The Case of the Vanishing Daughter

The Case of the Vanishing Daughter
Photo by Aaron Burden / Unsplash

When we got up yesterday morning, my other half knocked on our youngest daughter’s bedroom door and poked her head in to say “wake up”. She wasn’t moving under the bedcovers, so she stepped into the room and gave her a nudge. And that’s when she discovered the bedclothes arranged to look like a person in the bed.

Within minutes we had started scouting around her friends, and called the police. Next we informed the school, our workplaces, and started posting on social media. Then we hit the detective trail.

It’s worth noting – my youngest daughter has special needs. She has never bunked off school. She is perhaps the most compliant of the three sisters, and that’s what worried us most – who had talked her into doing this, and more importantly – was she ok? Her conception of risk is markedly less accurate than most.

We found her. We also went and fetched her.

I’m not going to tell the rest of the story on a public platform, because it probably crosses all kinds of privacy lines. The important thing is we found her.

Yesterday morning we realised how well thought of our family is in the local community. Literally everybody we know offered assistance and help – dropping whatever they were doing if they could. A small army was activated in minutes – from friends in the police force, to school staff, friends, and parents of our children’s friends. I spent the entire day responding to offers of help, updating people on what was going on, and then reversing everything just as quickly.

The police visited last night. Once you’ve started the ball rolling, it doesn’t just stop. They were brilliant. They spent an hour with us – explaining the procedure, filling out paperwork, and talking at some length with our daughter. I can’t thank them enough.

I joked with a friend at the end of the day that I might need a stiff drink. I’ve still not had it.