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The Interrogation
WHEN I first shook his hand, I knew something was wrong. He was a nice-looking, 30-year-old man, with soft, brown eyes. However, I felt his appearance belied the truth. I ...

THE INTERROGATION

Detective/Sergeant Ingrid Dean

Michigan State Police

WHEN I first shook his hand, I knew something was wrong. He was a nice-looking, 30-year-old man, with soft, brown eyes. However, I felt his appearance belied the truth. I could feel it; it left me very uneasy; God was saying, “Be careful,” and I called on him for guidance.

A small police department asked me to interrogate him. A 13-year-old girl was missing with no explanation other than foul play. She was an all-A student, loved her friends and teachers, and had no reason to run away. The man had been at her house a week prior, after having met the girl’s mother at a bar. Just out of prison after a ten-year sentence, he had befriended the family, helped repair their car, and spent Saturday night at their house. A week later, after partying all night, the mother returned home and found that her daughter was missing. Police found a corner of the suspect’s prison ID card stuck in the latch of the door. He said that the weekend he was there, he had demonstrated to the mother how to break into her own house if she lost her keys. I thought, His explanation might be plausible to a jury, but not to me. I could tell by his handshake that something was wrong.

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After hours of talking, I finally gained his trust by “getting inside his head,” and he confessed to his horrific crime. He had been bar hopping, looking for the mother. When he couldn’t find her he got mad, broke into the house, and convinced the girl her mother needed her. The little girl didn’t seem surprised, put on her shoes, and went with him wearing only her pajamas.

After he bought her a Coke at a convenience store, he wondered what he should do. He said, “I broke into the house, I am on parole, and I didn’t want the little girl to tell. I had to do something to her.” Eventually he took her into the woods and killed her in ways not fit to describe. He seemed to be without feelings and totally dissociated from the event. However, he agreed to take the police to the scene.

As I was leaving, the local officers shook my hand in congratulation. Then the thought came to me, You’d better shake his hand, too, or you could lose his trust! It had to be God, telling me the job wasn’t complete until he led the police to her body. Though just touching him and looking again into his eyes gave me great distress, I responded to God’s voice. I reached for his hand and told him very sincerely, “You’re doing the right thing.” I had also done the right thing.


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