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Adam
by Ted Dekker
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ADAM

MAN OF SORROW: JOURNEY INTO DARKNESS by Anne Rudolph Crime Today magazine is pleased to present Anne Rudolph’s narrative account of the killer now known as Alex Price, presented in nine monthly installments titled “Man of Sorrow: Journey into Darkness.” Rudolph’s award-winning investigative reporting provides us with a rarely seen glimpse of good and evil at work within our society today.

NO ONE—not the migrant workers who remember seeing the baby kicking stubby legs while he lay on a brown blanket next to the fields, not the Arkansas farmers who chuckled while poking the child’s belly, certainly not his adoring father and mother, Lorden and Betty Price—could possibly imagine that the brown-eyed baby boy named Alex Price, born August 18, 1964, would one day stalk innocence like a wolf stalking a wounded lamb.

Then again, 1964 was more than four decades before Alex Price began the calculated cycle of terror that would end the lives of so many young women.

As the children of migrant workers themselves, Lorden and Betty Price had grown up with the same strong work ethic many migrant field workers shared throughout the south in the 1940s and 1950s. Devout Catholics, they planned on instilling love and sound moral sensibilities into whatever children God blessed them with.

They regularly attended Mass at a small cathedral in nearby Conway off Route 78, where the faithful congregated each Sunday. With just a little more fortune, a little more education, a few more helpful people, Lorden could have opened up his own mechanic shop, according tothose who knew him. He had a way with machines that impressed the local farmers.

The small family of three lived rent-free in a trailer on the back side of the Hope farm, a deal brokered with Bill Hope in exchange for Lorden’s extra help maintaining all of the farm vehicles. Bill even loaned Lorden his 1953 Dodge truck for transportation. All things considered, the Prices were doing pretty well for themselves when little Alex came into the world.

“Cutest little bundle of boy you ever did saw,” Constance Jersey recalls with a soft smile and tired eyes.

“They used to tote him around in one of those wire buggies Lorden had found in the dump and fixed up. Didn’t matter what they put him in, you couldn’t make that boy stop smiling and cooing as if he was the luckiest soul in the whole wide world.”

Other workers remember Lorden racing up and down the cotton-field roads late one day, sticking his head out of the truck, hollering for Betty and demanding to know where Alex was. Seems he’d misplaced both of them and panicked. He found them in the barn, taking a break from the hot sun.

When Alex was one year old, Betty gave birth to a beautiful, blondehaired, seven-pound, two-ounce baby girl whom they named Jessica.

Lorden was the kind of man who made sure every person he met knew just how adorable his children were, and he didn’t have to work hard to accomplish this task.

“They’re going to college,” he announced to his coworkers one hot day in the cotton field. The cotton industry was taking a downturn in the midsixties, replaced by the more profitable corn market. The work was hard and the pay was hardly enough to keep a family alive. “I swear, they’re going to college if it’s the last thing I do.”

The coworkers gave him no mind. The idealist in Lorden frequently made such bold announcements, but life as a blue-collar worker in Faulkner County in 1965 didn’t hold out much hope for anything so extravagant as attending the University of Central Arkansas in nearby Conway. Still, Lorden repeated his intentions often, claiming that they would one day make some real money in the factories up north, and send their children to college.

Just over a year after Jessica’s birth, as winter set into central Arkansas, Lorden announced to his wife that Bill Hope had agreed to let him take the truck up to Chicago for an extended visit with relatives who’d left Arkansas several years earlier, hoping to work in the factories. The Prices packed their belongings in two large suitcases, bid their neighbors farewell, and headed down the dusty road.

The Dodge pickup returned nearly five weeks later laden with gifts from the north. José Menendez, who lived with his wife, Estella, in a second trailer near the Prices, remembers the day clearly. “You gotta understand that them Prices was a frugal bunch. They didn’t spend money on much unless it was for the kids. The smiles on their faces when they came back with that haul had us all thinking about going up north to work in the factories.”

A perfectly good washing machine. Two new suitcases full of clothes, mostly for little Alex and Jessica. But the chainsaw was Lorden’s prize. He cut enough firewood that first week to last both them and the neighbors two winters, José recalled.

The first four years of Alex Price’s life can only be reconstructed from the memories of people like the Menendezes and the Hopes. Hearing it all, one has to wonder what would have become of Alex had his parents been allowed to continue their slow but deliberate gain on a happy life.

Would they have moved to Chicago and sent the children to a public school while they saved up the money for a secondary education? Would Alex have grown up on the farm, then finally opened the shop his father only dreamed of?

The night of January 15, 1968, was warm by Arkansas standards, a balmy 51 degrees according to the weather service records. Heavy, dark clouds hung over most of Faulkner County.

Betty tucked Alex, then four, and Jessica, who was three, in their twin beds in the back bedroom, sang them a soft song as she did every night, said their prayers, and turned off the lights. José Menendez recalled that the Price’s mobile home, which stood only fifty yards from their own, was already dark when he went out for wood at eight thirty.

The crickets sang in the nearby forest; otherwise, the night was quiet. At approximately 1:45 a.m. Lorden was awakened by a creaking noise, a fairly common sound in the Price house, which was set on an unstable foundation and easily shaken by wind. Only when it occurred to him that there was no howling wind did Lorden open his eyes and listen more carefully. It was the absence of wind that awakened him, he later told the police.

The screen door squealed in the dark, and Lorden sat upright. A faint, muffled cry reached his ears. Now panicked, Lorden threw off the blanket and ran into the tiny living room. He saw that the front door was open, but his mind was on the children’s bedroom. Barging through the doorway, he saw a sight that would haunt him for years to come.

Two empty beds.

“I couldn’t think. I just couldn’t think,” he later recalled. He stood frozen in the doorway, staring at the empty white sheets for a few long seconds before crying out and sprinting out of the house.

A Ford pickup truck was parked on the gravel driveway. The driver’s door slammed and for a moment Lorden saw the shapes inside: an adult wearing a cowboy hat sat in the driver’s seat, and another with long hair was shoving Alex and Jessica into the truck from the passenger’s side. Freed from the hands that had muzzled them, both children began to cry. Lorden ran toward the truck but was only halfway across the lawn when it rumbled to life and jerked forward, spewing gravel.

Now in a mindless panic, Lorden ran for the Chevy, started the engine, and took off after the disappearing pickup. Betty ran from the house, screaming his name. He had the presence of mind to shove open the passenger door and call out for her to report the kidnapping to the county sheriff. She would have to call from the main ranch house.

Lorden had a difficult time remembering what happened next. “I couldn’t think!” he repeated later. “I just couldn’t . . . couldn’t figure it, I couldn’t think!”

In an understandable state of anxiety, the father raced down the driveway, took a hard left at the first fork, following the Ford pickup’s dust, and pushed the old Chevy to its limits. His eyes were on the set of taillights two turns ahead.

The next corner turned ninety degrees to the left, and Lorden overshot it in a full slide. The truck came to a crashing stop in the ditch beyond. Unable to restart the truck, Lorden exited the vehicle and ran after the distant taillights, calling out to the Menendez trailer on his right. José ran out, and a breathless Lorden yelled that someone had just taken Alex and Jessica.

But without a truck, José was powerless to give chase. And by the time he got to the Hope ranch house to call the police, the Ford pickup was long out of sight.

Bill Hope reported the kidnapping to the Faulkner County sheriff at 1:56 a.m., then jumped in his car with José and headed for the county road nearly a mile away. They found Lorden Price at the intersection pacing, staring down the long strip of empty asphalt that stretched empty in both directions.

“It was the most horrible sight I’d yet seen,” José recounts. “The man had run about a mile and was near a breakdown. He had that look of death on him.”

Without a clue as to which direction the kidnappers had fled, Lorden couldn’t decide where to take the chase, so Bill Hope headed east. The road ran through a forested region without streetlamps, and the dark clouds blocked the last hint of light from the sky. They raced east, following the spread of their headlights, nothing else.

They couldn’t have calmed Lorden Price in those first ten minutes if they’d wanted to. But as the road yielded nothing of promise, he soon grew silent in the backseat. Bill slowed the car after fifteen minutes and asked Lorden if he wanted to try the other direction.

Lorden didn’t respond. He just lay down on the backseat and sobbed. “It was horrible,” José said. “Just horrible.”

Sheriff Rob Green received the call to investigate a kidnapping at the Hope Ranch at 1:59 a.m. He tossed his cold coffee and immediately headed out. Officer Peter Morgan from the Conway police department also responded to the call. Both had arrived on the scene by the time Bill Hope, José Menendez, and Lorden Price returned.

While Lorden did his best to calm his hysterical wife, the officers started processing the crime scene. An all points bulletin was immediately issued for a truck matching Lorden’s description. Although kidnapping was not a common occurrence, all of the law-enforcement officers knew how critical the first few hours of search were. A trail is only a trail as long as it remains discernable.

With the help of the highway patrol, hasty blockades were established on four of the six country roads in and around Conway. The FBI’s Little Rock field office was informed of the incident at daybreak, and Special Agent Ronald Silverton agreed to assist the local sheriff in prosecuting the search. Kidnappings qualified for federal involvement, but for the most part, the FBI only pursued those cases they determined to be successfully prosecutable. The Price kidnapping wasn’t promising, but Silverton thought that if they moved quickly, they might have a chance.

With Agent Silverton coordinating FBI resources and Sheriff Rob Green leading the investigation on the ground, an exhaustive search for the missing children was launched. Field and ditch, canal and culvert: no evidence found. The word of Alex and Jessica’s kidnapping was heavily circulated through dozens of Arkansas newspapers and radio stations.

The Prices had no photographs of their children, the simple reason being that they didn’t own a camera. They had saved for a family portrait to be taken in Conway for Christmas that year, but it was still late harvest.

An artist was brought in from the Little Rock police department, and his sketch of the two children was printed in newspapers and on flyers, which were tacked to hundreds of posts covering a two-hundred-mile radius. Meanwhile, the authorities constructed a likely kidnapping scenario based on the evidence gathered at the crime scene.

The Unknown Subjects, or UNSUBs, as unknown perpetrators of crimes are commonly called, evidently approached both the Hope ranch house and the Menendez trailer before proceeding to the Price house. Multiple boot impressions matching those outside the Price children’s window were also found on the ground outside windows at both the Hope and Menendez homes.

“We knew then that we were dealing with the worst sort of kidnapping,” Special Agent Silverton recalls. “The evidence suggested that the perpetrators passed up valuables in clear sight of the Hope windows and moved on to the Menendez house. Finding nothing of interest, they approached the Price house, where they found what they’d come for: children.”

There are two primary classifications of kidnappers: those who kidnap victims as leverage for ransom, and those who kidnap victims for their own personal use.

It became immediately clear to Silverton that they were dealing with the latter classification. The Prices obviously had little or nothing to give a kidnapper in exchange for their children. They didn’t hold positions of influence or have access to information that any kidnapper might be seeking.

In all likelihood, Alex and Jessica were taken by someone who either wanted but could not produce children, or by someone who intended to use the children for some unidentified enterprise.

In addition, the evidence suggested that the perpetrators were not new to the crime they’d committed. Once they found the children, they painstakingly removed the window frame from the wall, one screw at a time, a task that may have taken up to an hour.

No fingerprints were lifted from the room. There had been no cry of alarm from the children until they were outside the house, suggesting they’d been carefully lifted from their beds while deep asleep. Like many parents, the Prices sometimes allowed the children to fall asleep on the couch and then moved them to their beds, which could account for the reason neither Alex nor Jessica made a fuss sooner than they did.

The cold outside had likely woken the children, but by then their mouths were covered and their abductors were running for the truck.

Guessing that the kidnappers were not of the variety who holed up nearby while they issued their demands for a ransom, Silverton broadened his search to the states surrounding Arkansas. An extensive search of the FBI records for abductions with a matching profile was immediately initiated. Casts of the tire marks and the boot impressions were sent to the FBI’s crime lab at Quantico for detailed examination.

A week passed without any solid leads. Lorden and Betty grew even more frantic. Hope of a quick recovery gave way to a resolve for a long search.

The fact that only the vilest kind of human could possibly take a child wasn’t lost on Lorden. His fear of what the children might be facing was replaced by a sleepless rage against the animals who preyed on such young, innocent children.

A month passed, and Silverton visited the Prices with some advice that they refused to accept. The number of cases in which abducted children were recovered after being missing for more than a month was negligible. He gently encouraged Lorden and Betty to prepare for a life without their children.

Two months went by, and not a single solid lead to the UNSUBs’ identities or location surfaced. The authorities knew what shoes they wore—size 11 and size 6 Bigton work boots, likely worn by a man and a woman. Perhaps a husband-and-wife team. Based on the tire casts, they concluded that the vehicle used for the kidnapping was a Ford F150 pickup manufactured between 1954 and 1957. A file full of circumstantial evidence suggested the kidnappers lived in a rural setting, were handy with tools, likely lacked formal education, and would go to extraordinary lengths to acquire a child. But none of this evidence led the FBI or the local authorities to the abductors themselves.

Two months stretched into six, and Lorden slowly gave up hope and began to take Agent Silverton’s advice.

Betty wanted to have another child immediately, but he insisted they wait. “Lorden was afraid they’d come back and take that child too,” José Menendez said. “I’m telling you, he never recovered. He was a shell after that. Like you couldn’t pull no life from the man if you tried.”

Alex and Jessica were gone. For all Lorden and Betty knew, their children were dead.

But Alex and Jessica were not dead.

They were in Oklahoma. And they would not rejoin the world for thirteen years.

Chapter One

Adam


A HOT, STICKY EVENING in Los Angeles. Outside, the city was clogged with traffic and a million souls fighting their way through another rush hour, preoccupied with bloated mortgage payments and impossible social pressures. Inside the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, the air conditioner’s hum had more significance to Daniel at the moment.

Special Agent Daniel Clark stared across the broad maple desk at Frank Montova’s dark eyes, set deep behind puffy cheeks, like raisins. The man’s neck bulged over a collar two sizes too small. Of the fifty-six domestic FBI field offices, only four were large enough to be helmed by an assistant director in charge, or an ADIC, as opposed to a special agent in charge. LA was one of those four. The running joke was that Montova fit his professional acronym at times. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t use other resources at our disposal,” Daniel said.

“You don’t catch a methodical pattern killer who’s left a trail of fifteen victims across nine states without a lot of help. I don’t care how good you are. You go rogue, you break the chain-of-evidence custody, and you’ll blow our chances of getting a prosecution altogether, let alone a conviction.”

“This isn’t just about getting a conviction,” Daniel said. “It’s about stopping the killer in the Eve case before he kills another woman. It’s about getting into the mind of a killer without him knowing it. I think I can do that better alone than with a team. We follow protocol, we may never find him. We have to anticipate him, not just chase him.”

“You sure this isn’t about Mark White’s death?” Mark was the forensic pathologist who’d worked with Daniel, uncovering what clues they could from the victims’ bodies. Two weeks earlier he was killed in a car crash that hadn’t yet been ruled accidental. Daniel had considered Mark a friend more than a partner.

“I can understand how you might come to that conclusion, but no. Mark and I had discussed going dark. This is about trying to get an investigation ahead of Eve, not just waiting to catch up with his crime scenes.”

“I’d be more concerned with legality and judicial precedence.” Montova’s lips turned down. “The director doesn’t like it. There are reasons why the bureau investigates the way it does.” Daniel took a slow breath, calmed himself. “You’re denying my request?”

The chief eyed him carefully. “It’s my call. And, yes, I’m leaning that way.”

Daniel stood from the green upholstered guest chair and stepped over to the window. Like many of the bureau offices, the furniture was dated, held over from the last round of budget cuts. Two bookcases stuffed with black case logs and leather-bound legal briefs. A fake rubber tree plant in one corner. Round oak conference table with four metal chairs. Gray industrial carpet.

The city towered outside, gray piles of concrete jutting to the sky beyond Wilshire Boulevard like a dusty three-dimensional bar graph.

“Fifteen women are dead because of our bureaucratic inability to do what is necessary. He kills every lunar cycle, which means he already has his next victim. And if pathology’s correct, he’s already exposed her to the disease. Twenty-eight days is tomorrow. And we have no breaks, am I right?”

“Go on.”

“If we get nothing this time, let me go dark. Give me access to whatever information I need—I work strictly through a channel of your choosing. Officially take me off the case. Put a legal layer of protection in play so that we don’t endanger the evidence or the case, and then prosecute as you see fit. But let me do what I do best. Alone.” Montova regarded him with a long stare. Shifted his eyes to the bookcase on his left. Daniel followed his gaze. Two spines stood out from the long row of books, a red one and a black one, side by side. Inside the Criminal Mind Fixing the Broken Among Us Both were authored by the same man. Daniel Clark, PhD.

He’d written them after receiving his doctorate at age thirty-five. The subsequent five years of lectures and tours led to his divorce from Heather, after which he requested and received a reassignment to the field. That was nearly two years ago.

At first the Eve case gave him an avenue of escape from the pain of the divorce. But the case soon developed into an obsession because, as Heather insisted, Daniel knew nothing but obsession. It was why he understood the obsessive criminal mind as well as he did. It was why he’d gone back to school for his doctorate. Why he’d ignored his wife in favor of dishing out a hundred lectures on the same subject. It took an obsessive mind to know one.

Behavioral patterns, like forensic evidence, could lead them not only to a conviction but also to a new understanding of the psychology of serial killing. ViCAP, the federal Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, had a continually evolving database about the intrinsic natures of violent criminals. A pebble of prevention against a landslide of future psychopaths.

The Eve killer was a poster child for the conclusions presented in both of Daniel’s books if there ever was one.

Montova’s eyes were back on him. “Do what you do best, huh?” “Yes.” “And what is it that you do best, Daniel?”

“I work alone best. Without all the distractions that keep me out.” “Out?”

Daniel hesitated. “Of his mind.”

“Eve’s mind.”

“Yes.” Few understood the discipline and focus required to enter the criminal mind.

“Isn’t that a dangerous thing to do? Alone?”

Daniel shifted in his chair, uncomfortable for the first time.

Heather’s words came to him. They’re your addiction, Daniel. You live your life in their minds!

“If not me, then who?” he said. “You want this piece of trash off the streets, you take some risks.”

The assistant director clasped his hands on the desk calendar in front of him. His straight hair, normally slicked to one side, curled down over one ear. Montova was a respected man—a throwback to the previous generation, preferring a pen and a calendar to a Palm Pilot. As he liked to put it, the mind was sharper than any brain power a computer could muster.

“You’re more concerned about beating Eve at his own game than you are about the victims,” Montova said.

Daniel crossed his legs. “You’re forgetting that I was on the Diablo case in Utah. I’ve seen what a compulsive killer can do in the space of seven hours. Don’t tell me I don’t care about the victims. I care about stopping the killer, not just wandering behind him with a dustpan and filling out Uniform Crime Reports.”

“I’m not saying you don’t care about the victims. I’m saying they’re not what drives you.”

Daniel started to object, but the words caught in his throat. “Does it matter?”

“Actually, it does,” Montova said.

His desk phone beeped twice.

“It tells me why your motivation runs so deep. This isn’t just a job to you, and that makes you a risk to this investigation, even a liability. Your allegiance to protocols—I don’t care if you wrote them—is critical.”

The phone rang twice more before he reached for the receiver and lifted it to his ear. “Yes?” He listened, interrupting once for clarification.

Daniel glanced at the books he’d written. Heather had repeatedly made the same accusation Montova had. The truth of it had cost them their marriage.

Montova hung up and pressed another extension. “Send her in.” He set the receiver back into its cradle.

“Send who in?”

The door opened and a woman stepped in. Closed the door behind her.

“Daniel, meet Lori Ames. Lori, meet Daniel Clark, our major crime SAIC.”

Daniel stood and shook her hand. “Nice to meet you.”

“I know your work,” Lori said. “It’s great to finally meet you.”

Daniel turned to the bureau chief. “I take it this conversation is over. I hope we can—”

“Sit down, Clark,” Montova said. To the woman: “Have a seat.” Lori brushed past him, wearing a gentle smile. Soft brown eyes and a slender body wrapped in a dark business suit. Black heels. Blonde hair that hung just past her shoulders.

But it was the way she looked at him that caught Daniel’s attention. Like she knew more than he might assume she did.

He followed her back to the guest chairs and sat.

Montova eyed them both and spoke when neither offered comment.

“Agent Ames is a pathologist from the Phoenix field office’s evidence response team. She knew the fourteenth victim, Amber Riley, and has since become quite familiar with the case. We’d like to reassign her to you.”

They were replacing Mark White two weeks after his death. But why not with a local? There were at least five qualified pathologists at the LA field office. He glanced over at her. Skirt tight against one toned leg crossed over the other. Not exactly the dress of a field agent.

“I suppose that’s your call, sir.”

“It is, and I’ve made it. She starts now. And I’ve changed my mind. I’m granting your request. Assuming, that is, you don’t object to working through Lori. She’ll remain on the case but shadow you in all respects.”

Daniel didn’t know what to say. “Just like that?”

“Just like that. Working within these new parameters you suggested, of course. Who do you suggest I turn the case over to?”

“Brit Holman,” he said without thinking. The man was competent and nearly as familiar with the case as Daniel was. “You’re saying you’ll let me go dark alone, as long as my sole contact is an agent who’s new to the case?”

Montova looked at Lori, who evidently took his stare as an invitation to share.

“The first believed victim was discovered sixteen months ago in the basement of All Saints Catholic Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Maria Stencho, a twenty-three-year-old tasked with cleaning the church. Her body was bruised and blistered, and traces of a previously unknown bacteria similar to Streptococcus pneumoniae were found in her blood. SP is normally associated with meningitis, which infects the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can kill a host within hours in a manner consistent with Maria Stencho’s death.

No signs of struggle, no evidence of blunt-force trauma. No evidence of harm caused by any weapon. According to the local medical examiner, cause of death was acute encephalitis, most closely associated with symptoms consistent with ICD-10, code A-85, meningoencephalitis.

The lab work detailed leukocytes in the cerebrospinal fluid after a lumbar tap, and confirmed that the disease was present and in full effect at the time of death. It was first assumed that Stencho died from a form of meningitis. Shall I go on?” “I get the point,” Daniel said.

But Montova held up his hand. “Please, go on.”

“The next victim was found twenty-eight days later in San Diego. A Mormon, age twenty, female. This time in the basement of an LDS church. Nearly identical set of circumstances except this time the name EVE was painted in red on the cement wall next to the body.

Lab came up with the same results in the spinal fluid, and the local coroner found evidence of the same intracranial pressure, as well as advanced infection of the meninges. She died of brain pressure leading to cerebral hemorrhage. A new victim has been found every new moon—the killer evidently likes the dark. All fifteen have been female, between the ages of nineteen and twenty-four. All found underground: seven in church basements, four in abandoned cellars at abandoned farms, four in natural caverns preselected by the killer.”

Lori switched her gaze to Daniel. She was unique, he’d give her that much. Fresh. Her eyes sparkled with an infectious mystery. If he wasn’t mistaken, in her late thirties.

“Evidence recovered from each scene includes size 13 shoe impressions—Bigton boots available at any one of several large chains across America. Stride indicates a height of six-six, and indentation puts him between 220 and 250. Different white vans were recovered near two of the sites. Hair and skin cell samples from each identify the killer as Caucasian, blood type B-positive, male. The lab cross-checked him through Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and his DNA profile has appeared in no other investigations outside of this series. Hair indicates he is in his forties. There were no latent prints. No saliva, blood, semen, or any other fluid that could be traced to any other source than the victim. The killer’s not a secretor. He’s effectively either a newcomer or a ghost.”

A pause. Then she went on delivering the data with practiced precision.

“The fact that he’s gone to such great lengths to avoid leaving any prints suggests he believes his prints are in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database. Which in turn suggests he’s a professional. His killing is organized, patterned, premeditated, and clearly religiously motivated. He’s killing with motives that are consistent with a classic psychopathic profile—he knows right from wrong, and he chooses wrong. He will continue until he is captured or killed. His profile indicates that he will likely never be taken alive. Nothing else is known about Eve.”

Beat. “Would you like me to tell you about you now? An even more fascinating case.”

“I know myself, thank you,” Daniel replied, offering her a polite grin.

“Do you?”

Lori said it with complete sincerity, as if she were his therapist and was only interested in the truth. Then she smiled. “I hope not. My mother always told me that men who think they know themselves are only stuck-up versions of those who don’t.”

“Smart lady.”

The soft hiss of the air conditioner settled the room.

“Like I said, Lori has familiarized herself with the case,” Montova said. His phone rang and he took the call. He nodded curtly and dropped the receiver back in its cradle.

“You’ll have time to fill in the blanks on the way.”

“Sir?”

“Local police in Manitou Springs, Colorado, just received a report of an abandoned white van found by two spelunkers near the Cave of the Winds. They found an entrance to an unmarked cave nearby. The report drew a flag from Eve’s ViCAP profile. Local enforcement is setting up a perimeter, but they’ve been told to stay out of the scene until you arrive.”

Daniel sat still, breath gone. Eve.

Ice crept through his veins.

Daniel stood and crossed the room in three long steps. He grabbed the doorknob and was halfway through before Montova’s voice stopped him.

“Lori goes with you.”

He spun back and saw that she was already right behind him. “Fine.”


Meet the author:
Ted Dekker


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