I Know Her Name Is Carlye

ForEverBren By ForEverBren, 17th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2vqngl3i/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

I've seen her face before; on milk cartoons, billboards, bus stops, and bulletin boards, just not in my city. Now she's in my home.

I Know Her Name Is Carlye

I was sitting in my recliner eating a bowl of sherbet, watching my favorite talk show when the door bell rang. It was the first day I have had off from work in two weeks. We had been very short handed in the hospital emergency room lately, where I worked as a nurse. Reluctantly, I got up and answered the door.

"Cynthia Chase?" the officer asked as I opened the door. There were three male officers and a female at my front door. Two of the officers were in police uniforms and the other one one had on a suit but flashed his FBI badges as quickly as I could blink my eyes. The woman later identified herself as a representative with Child Protective Services.

"Yes, I'm Cynthia." I replied holding my chest, confused. The only thing I could think of was something had happened to my six year old Carlye.

"May we come in ma'am. We have a few questions we need to ask you."

"Sure, come on in." I stumbled, stepping aside to let them in.

I let them inside, offering everyone a seat. The FBI agent sat his briefcase on my coffee table and took out two pictures, one was of a baby girl and the other picture was of a little girl about six years old. It appeared to be an enhanced picture of the baby.

"We have reasons to believe this little girl is living with you." Do you recognize the child in these pictures?" The agent asked holding up each picture one at a time.

I looked at both pictures. I had seen the faces somewhere but I wasn't sure where I had seen them. The name at the bottom of the pictures said Amanda Riley. I didn't know anyone with that name. This confused me even more as to why they were at my house.

Sitting down on the arm of my recliner I replied, "I'm confused as to why you guys are here. I don't know this little girl. And no, she don't live with me." I immediately got defensive and walked across the room and picked up a picture of Carlye and showed it to the officers.

I met Carlye's dad Dan four years ago when Carlye was almost two. He was a doctor at the hospital where I worked. We hit it off from the very start. After dating six short months we were married. Carlye is Dan's daughter from his first marriage. Her mom had died due to complications during childbirth. I'd never asked Dan exactly what complications his ex wife had because he would always get upset when the subject was brought up.
Carlye was as sweet as Rob and was easy to fall in love with. Around the time Carlye was four she asked me if she could call me mom. Dan and I were happy that Carlye had accepted me in their lives so I adopted her shortly afterwards. During the adoption process, there were some problems with her birth certificate but somehow Dan got everything straighten out. She was a perfect angel and I felt blessed to be her mother.

Eight months ago Dan was on his way home from the hospital one night after a bad thunderstorm. A driver in the oncoming traffic hit a large water puddle in the street, lost control of her car and hit Dan's car head on. Dan was killed on impact. Things were crazy for a while for Carlye and I and now we are starting to adjust.

"Here is a picture of my daughter. This is not the child in the picture sir, so you are sadly mistaken. I hope you find the child you are looking for. I would like you guys to leave." I was very shaken by this point. It was almost time for Carlye to get home form school and I didn't want to upset her with all the strange people in the house.

The FBI agent put the pictures back in his briefcase and looked at me as they all began to stand. "Mrs. Chase the little girl in the picture has been missing since she was an infant. She was stolen from the hospital when she was three months old. She had been admitted for respiratory problems. She was taken to x-ray for some testing and she never made it there. We have reasons to believe that your husband may have taken the baby."

"You've got to be out of your mind. My husband is dead and he would never have stooped that low. He has a daughter. It would be stupid to steal a baby, don't you think?" I said sarcastically. " I'm asking you guys to leave for the last time sir." I said holding open the front door.

They left my house but not without letting me know they will be back and that there is an open investigation on the missing child. They also informed me that Dan and I were under investigation.

"That's ridiculous." I chuckled. "I would like to see how you plan on investigating a dead man."

I went to the bathroom to get some composure before Carlye's bus came. My hands were shaking something seriously. I tried to get the pictures of the little girl out of my head but I couldn't. I had seen the picture of the baby posted everywhere for years. I'd heard about the baby being stolen from a hospital in the town thirty minutes away years ago. Last year there were enhanced pictures of the baby posted on billboards, bus stops, grocery stores and milk cartons. When I think of Carlye I couldn't imagine living my life without her. She's all I have.

Later that night I was watching the evening news and there was the story about Amanda Riley's disappearance. The news said the FBI has had several tips on Amanda's whereabouts and was seeking more help to locate the missing child. Then there was the enhanced picture of Amanda, the one I had seen earlier. To my amazement except for the hair color, Amanda was identical to Carlye. Amanda's hair is brown whereas Carlye's hair was a dirty blonde. These couldn't possibly be the same children.

I couldn't rest at all that night. I tossed and turned for hours before I decided to get up at four o'clock in the morning. I went to my safe and retrieved Carlye's birth certificate. I stared at it for what seemed to be an eternity but it was only a few minutes. To my amazement, there wasn't a seal on the birth certificate. I thought all birth certificates had to have a seal. This left me puzzled.

The following morning I called out at work. I had the worse headache ever. I hated to remotely think that Dan could be involved in the abduction of a child. After I got Carlye off to school I thought back to the many conversations I had with Dan. He had decided to relocate shortly after burying his wife. He wanted a fresh start for he and Carlye. He hired a live in nanny to care for Carlye while he worked. There was nothing about our conversations that led me to believe that Dan would have stolen Carlye, not even the fact that he worked part-time at the same hospital the baby was taken from.

Four days later I was coming out of the grocery store with Carlye and was surrounded by several police officers and plain clothes men. The lady from CPS was with them again.
"Cynthia Chase, we are sorry to inform you that the child you have is indeed Amanda Riley. We need you to come with us to police headquarters for further questioning."
The officer removed my hands from the shopping cart and started guiding me toward a patrol car while the lady from CPS snatched Carlye from me and rushed her toward another car. Carlye was screaming and reaching for me as she was being whisked away. Everything happened in a blur. I begged the officers to just let me get my daughter and take my groceries home and I will come to the station but they wouldn't listen to me.

At the police headquarters I learned the horrible truth. Dan's wife and their little girl died while she was giving birth. His wife had a heart attack while giving birth which caused complications with the baby girl who died shortly after birth. Dan moved away from his home town shortly after the funeral to work part-time at the hospital where the baby was taken. The FBI agent said Dan dressed in disguise and posed as an orderly that was to take Amanda to get x-rays. Things got complicated because Dan continue to work at the hospital for five months after he had taken the baby. He became a person of interest because the nurse that recently started working at the hospital where Dan and I worked, was the same nurse that gave the baby to Dan on the morning he posed as an orderly. She remembered Dan and contacted the local police. I found out they have been investigating us for almost a year.

The last time I saw Carlye/Amanda after that awful day was on the news when she was reconnected with her birth parents and her two siblings. For almost a week it was on every news outlet. I never heard anything else after the news of Amanda being reconnected died down.

For months there were reporters calling me at home and at work. I couldn't go anywhere without being bothered. Eventually I left my job and everything behind, taking only a few personals and relocated. My heart aches when I think of Dan and Carlye. In my heart she will always have a part of me.

They say her name is Amanda Riley, I know her name is Carlye.

Tags

Abductee, Abduction, Lost And Found, Parents, Stolen, Taken

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author avatar ForEverBren
Author, Activist, Blogger, Startup Consultant

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Comments

author avatar Kingwell
1st Jun 2013 (#)

Fascinating story!

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author avatar ForEverBren
5th Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks again!

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