Great Baddow, EssexJuly 25th, 2010
rett #ohnson !as about to pour himself a coffee !hen he heard #ulie $illiams% piercing scream. Peering from his !indo! he sa! that his ne&t door neighbour !as in her front garden' clearly deeply distraught. (astily abandoning the percolator' he rushed outside to ascertain the cause of her panic and offer !hat help he could.)#ulie* $hatever%s the matter+%),t%s Chrissie' she%s gone*% came the hysterical reply.)-teady no!' #ulie. No! ta"e a deep breath and tell me e&actly !hat you mean.%,n a voice !arped by emotion' #ulie told him that sevenyearold Chrissie had been playing in the front garden but !as no!here to be seen !hen she !ent to call her in for her tea. )-he%s been ta"en' /rett' , "no! she has.%/rett uic"ly shoo" his head. ), very much doubt that' #ulie. No' she%s ust !andered off some!here. Children are prone to do that' as you !ell "no!.%)No* Not my Chrissie*%)All right' listen' !e%re !asting time. $ait !hile , grab my car "eys and !e%ll go find her. Ten seconds*%As good as his !ord /rett !as bac" in a trice and #ulie%s nose !as soon pressed to the side !indo! of his grey ord hatchbac" as he methodically toured four or five of the treelined roads adacent to theirs. $ith no oy. After ten long minutes there !as still no sign of Christine. )3rive me home4 , must call the police'% sobbed #ulie. )(old on a moment. Are there any of Christine%s school pals living nearby !hose homes !e could try+%)5nly 6achel 7 6achel ay 7 at 89 eado! Avenue' but Chrissie !ould never attempt to go there on her o!n.%):et%s give that a try any!ay.%/rett made a ;turn and hastily doubled bac" to eado! Avenue' halting the car outside number 89.#ulie%s urgent hammering on the front door brought no response. There !as clearly no one at home. -he ran bac" to the car.