In recent months, Hunt, Nebraska, and the other cities and towns of Johnson County had seen an increase of missing children. Mostly white females, ages 14 to 24. There has been such an increase, Adam Mosely, the District Attorney for the county, had started a task force led by Jeff to reduce the numbers. He was also tasked to figure out why there has been such an uptick in these crimes.
“Okay,” Jeff said from the front of the room. “Shall we get started, ladies?” He took a quick glance at the space and noticed one older man was sitting in the back. “Oh, and gentleman. Sorry, I didn’t notice you back there.”
The man sat there with his legs and arms crossed. He wore old clothes and no facial expression.
“Sir,” Jeff said, “this seminar is geared more for the female public, but you are welcome to stay if you’d like.”
The man said in a raspy and worn voice, “I have three daughters who could not be here. I’m doing this for them.”
“Okay, that sounds great.” Jeff was slightly concerned.
Even though he did his best never to judge people, this guy looked questionable. Jeff knew that some predators attend these seminars to get educated on what their victims were looking for. Then they would adjust their tactics.
As everyone took their seat, Jeff was pleased to see the first row almost full. “I’m going to pass this form out. I use it only for my records on who attended. There is also a place to enter your email if you want additional information.”
The man in the back spoke up. “Do we have to fill out one of these forms?”
“No, but the county gets state credit based on the number of people who attend,” Jeff replied. “All I need is the first half of the form.
You don’t have to complete everything.”
The man had a disgusted look on his face, which concerned Jeff. He was not acting as a father of three, but more of a man that did not want anyone to know he was there.
Jeff continued his class. “First, let’s define what a predator is.” He opens the slide show on the large screen that is set up on stage. “If you Google ‘predator’ for a definition, you will get two responses.
First is the animal that preys on another. Like a wolf is the predator to a rodent. The second definition: A person or group that ruthlessly exploits others. That’s the one we will focus on today.” A hand goes up from one of the women in the group. “Yes?”
“Do you think these missing girls are being taken by a predator in our city?” she asked.
“That’s a good question,” Jeff replied. “We have no evidence of that. But we feel educating the public on these types of people will help keep everyone safer.”
Another voice from the crowd speaks. “Do you have any leads on the missing children?”
“No,” Jeff replied nervously. “Not at this time.” He was starting to feel as if he was in a press conference and not giving a class. “I would like to stay on course and educate you on predators. If you want to ask specific questions of the missing children, I can do my best to answer those questions at the end of this class.”
The man in the back yells, “What’s the crime for shooting a son of a bitch that does anything bad to one of my daughters?”
The question being asked by the strange man in the back surprised Jeff. “I want to go on record saying we do not want people shooting anyone. Or hurting a person forcefully in any way. If you believe you have a family member that has been a victim, please call your police department.”
Jeff did his best to regain control of the seminar. The attendees asked several good questions, and in the end, he felt it was a very productive session.
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