Mike reached for her arm. “What?”
“It was her. She told me not to worry and that she would take good care of Ryan, so I should get on with my life! She said I was a bad mother, and he would be better off with her.”
Everyone turned to Emerson.
“She didn’t stay on long enough for us to get an exact trace. It came from the Minneapolis area. I’ve recorded what she said. They can analyze it over in the Twin Cities to see if they can pick up any background noise. If the caller was the woman who took JJ, we’ve confirmed that she didn’t kidnap him for ransom. There are a lot of crackpots out there, though, so this could have been a prank call. Don’t get upset until we know for sure.”
“Prank call?” Ginny screamed at him. “How could anyone do something like that?”
“It happens, Mrs. Burton. We still don’t have enough information right now. The thing we need to concentrate on is whether the call came from the woman who has JJ. I don’t think she’ll do anything to harm him if she’s the one who took him.”
“Right,” said Officer Wendy. “It doesn’t sound like she intends to hurt him. She called him Ryan. I believe that means she’s substituted him for another child—I would guess her own died. The name will help the hospitals zero in on death records. That will really help if the caller told the truth. I’ll make the call to South Minneapolis too.” She walked into the living room, punching numbers on her cell.
Elle clenched her fists. She couldn’t believe Officer Wendy still hadn’t followed up on the lead she’d given her. This guide stuff was brutal when you couldn’t let anyone know how you got your information.
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