The Dustbin Man
|I was on duty at the rubbish dump when I found the baby in the bin. I heard a crying sound coming from the second bin on the right. I opened the bin and found a bundle at the bottom of the bin. When I unwound the blanket from around the bundle I found a baby girl lying there. I knew I must find my supervisors. It was their job to contact the authorities, not mine.|
| The man who discovered the small baby contacted his supervisers. Arriving at the site, they took the child from him. When they left, he went about his duties.
Meanwhile, the baby was brought to a hospital near bye. As it turned out, a nurse by the name of Linda Cheren had assisted in the delivery of the baby girl. The woman who had been pregnant with the child hadn't given her name or the childs name. Now, as the baby was brought in by the child care services, Linda was only too happy to help.
"What happened to her?" Linda asked, gently taking the crying baby from the arms of the man carrying her. Almost instantly, the baby quieted, squirming to find a better position in Linda's arms.
"She was found in a dust bin." The man responded gruffly.
"Well," Linda said, putting her palm against the small childs forehead, feeling her breathing and peering in to her eyes.
"Mam, we need to know who the childs mother is." The man said.
"I can describe her physical appearance to you, but beyond that, I don't know anything." Linda said, then added, "Follow me if you want the story."
The man followed as Linda got the necessary supplies to feed the baby girl and change her diaper. While doing so, Linda began her story.
"She came in alone. The fact that she was standing was amazing in itself. When she was brought in to the emergency delivery room, I noticed that she took the pain with almost stoic resolve. She never said a word, even after the baby was delivered. We told her to stay here, but she left the hospital almost immediately after the delivery. Oh, one more thing. She didn't let us drug her, and I'm not quite sure why."
"Mam, her appearance." The man said, apparently wanting to get the information that would help them track her.
"Oh, yes. Sorry." Linda responded, then after a moment, continued as she changed the baby. "She was about five foot ten. Her eyes were blue, and her hair was a rather dark shade of red. She looked like an athleet."
"A woman matching that description was murdered one day ago." The man stated.
Silence greeted his pronouncement.
Hoping for a break
| It took a moment for realization to hit Linda as her face went from surprise, to shock and then sadness.
"Are you certain she did not give her name?"
The nurse shook her head, "I'm afraid she did not give us any information. Even as the child was being delivered she did not even scream out in pain."
The police detective thought a moment before asking, "Can you point me in the right direction to the hospital surveillance cameras?"
"Of course," the nurse replied wanting to help the investigation. She was more than shocked that this new mother had been murdered.
"What happened to her? The woman I mean…"
The detective, Alexander Collins looked at her as he replied, "She was found in the East river. From what we have gathered from the medical examiner's office the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head."
"Oh," Linda answered as she pointed at a door towards the end of the hallway, "The people that can help you with getting the surveillance tapes are through that door. I have to get back to my shift Mr.…."
"Collins," the detective said as he stuck out his hand, "I'm Alexander Collins."
"Nurse Linda Cheren," she shook Alexander's hand, "Please, if there's anything else I can do…"
"I'll let you know," Alexander said as he looked at the baby one more time before heading down the hallway. None of them knowing what, if anything the tapes would show. However, Alexander was hoping for a break in the case.
the case unfolds
| alexander entered the room, to find the woman operating the cameras, sitting at her desk staring blankly in to thin air
he started... "good day, mam. i'm here on official duty.... i'm a police officer, and i'm conducting an investigation. a baby was found in a bin earlier today, and we believe the mother was murdered- and her body dumped in a river. i was wondering if i could have a look......"
the woman interupted her... " oh, charlotte?. yes... it was rather astonishing, actually. i remember her giving birth to the child- nurse linder delivered her, right?"
"well, after she gave birth to the child, and was preparing to leave the hospital, she was grabbed by the kneck and dragged out the exit..... i remember linda coming in here, and remarking to me how strange it all was.... she told me that she felt she had to do something' but didn't know what"
"and," asked alexander, " you are sure her name is charlotte?"
"yeah," said the woman. " linda told me that her attacker called her name several times before dragging her out"
" and the kid?" asked alexander. "do you happen to know what the child is called?"
"melissa," said the woman. "linda told me that charlotte kept screaming, i can't take melissa with me... she'll have to stay behind"
alexander viewed the footage of the event, and it got him to thinking
"yes," he said. "that fits the description of the woman, but died in a river?. i'm not sure about that"
the woman sighed, " well, i can't help you any more than i have... i'm sorry.
alexander asked her if she knew this strange attacker, but she said that he was unfamiliar to her
he thanked her for her help anyway, and started back to the exit of the hospital
| alexander met linda as he was preparing to leave the hospital.
" did the footage help you?. did you see any footage at all?"
" it's all so strange" he said. " first off, why would she leave her kid in a bin. i can understand why she had to leave her behind but...."
"wait a minit, " said linda. " why don't you start from the beginning?"
" okay," alexander started telling the story. " so the girl, charlotte, was apparently grabbed by the kneck, dragged out the ward, and apparently out the exit of the hospital, too"
he stared at linda. " and apparently, you saw it all happen!. that woman was pretty convinced you gave her all the information she needed, so she could pass it all on to me to help with the investigation. ".
linda just frowned. " no, didn't see a thing,. " she said, regretfully
" this does not add up, " alexander continued, " i mean.. how did someone sneak past reception, in to the ward, and was able to drag someone out, without being noticed by the staff?. surely that's just a little odd?"
linda gave an odd look and quickly ran off down the coridor
alexander stared after her, and then proceeded to his car.
as he drove, he couldn't help but think about melissa. he couldn't help wonder.... linda, that nurse, is she looking after melissa, or is she hurting her, what's going on behind closed doors
he eventually decided to do some background work on linda. he decided to return to the hospital on saturday, a day when linda wasn't working, and question the other staff about her. for now though, he thought, best go home and see my family.
as he drove in to the family driveway though, a sudden urge overtook him. a sudden fear for melissa's life. he turned the car round, and rushed straight back to the hospital.
once their, he discovered something pretty shocking. as he opened the car door to get out, he noticed something in the bushes. something small, and alive.
" another kid?" he thought. " it can't be". never the less, he walked over to discover that indeed, it was another baby girl. she was sitting under the bushes, cold, and weak- far too weak to even cry.
he picked her frajile body up, and walked in to the hospital. now, he needed to find yet another mother. this time, the mother of a much smaller girl.
as he aproached the desk, a thought came in to his head. what if this girl was melissa?. sure, she seemed smaller, and quieter, and more frajile, but what if it was melissa?. he started to regret leaving her with linda.
just then, the elevator door opened, and a young woman dashed out and started running towards alexander.
" amy!. my beautiful amy!" she was screaming, and had tears in her eyes.
alexander looked up at her.... " is this your child?" he asked holding out the frajile girl
" yes, yes!. how'd she get here... where did you find her..... what can i do to repay you..... i love you beautiful amy!". her emotions were clearly shaken up
" i found her in the bushes," alexander told her. " i have no idea how she got their"
the woman started to explain that she had given birth in this hospital a week ago, and was told that her child needed special care for a while, that she should go home, and return when they called her to let her know everything was okay.
"but you see," she explained, " after a week, i never got a call. i never got an update. when ever i rang to enquire about her, they'd cut me off. so you see, i had to come.... and when i found....." she burst in to tears.
" it's okay," alexander said soothingly. " she's safe now"
he looked at her for a second, then went on to explain his job, and why he was here
" i'm sorry, i never fully introduced myself.... i'm alexander, i'm a police officer- i'm investigating the case of a baby being found in a bin a few days ago. quite shocking!. "
" i'm natalia," said the woman. " i work at the box office at the local theater. say, the phantom of the opera is on it's last performance, and i have some tickets... would you like a ticket?"
alexander thought this would be a great oppotunity to rest his mind, so agreed.
as natalia started to walk away, alexander called after her.
" yes?" came the reply as she came back in to view.
" i know it's hard, but would you... you know, think about coming down to the station with me to answer a few questions about, well... about your experience in the hospital. it may help me with my investigation"
natalia nodded. " i should see to amy first," she said. " then i'll think about it. i need to go home and rest, it's been a long day"
alexander smiled in understanding. "well if you ever feel up to it, here's the number for my police department... just ask for alexander"
| it had been ages since alexander collins had attended the theater. now as he stood their in the warm reception, the memories of this place came flooding back to him. the last time he had come here, was to see the lion king- and that, he remembered, was an awsome performance. he hoped that phantom of the opera would be the same.
he knew that natalia wouldn't be here tonight, as she was looking after amy. but it was what she wanted, she wanted him to use the tickets and enjoy a night off. and that's what he was determined to do.
once seated in the auditorium, he settled back to enjoy, what he hoped, would be a fantastic show.
and indeed it was. the first half alone captured his imagination. it was extremely well performed. during the interval he purchased a coke and some chocolate buttons, then returned for another awsome performance in the second half.
it was late when alexander collins got back to his house. the first thing he did was check his voicemail. he had 5 new messages, most of them were nothing to take notice of- but when he got to the last message, he listened closely and smiled.
it was from natalia, thanking him for saving her baby- and then asking him if he had a good time at the theater.
he deleted the message, and made a mental note to get back to her tomorrow. now it was far too late, and he needed some sleep. even police officers need rest, you know.
the next morning however, he was awakened by his phone ringing. he picked it up, only to find that it was natalia.
" good morning, alexander!" she said cheerfully. " did you have a nice night last night?"
" yes," alexander said sleepaly " it was just a pity you wern't their to enjoy it with me. "
" awww, well, i've been looking after amy. she's not doing too well at the moment. i hope she'll be okay. "
" she will be, trust me. hey.. did you think about coming to answer some questions for me?"
" i did, but please, not at the station.... it wouldn't feel right- i'm not a criminal!"
" very well... meet at my house at what.... 11 30?"
" works for me. i'll be their. see you later, alexander!"
they hung up. alexander looked at his watch. it was now 6 30, plenty of time to have a bit more of a lay in, then slowly get dressed, and have breakfast, and wait for natalia to arive.
sure enough, at exactly 11 30 their was a knock on his door. natalia, complete with crying baby, entered the house.
alexander gave amy a hug and some food to quiet her, while he started conversation with natalia.
" so, i see she's able to cry now. express herself. she couldn't when i found her... that's progress. "
" yes, i know. she is headed in the right direction, but she's a long way to go and i just hope that she'll fully recover. "
" as i said on the phone, of course she will. now, coffee?. tea?. "
" no thanks, let's just get this over with. being questioned is not something that i'm used too. in fact it scares me. "
" just be honest with me, and you'll have nothing to worry about. now, you said that you had your baby in that hospital we were at yesterday, is that right?".
" yeah, that's right. at around 4 30 in the afternoon. "
" and, have you got any idea ... do you remember, which nurse helped with the delivery?. "
" nurse linda, yes... it was nurse linda. who could honestly forget a person like her. ".
" what do you mean?. "
" oh, she wasn't really that bothered about the baby, i mean she was, but she just rushed the delivery and put me under a lot of stress. "
" did she say anything?"
" well, she congratulated me, and then told me that the kid needed care and that i should leave. "
" but before that?. you said, she rushed the delivery..... how do you know?. "
" she just kept saying she had other things to attend too, and that i just hurry up. sometimes even shouting at me. "
" let me take you back to what you said about the baby needing care. did you ask to stay with her in hospital?. "
" yes, but linda wouldn't have any of it. she said the quicker i left the hospital, the quicker my baby would be better. "
" now, this is a very hard question, but during your time on the ward, were you ever threatened?. were you ever hurt?. "
natalia shivered, but said nothing
" it's okay, you can tell me in confidence. you see, charlotte, the mother of that baby we found in the bin, we have reason to believe she was. "
" well, yes, when you put it like that, i suppose their was. this man who looked very official kept peering in to the ward at the baby. then whispering to linda. "
" do you know what i think?. i think that linda, and this other person who ever they are, they are not doing their job properly.. they are plotting something between them. "
" i suppose it could be possible, but why. why would anyone in a hospital....."
" i know, it's strange. but it will be okay. i'll get to the bottom of this whole thing. "
the urgent phonecall
| "right... well, we're done!".
alexander was now on his feet and was heading for the door.
" won't you have 1 more cup of tea?" asked natalia.
" no, I won't. not this time. I need to go back to the station and make notes of things you have told me. thanks so much, it must have been so difficult for you"
after he left, natalia put amy down for nap, and went upstairs to do some chores
alexander drove in thought back to the police station.
now he was convinced that linda was hiding something
2 babies found in susppicious circumstances outside the hospital was all the information he needed.
in his office he wrote up all of natalia's responses, then he settled back in his chair.
he couldn't wait for saturday, he couldn't wait to do some more digging about linda
suddenly his phone rang
he picked it up, only to be greeted with a rather desperate and out of breath natalia
"I think," she breaved, " Linda is outside my residence. she keeps kicking the door and asking to see amy."
"i'll be right their, " alexander sighed as he put down the phone. he had only just left the house, and it took him a good hour to get back to the station.
when he arived at natalia's house, he was met with a sceen from a horror movie
outside, parked around the front of the house was a red car
inside, he could hear a lot of screaming and gasps for breath
" natalia?. are you in their?"
"it's alexander" he continued. " you called my office an hour ago"
while he didn't hear natalia, he did hear what must have been linda say " what, you called him?. you stupid little girl."
" it's the police" alexander said. " either open up or i'm smashing down the door"
the door opened, and their stood a woman in her 50's
her face wore a scowl and in her hand, she was holding a rope
| "I'm linda, " she said coldly. " you must be alexander. "
"can I come in?" alexander asked
"why sure... come on in", linda stepped aside to allow him access
stepping in to the lounge, alexander noticed a trail of blood leading from the door to the tv
he glared at linda.
" you didn't kill her, did you?"
" oh no" linda smiled. "both natalia and the child are alive and well."
alexander found natalia bound and gagged.
she was covered in blood, but she was moving her limbs.
" cmon," alexander said. "let's untie you".
" do you know where amy is?" he aded
he could hear her. he could hear her close by, in fact
she was crying
"amy's in the display case. locked in the display case" natalia said weakly
turning to linda, alexander simply said, " the key. "
she handed over the key, and alexander was able to unlock the case and get amy to safety.
she was crying, she was shivering, and she was bleeding from the mouth.
alexander hugged the child and told her it would be okay
but she constantly wailed, and alexander knew he had to control the bleeding.
" shut that crying baby up" linda shouted. " shut her up"
"she's crying," alexander stated, "because you made her bleed then locked her in a case, and of course their's poor natalia too"
he turned to natalia.
"but why did you let her in?. why did you let linda in"
in a barely audible voice, natalia said " I was scared. she was so forceful, and I didn't think I had much of a choice."
" well," alexander said, " it's a good thing I found you in time. everything's okay now, i'm going to take you and amy to the hospital, and as for you" he said, turning towards linda," you're going away for a long long time."
| the hospital checked the baby over, and then natalia.
remarkably, both had escaped with very little injury, though it did take a while to control the bleeding from amy's mouth.
"you were lucky," commented the doctor in charge of their case, " you were extremely lucky."
linda confessed to everything. her plan to kidnap, and then kill amy, and also admitted that it was her who had put the first baby in the bin.
fortunately for alexander, he had finished another case, and it went, he thought, pretty well.
as he drove home, natalia and amy sitting quietly in the back, he thanked god for their good health and praised himself for working out that linda was behind this all along.
2 months later, alexander was sitting in his office when he got a ltter.
the letter read:
thank you for your help. we apreciate it.
amy is doing so well. you know she wants to be a police officer when she grows up?
I have a new job in the bank, and a great childminder for amy when I am away
you saved our lives, thank you
he put the letter on the desk beside him. he had a feeling that this wasn't the last he would see of her or the baby.