A few years ago one December night, I received a telephone call from a frantic mother. She lived up north and told me her teenage daughter was missing. The 19 yr old had moved out and began living with her boyfriend approximately six months ago and they were living in a nearby state with his relatives. The mother told me she had not heard from her daughter since then. Earlier on this day, she had received a call from Gwinnett County Police Department advising her that her car had been impounded in Lawrenceville. The mother told me her daughter was driving the car and had no idea she was in Georgia and had no idea why she would be in Georgia. She told me she had checked her daughter's Facebook page and she had not logged in for the past three months. She then checked the boyfriend's Facebook page and he had checked his status as single and he was looking for a relationship. This did not sound good to me. The mother asked that I try to find out if her daughter was in Georgia and if she was ok. The first thing that went through my mind is that she was deceased and laying in the woods somewhere. I requested the mother to call the impound lot and authorize me to search the vehicle.
The next morning I went to the impound lot and searched the vehicle in the pouring rain. The only thing I found were some paystubs from a restaurant in Dacula where she had been employed. I also learned the car had been towed from the side of the road in Dacula after sitting there for several days. From there I went to the restaurant and spoke to the manager. He told me the daughter had worked there for several months, but a few weeks ago she did not show up for work and they had not heard from her since. They told me her boyfriend had been banned from the restaurant because he had caused a few disturbances with other customers who apparently were too friendly with his girlfriend. So now I was concerned about the boyfriend's temper and his jealous nature. I requested the last address for the girl, but the manager stated he could not provide that. He would not provide any more information. As he went back to his office and I was preparing to leave, another woman who was employed there, took me off to the side and gave me a telephone number that she had for the missing girl. I called the number and it was no longer in service.
I arrived back in my office around 6:30 PM and ran a search on the telephone number. I came up with a name and address that was not familiar with the mother. I went to the address and upon arrival there were lights on in the house. I knocked on the door and the boyfriend came to the door. I asked to speak to his girlfriend and he said just a minute, she is asleep. My heart jumped, she was alive. A few minutes later she came to the door and we talked a few minutes and I told her that her mother had asked me to find her. She confided in me that the car had broke down and she had no money to have it repaired. Her boyfriend was not working either. She said she had not called her mother because she was too embarrassed about her situation. I told her that her mother was frantic about her safety. While both of us were standing on the front porch, I called the mother and told her she needed to speak to someone. The daughter got on the phone and she started crying, I then got on the phone and the mother was crying and was yelling that she couldn't believe I had found her missing daughter in less then 24 hrs. She told me this was the best Christmas present she had ever received. Well, after hearing that I got teary eyed. The majority of the time with my carreer with the GBI, it was not usually good news that I was telling the parents or relatives. I told the daughter to tell her mother she would call her back in a few minutes, so I could get my phone back and leave. The daughter gave me a hug and said "Thank you". The next morning the mother called me again and could not thank me enough and told me again this was the best present she had ever received. The next Christmas I received a Christmas card from the mother bringing me up to date on her daughter and how things have improved. The daughter was staying in touch with the family and again she was very grateful for finding her missing daughter. This case had a very happy ending for everyone. The mother and daughter reunited and happy, and I know I was on cloud 9.