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Assisi & Brannan #4: The Cop’s Perspective

Feb 18, 2014

Peter Hunter is more reality show chef than a career policeman. He was the first cop I met on the job when I went to the station to get quotes for the story on the fire that had burned down the warehouse on Delaware. We’ve become friends even though we have very little in common.

Peter’s been on the force for 15 years. He’s been in San Mateo for the past six years. I trust him because he always throws in a good dose of skepticism.

“Hi Joan, is Peter in?”

Joan Potter is at the front desk looking bright and welcoming. “Hi Garnet, he’s inside.”

“Garnet, where have you been? I don’t see you much anymore.” Peter doesn’t like reporters. He thinks the Bay Area Weekly should be shut down. He turns to me. “What’s up kid? How’s the boyfriend?”

“Nice to see, you Peter.”

“Let me guess, you’re here to see me about some traffic violations.”

“It won’t be that easy to get rid of me. I’m actually here about the missing woman in Baywood. Her name is Sarah Dinh.”

“I can’t talk about it.”

“Not yet, I know, but it’s a strange case. She just goes out to a party and doesn’t come back. Don’t you think that’s strange?” I’m looking for any indication that he knows more than he’s letting on.

“She may be returning home for all we know.  People change their minds all the time.”

I sense that he definitely knows something more. “Did her husband call?”

“Garnet, you know better than to ask me those things.”

“I’m a reporter,” I said. “It’s my job.  So the way I look at it is that she’s a happy wife and mother. Sometimes she goes out with her friends. It’s just a little bit odd that she would go to a party without bringing her husband. It’s like she’s acting as if she’s single. Then she disappears.”

Peter gave me his look, the type that tells me he’s ready to close the conversation.

“That’s the problem with you reporters. There isn’t a case and you already have a story about it. What if she’s simply taking some time off and the husband panics and files a missing person’s report? A lot of people get overwhelmed with their lives. I can’t tell you anything about the case—if there’s even such a thing—and we haven’t even started an investigation.”

I give him one of my, you-are-such-an-old-fart looks.

“Okay.  I’ll tell you what, if I hear anything that seems like a story, I’ll call.  Until then, I’ve got a hundred things to do.”

“Thanks, Peter.”

“Tell that old geezer to come and see me some time.”

I think I have my story.

© Jocelyn Uma 2014. All Rights Reserved.