Angel Flight - Cover

Angel Flight

Copyright© 2023 by UtIdArWa

Chapter 8

Olive Collins was pleased that she had just finished next year’s budget calculations and was now thinking about a pleasant night at home with her family when her phone rang. Seeing who was on the caller ID, Olive hoped her plans had not just been sidetracked.

Judith Stevens had been a thorn in Olive’s side since she transferred from Boise.

Judith had previously worked in California but had moved to Idaho. She claimed it was because of the cost of living. After working in Boise for a year, she started being transferred to smaller and smaller districts around the state. When she was transferred to Idaho County, Olive asked her boss, Harold Lawson, about it. He avoided any explanation, but asked that Olive do her best and keep an open mind. The rumor was that she had been asked to leave each time. None of the other administrators would discuss her with Olive.

Olive quickly learned that Judith was a square peg in a triangle hole. Several parents had made complaints about her attitude, but she had not crossed the line yet. Olive was dreading the day when Judith went over the line.

“Judith, what can I do for you?” she asked, trying to keep her voice pleasant.

“Ms. Collins, I just had the most disturbing meeting, and I have some concerns that I think should be investigated.” It was obvious that Judith was upset.

Trying to sound calm, Olive said. “Sounds serious, Judith. Please explain to me what’s going on.”

“Well,” She sniffed, “a man came in calling himself Matt Reynolds. He wanted some information on homeschooling.”

“Judith, I know you have objections to homeschooling, but we’re a bit off of the beaten track here, and a lot of folks don’t have the resources to transport kids to a formal schoolhouse. Not to mention the religious and political objections that some have. That’s why the rules are a bit laxer here than in more urban districts.”

“I understand that ma’am. It’s been explained to me several times. But when I advised Mr. Reynolds that the information was on the Internet, he said that he didn’t have the Internet. He didn’t even have internet access. In fact, he claimed that he had no phone at all or even electricity.”

“That happens. He might be homeless. We could direct him to social services. There are several state and federal programs available.”

“He denied being homeless and that his wife and child lived quite comfortably. When I offered to mail him the information, he told me he didn’t even have a mailing address. That he picked up his mail at a diner in Elk City. Then, when I asked for permission for a home visit, he said that he didn’t have an address but offered a set of GPS coordinates. He said that it would be a several-day hike to get there. I checked those coordinates later. Ms. Collins, it’s in the middle of the wilderness. There isn’t even a road leading to it.”

“I also checked the state adoption and foster child databases and couldn’t find either the child or Reynolds. I even checked the national missing child database, and still nothing. I’m not sure, but I’m afraid she might have been kidnapped. She might also be a child taken from a southern country. She has a Hispanic surname. She might even have been sold into slavery.” Olive could hear the near panic in Judith’s voice.

“OK, Judith, don’t worry, I’ll look into it. I’m sure that it’s nothing to worry about. But I need to remind you about confidentiality. You need to keep this quiet. Only discuss this with me.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Judith answered, but Olive could hear the disappointment and possible rebellion in her voice. A slight fear crept into Olive. Would Judith do something stupid and go to the media? Olive knew this might be a reason for Judith’s move to Idaho. It would not have been the first time a teacher had gotten into trouble for gossiping to the media.

After Judith finished her call, Olive began searching the more restricted databases. None of the involved names showed up on the State or Federal databases. She really became concerned when the NCIC query she made on Kathy Garcia came back as flagged restricted access.

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