Prologue

The silence inside the little house was suffocating. The kidnapper had said that he would call at three in the afternoon and it was two minutes after.
“He said not to call the police David.” Miriam Strauss scolded her husband for what she viewed as the action that caused the madman who had kidnapped their daughter to break his word for the first time.
Since their daughter Marie had been taken while on spring break in Lake Havasu, Arizona they had been called and given a schedule of when the kidnapper would call and what they were supposed to do and not do. He had never been even a second late and even though he was obviously an evil person he had been a man of his word until now at three minutes after three Monday, April 21st.
David Strauss sat completely still on the kitchen table chair that he had pulled out so that he could sit at the table with his cell phone on it waiting for the call. His entire body was greased in sweat and it felt as if he could feel the blood flowing roughly through every vein in his body.
“Please Miriam.” he pleaded, knowing that he himself had had the exact same thought. If his daughter never came home, he would have to live with the thought that it was because he had made the call that he was told not to. The kidnapper had specifically said that if the police were called he would know and he would kill their daughter. David Strauss had not called the police exactly. He had approached Detective Theodore Wade after reading a story about him investigating a similar case in Bullhead City, Arizona of a teenage girl being held for ransom and the family being told to not call. That case had ended with the parents not being able to get the money in time and the kidnapper calling them two weeks later to tell them where they could find the remains.
David Strauss knew that he was dealing with the same man and that he alone could not handle the situation. What he had not known was the horrifying details that Detective Wade had given him that was not in the paper. The body of the girl from Bullhead City was found in five different places along the Colorado River, right where the kidnapper had said it was. That fact was bad enough. The fact that they could tell that she had only been dead one day and that many of the wounds on her body had begun to heal told a story of the two weeks between when the parents couldn’t pay and when the body was found that horrified David Strauss and had robbed his soul of ever being at peace again.
Detective Theodore Wade was a large man of six feet three inches and over two hundred and fifty pounds. He had a large sandy brown mustache that covered his upper lip completely and sported a crew cut that was beginning to thin on top. There was something about his presence that brought comfort to Miriam Strauss even though she had accused her husband of murdering their daughter from the second David had brought Wade in on the kidnapping..
When David Strauss had realized there was no possible way that he could raise the fifty thousand dollars that the man on the phone had asked for he knew that he had to risk going to the police. He had to see if there was any way that they could help in the situation. Detective Wade had gotten the money for the drop and was staying at the house in case the kidnapper had contacted them at a different time. He had also set it up so that when the kidnapper called they could track whatever phone he was calling from to the closest cell tower to his location, knowing that even if he wasn’t planning on returning their daughter that he would not kill her immediately. Detective Wade knew the sick bastard would not just kill their daughter until he had had his fun with her and that bought them precious time. Their daughter might be scarred for life but she would be alive and the madman would be in jail, or if Ted Wade had anything to do with it in the ground.
One of the standard iPhone ringtones began to sound out in the room. It was Miriam Strauss’s phone. The police were not expecting a call to this phone but they could definitely do their best to locate the call coming into it as well. Miriam was panicked as she held the phone in her trembling hand as if it may have been an explosive device.
“What should I do?”
“It’s your phone Miriam; you should answer it and do as he says.” Detective Wade said calmly.
Miriam answered the phone but could not speak, the words had left her and she just held the phone to her face and struggled.
“Hello?” she let the word escape from her lips.
“Mrs. Strauss, can you put your phone on speaker for me?” The kidnapper’s voice was calm, his words slow and calculated.
“Yes” Her entire body was cold and she began to shiver as if she was becoming sick. She pressed the screen to activate speaker phone and she held the phone out so that her husband and the detective could both hear it, not saying a word as she did so.
“Mr. Strauss, do you have my money?”
“Yes, it’s right here.” David Strauss loudly patted a leather briefcase that sat on the kitchen table.
“Good and where did you come up with the money Mr. Strauss?” David’s flesh went cold and horror overcame him, they had not discussed where to say the money came from, he had no idea what to say.
“Bonds, I cashed in some bonds I had.” David stammered and then thought one moment more. “And a cash advance on my card.”
“Really?” said the kidnapper “I thought that fat pig with the stupid mustache may have just given you a loan from the property room.” His voice was no longer calm he was now angry and his vitriol silenced the room. Detective Wade stood up and walked to the next room whispering into his Bluetooth headset.
“You said you would not call the cops Mr. Strauss and you did. That makes you a liar.” He snarled.
“In some countries they cut the tongue out of the liar so they cannot lie again Mr. Strauss.” David Strauss’s heart slammed violently against his chest and the room began to spin.
“Since I don’t have you here sir, then I guess your daughter will have to do.” Miriam Strauss’s hand shook uncontrollably as she held the phone tightly trying to not drop it.
The room listened as the man on the other end put the phone down that he was holding. Then they held their breath as their imaginations colored in the image as they first heard what sounded like duct tape being removed. From the speaker of the phone came the sound of Marie Strauss’s screams as she pleaded with her captor and then the horrible gurgling sounds that they could all imagine as Marie’s tongue was being savagely removed. The loud thump that followed as her body hit the ground from the shock of the experience told them he had actually gone through with it. The killer did not say another word and the next sound was that of the cell phone being smashed.
One week later the Strausses received their daughters tongue in a Ziploc bag inside of a 9×12 tan envelope. A week after they had received the tan envelope they received a call and were given instructions on where to find the rest of her body – under the London Bridge in Lake Havasu. The call was triangulated and the smashed burner cell phone was found in the Arizona desert right outside an RV Park between Kingman and Lake Havasu. There were large tread marks that could have been from a large recreational vehicle or box truck.

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