayed somewhere or anything?
"I called to see if she stopped at her boyfriends, Trevor Snowden''s, house instead of coming home because of the rain. He didn’t hear from or see her since last night when she went to Gabby's house. I could not think of any other place she would go that late so I called you. I NEED YOU TO FIND HER!!!"stated a crying Mrs. Strauss.
"Mrs. Strauss, please calm down and tell me what she was last wearing so that I can help find her" stated the worried sheriff.
"She is 17, 5'7", white, petite, maybe 115 pounds, blonde hair, blue eyes, a mole on her left wrist, a birthmark on her right thigh and a scar above her right eye brow. She was last wearing a pair of blue jeans with a ripped knee, a white tank top with a pink and blue plaid shirt over it, her BHS Marching band rain jacket, with her white tennis shoes with a VS carved in them, and her heart locket from her boyfriend with an inscription that said, "I love you forever~Amen". She also had her iPod with her pink earbuds. I’ll bring you a photo. I just want my daughter back." said, Mrs. Strauss
"Thank you Mrs. Strauss. A photo will be very helpful." said Sheriff Blake as he took down all the information.
Sheriff Buchert sat and wrote out a report and sent the information out to the rest of the force and neighboring towns and counties. The phone rang again at 0930 and what the sheriff heard next sent chills down his spine and fear into his heart. He heard a young males voice that was broken.
"Th-th-ther-there's a b-b-bo-body in in in the the d-di-ditch" spoke the young male.
"What's your name sir?" asked the sheriff.
"umm.....ummm.ummm its Clark ummm Bishop sir" Stated the young male
"Okay, Clark I need you to calm down for me and breathe and tell me what’s going on and where you are." stated Sheriff Blake.
"The-the-there's a b-bo-body in the the di-ditch off off off of umm Redd Redd Rd." Stuttered Clark
"I was on the way to the st-st-store from my umm families farm and and the-ther-there she she she was, ju-jus-just lay-laying there. Im Im Im only a a half umm mile from from Main Street." continued Clark.
"Okay, Clark thank you for calling but I need you to stay there until we get there and get your information, okay?" asked the sheriff.
"Clark, Clark? Mr. Bishop?" asked the sheriff with no response.
There was no answer, the phone line went dead. Sheriff Blake Buchert tried calling the number back but to no avail. The number was disconnected. Fearing the worst he called his deputies and dispatched them to the scene.
Once on scene the deputies found it necessary to call in the sheriff and the coroner.
The sheriff and the coroner, Bill Barnes, arrived around the same time. What they saw made their stomach’s churn and their blood boil. In a ditch along Redd Road, was a body of a female. She was not moving and completely cold. Rigor had already set in. It was only 1100. Her body was covered in mud, blood, and bruises. Who was this girl? Was it Victoria Strauss? Who could have done this? Where did the guy that called go?
The deputies and sheriff took special care in preserving the scene and locating evidence as well as staying calm. There had been no murder in the area in more than 50 years so no one was prepared for what they needed to do.
The sheriff looked over the body. The girl was wearing jeans with a tank top and a blue and pink plaid shirt over top. This made the sheriffs heart sink. This could be Victoria Strauss. Her tennis shoes were white but covered in mud, but not enough to cover the VS that was clearly on them. This was definitely Victoria Strauss. Her hair although muddy was blonde. Around her neck was the wire that led to pink earbuds. The wire was wrapped so tight around her neck that the coroner would cut it off later. If this was Victoria Strauss, where was her necklace, jacket, and iPod?