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Letter 4: Fighting for Truth

 

Dear Annie,

 

The next months were horrible, both with the grief and with not knowing.

 

I still remember some of the detectives’ remarks that Saturday afternoon in our house.

One was that your sudden death looked just like crib death except you were an adult.

A detective asked how long we had been married. Our answer of 40 years encouraged

him to pronounce that we would probably stay together. He did offer some sage

advice to not dwell on the “what ifs.” He said that the police would do everything they could for us, such as helping us get medical records. But in the months to come, we had to call his bosses to get a response from any of the detectives. We soon found out that once the police are certain that a victim is not killed by friends, family or suffer a violent death, they consider themselves out of the picture and do not typically respond to phone calls.

 

With the detectives still there, Dad called your brother and your sister. Dad’s tone and statement that he had very bad news made Maryellen think that I had died. Maryellen and Chris quickly arranged for their four-year-old, Elise, to stay with friends, and Glenn and Rachel brought 15-month-old Esmé with them.  When I remarked that I didn’t feel up to having Esmé around, the detective inquired if I didn’t like the crying.  My answer about how loquacious Esmé was made him smile and he said that she must be very smart. I felt as if the cops were doing their job, so they had not ruled us out us as suspects.  I saw them record our cars’ license plate numbers.

 

I wish that I had been able to see you again, but they didn’t offer to allow me that final view.

 

The mystery was on. We all were suspects. And Annie, forgive us.  We were sure you hadn’t taken any drugs but wondered if you had been murdered, and we sincerely hoped that you had not become involved with something nefarious. Our imaginations ran wild.

 

Love,

 

Mom