Time to Regroup

10 MAY 24, 01:30
TRACEN Cape May, NJ – CGPD Station, Conference Room

It had been just an hour since the members of the team had arrived and were briefed on the disappearance of the AWOL Recruit, Robert Malcolm. In the past hour the chief of the Coast Guard Police here at the TRACEN with the assistance of INV2 Bradley had established the locations and steps taken to search for Malcolm. Roe had made contact with the County Sheriff, State Police in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as the Philadelphia Police Department. He had also made a phone call to Malcolm’s mother that her son never returned from liberty and they were concerned and to contact them if she’d heard from him.

Roe couldn’t get a read on the mother and decide whether or not that the mother was withholding, sad, or unsurprised by the event. She seemed stoic and knew that the best thing that could happen at this point was to actually interview the woman in person or send someone to do it.

Roe of course also had to deal with the fact that Special Agent Trainee Reeves clearly detested the fact that she was a rookie and had the tactical ability in an investigation of a pit bull trained to kill. That was coming to an end though as he had just gotten off the phone with an annoyed Special Agent-in-Charge who was not looking forward to having a chat with Reeves when she arrived back in Virginia.

“Belton come on,” he said, pulling the Yeoman from her desk and into the conference room with him where his team as well as the CGPD Chief and one of his supervisors stood.

Hannah grabbed her note pad and headed into the conference room and took her seat. Hannah took note of the two new faces but said nothing.  

“Everyone take a seat and quiet down,” Roe announced as he entered the room. He couldn’t help but notice the looks he got from the two senior members of CGPD but they did know who was in charge here like it or not.

“I’ve contacted the Cape May County Sheriff, New Jersey and Pennsylvania State Polices, and the Philadelphia Police Department and have shared and emailed descriptions and photos of Malcolm for distribution. All departments will be issuing hold and contact orders on Malcolm. I spoke to Mrs. Malcom, his mother, over the phone and someone needs to make physical contact with the woman… but we’ll come back to that,” Roe said.

“Chief Lamar, Buzz, where are we with our local investigation?” Kevin asked, dropping into an open chair away from the conference table that was full of maps of town, computers, and other items.

Hannah listened as the two provided an update on their part of the investigation thus far. She sat poised to take some notes if needed.  

“Basically stalled,” Buzz confirmed. “Nothing useful from his buddies, nothing helpful from the bars, just a bunch of half-assed opinions and heresay. Kid’s a ghost, right now,” he added. “Hopefully not literally…”

“Does anyone else have any thoughts on what to look into with the local search?” Roe asked.

“Could put up a helo,” Buzz canted his head to the side, expecting some resistance but chucking the idea into the mix anyway. “Ground search the area around the base with a coupla canine units, add the air station’s bigger eyes in and we might see something from above that we’re failing to note down here on our lonesome.”

“I’m not sure there are any local K9s but we can check into that. I understand the K9 that is normally assigned here was retired and still waiting on replacement. I’m also not certain that a K9 Track would even be helpful, realistically,” Roe said with a glance to Lamar to confirm that. “Good argument to put up a helicopter… we’ll never be able to comb all of the trails, beaches, and wooded areas with ground personnel.”

“I agree that at this point a K9 might not be the most effective use of resources. Without a dedicated search area and a more recent scent.” Brian added in concert with Roe’s thoughts.

“Have we come up with any cell phone information?” Roe asked, additionally.

“Nothing useful,” replied Buzz with a touch of inevitable frustration. He reeled off the details of the cell phone evidence (or lack thereof) that he and Lamar had dredged up, then concluded with a sigh. “Unable to determine any specifics before, during or after that influential call.”

“So the guy shut his phone off shortly after his last call with an untraceable phone number, fantastic,” Roe said, summarizing Buzz’s report. “Which means that his last known location with the phone was at the same bar that his battle buddy reportedly saw him.”

“Exactly, yeah,” Bradley confirmed. “Social media sweep? Track his bank account – guy wasn’t driving himself outta there, maybe he took an Uber or something?”

“He wouldn’t be able to use an Uber without his phone,” Roe pointed out. “But we can have Belton delve through the internet and one of us can check through bank information.” Roe paused, clearly thinking of a plan as he mulled things over.

“Buzz and I will head to Philly and meet with the family and see what we can learn and check out any leads there. Passolini will remain in charge here and continue the local investigation and look through financial statements. Belton can get that paperwork together for you to sign,” Roe said.

“Lamar and the PD will continue local searches and liaison with the civilian department with oversight from Passolini,” Roe said, glancing to the two of them. There would be no question that CGIS had taken over this investigation whether Lamar wanted to cry to the base CO or not.

Angelica nodded, “Best bet would be to hit the local bars near base. His battle buddy said they were at a bar called The Guardsman, while we get the financials and social media crawl, I can check it out.”

“Questions, comments, concerns, rude remarks?” Roe asked. When nobody spoke up after a moment he nodded, “alright lets get back to work.”

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