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Normally, I wouldn't release information about the cases I've been on that aren't meant to be public information. It is my duty to ensure the privacy of the deceased is secure aside for possible evidence, but this case is...different. I've never faced something like this in my career as an investigator,and I'm not sure if there has ever been a more tragic case in the area.
The house was already collapsing when the fire department got there. At 2 AM, a call was made by a neighbor that the small home was ablaze. They knew a little girl lived there with her mother, though they hadn't seen the girl in about a week. When the flames were extinguished, we began to investigate what could have caused the fire. We found something I would rather not relive, but must.
A charred body was found in a closet that hid under a staircase like what you'd see in some older cartoons. Or, what was left of the closet, anyway; not much was salvageable after the fire. The body was small; looking like it'd belong to a young girl between the ages of four and six. She was curled in a fetal position, as if she were hiding in the closet. In her arms was a stuffed toy of a seemingly infamous children's cartoon villain, Swiper; missing one of the its arms. The doll was completely intact aside from that, as if the fire didn't even come near it, which I found odd since even the girl's body was burnt to a crisp. There was no sign of her mother anywhere.
We took the Swiper doll for evidence, to see if we could find anything that could give hint to her mother's whereabouts. We assumed the body we found was likely the little girl, Amelia Watson, age 6; daughter of Maria Watson, age 30.
We began searching to find clues in the doll we took from the scene, and found something none of us had expected. There was an object - no, two - inside of it, where there was a little hole in the Swiper doll's stitching. We cut the thread in order to retrieve what was inside. Miraculously, there were two pages of construction paper in the doll, folded up in little squares.
When we unfolded it, we found a message on both, written in purple crayon. One looked less sloppy than the other, as if one of them was written in a hurry. Both were addressed to Swiper, and had drawings of a little girl and the masked fox playing on the back of the pages. It was a bit difficult to understand at times, considering it's a young child's writing and thus doesn't have the best grammar, but it was easy enough to get an idea.
Swiper, I don't think you're as mean as Dora and Boots say you are. i think you are just lonely, like me. mommy never plays with me anymore. She's always drinking that stinky stuff from that bottle. one time, she even broke it on the wall, and pointed at me. Sadie ran away last week and mommy told me not to go near a pile of dirt by my swings. When i did, she put Sadie's collar on my neck and tied me here. i don't know what that means though, Swiper, what' does it mean? Oh well at least you wont do that. Right?
I'm sorry, Swiper!! mommy tried to take you away, but i wouldn't let her. now you're missing a arm, are you ok? I'm hiding in here now. what's that weird sound? it sounds like cereal pops, but loud. it's getting warm in here too, the door is too hot to open! wheres mo...
The messages end there. I believe this is the victim's testimony. Not only has this become a missing person's search, but a search for a murderer as well. We still hadn't found Maria until yesterday. Why did I choose today to release this? Well...something else happened.
We had sewn the Swiper doll back together after getting the notes out. It had been sitting in my office for a while, on a counter where it wouldn't be disturbed. We had a glass case over it to ensure that. Two days ago, I came into my office in the morning to find a little girl there.
The girl was blonde with very dark brown eyes, and wore a child's sleeveless summer dress, white in color. She was looking at the doll, but acted unsure of herself when she saw me, as if she were shy and tried to hide, but didn't know where. I walked up to her and kindly asked why she was there, but she said nothing, her gaze darting around the floor. I waited a moment, then asked if she wanted to see the Swiper doll. Her eyes immediately lit up, which I assumed was a 'yes'.
I took the doll out of the case and gave it to her. She hugged it tight, as if she never wanted to let go as she swayed back and forth. Had she been crying?
I glanced away for only a second, but when I looked back, she and the doll were gone. We all searched the grounds of the police station, but had no trace of her at all. It was if she'd vanished without a trace. That next day, Maria was found and arrested under aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Now, we're just starting to set up the trial for Amelia's murder, which will start next year if everything goes well.
I guess Amelia came back to get her friend, so that her mother wouldn't get him.