Apologies for my silence this past week. I've been conducting my investigation up here in Cottonwood Falls. To be honest, I was close to packing everything up and heading home. Up until yesterday, there was nothing. But let me start at the beginning.
Last Friday, August 11th, I started asking around about a missing person. According to my sources, a woman by the name of Sarah went missing. There was no last name listed but I figured how many Sarah's in this town of 900 people could be missing?
I started by checking with local shops. Neither owners nor employees recognized a woman named Sarah as missing. I wasn't discouraged, not at first. It might be a smaller town than say Miami back home but 900 people is still a lot. There's a good chance not everyone knows everybody,
I continued to look around through the weekend. Local newspapers, social media groups dedicated to the town, even the local library. None of them had information regarding someone named Sarah. Clearly, my sources were false.
Monday morning rolled around and I decided to take a little time off from my investigation. If you have a problem you can't figure out, step away and take a break. Advice I live by. It almost always works. So, I checked out the local shops, did a little shopping, ate at some restaurants. There's a river behind the motel with a small bridge extending over it. It's for foot traffic only. There's a big bold sign at the end exclaiming 15 tons maximum.
The bridge overlooks a small waterfall. It looks like it's part of some sort of of damn but it's not all that large. The water only falls about four feet or so. Still, it's very peaceful on the bridge. I stared at the running water for nearly ten minutes. I wanted to clear my head and it seemed to be working.
I slept pretty well that night, hardly thinking of the missing person. When I awoke, things seemed less stressful. Heading back in to town with a renewed vigor, I planned to get to the bottom of the case. But like before, I was coming up empty handed. This Sarah woman did not exist. There was simply no record of her.
Armed with only a first name, I headed to the courthouse. A Victorian style building that looked more like the house of a wealthy tycoon in the late 1800's stood before me. The American flag proudly waved above the highest red tiled tower. The elegance of the building was not lost on me.
Heading inside, I demanded the address for anyone with the name of Sarah in town. Naturally, they refused but I was able to persuade them. The method I used may or may not be illegal so I will choose to opt out of the explanation. But either way, I got my addresses.
The rest of the day was wasted at each individual home. There was not a single Sarah out of place in all of Cottonwood, Kansas. Exhausted, I went back to my motel and passed out on the bed. In the morning, I packed my bags and thought about leaving town right then, but decided I would give it one last try.
The local police station was a rather unimpressive building attached to the fire department. A giant rock by the side of the road had the words Chase County Law Enforcement Center painted on the front. There was no hope for this case. The officer's here would most likely resemble Sheriff Rosco from The Dukes of Hazard.
Thankfully, I was wrong. The man who greeted me at the front desk was slim and in good health. He nodded politely at me and asked what he could do for me.
"I'm looking for a lost person named Sarah and I can't seem to find anyone by that name missing."
"Does Sarah have a last name?" He stared at me like I was crazy.
"I don't have it. I manage a popular blog where I look into certain mysteries. Sarah from Cottonwood came up in some of my sources as missing. I'm trying to find out any information I can."
The officer looked a little nervous but eventually went to work. He typed on his keyboard and scanned his monitor carefully. "Well, we have a couple missing persons cases here," he told me. "But it's not that unusual. Mostly just folks who got tired of living here and left without telling their neighbors."
Now I was truly defeated. There were no other options but to pack up and leave town. This whole adventure had led me nowhere. Thanking the officer, I left the station with my head hung low. It seemed as if nothing sinister was going on in this small town.
As chance would have it, I walked by a patrol car in the parking lot. Something in the passenger seat caught my eye and I peered inside. My heart skipped a beat and my jaw fell open. Staring back at me from those gray cloth seats was a handful of crinkled up posters with big bold letters across the top: MISSING. There was a picture of rather attractive woman and below it was her name. Sarah Waiter.
All kinds of scenarios raced through my head. Maybe the officer inside didn't know yet. Maybe it wasn't official. Maybe his buddy was supposed to put up the signs and log the missing person but was lazy. But none of these were the right answer.
The police know Sarah Waiter is missing and yet they're doing nothing about it. In fact, they seem to be hiding it. I can only imagine they took the posters down to cover it up. But a more troubling thought occurred to me. Is the court house in on it too? They gave me the address to every Sarah in town. Did they leave one out? Or, worse yet, was one of the women I talked to not the real Sarah. How can I know? I know what she looks like now. Tomorrow, I'm going to revisit the homes and see which one is not her.
I'm on the cusp of something major here, I can feel it. Something terrible is happening in the heart of our country. There isn't a chance in hell I"m leaving here until I find out what that is.
I'll keep you all posted as to what I find. Right now, I'm sitting in my motel room writing this on the bed. A few times I cracked the curtains to check outside and I could swear a black car was sitting out there for hours. As I type this now, it's no longer there. But I think I might have stirred someone's attention. Fear not, Truth Seekers, for this is the path I have chosen and we will not be scared away!