In the six years I spent tracking David Addley, it never occurred to me that he didn’t exist. David might be missing but he is a real boy, I even have a picture of him I look at each day to remind why I’ve spent these years searching. Davids’ case began like many others I came across as a member of the Boston PD. My partner, Detective Ryan and I were called to the scene of a missing child. Even though the house was located in a poor section of town this house still stuck out. The yard had grass up to our knees and the roof had moss growing on it. “What a dump” Detective Ryan quipped. As the door was opening I could only give him a look that said “stuff it.”
A frightened looking woman was standing on the other side. “Hi ma’am I’m detective Malone and this is my partner detective Ryan may we come in?” She moved to the side as we entered and I could’ve sworn she flinched when I walked by. “Please you need to find my David” she moaned. “We are going to do everything we can” I replied. “Do you have a recent picture of David?” She left the room and returned with a picture of a frail looking boy, whose eyes told a story of a bad childhood. “Are there any places David frequents, perhaps a friends house?” Ryan asked. “David doesn’t have any friends” Mrs. Addley replied. We thanked her for the picture and informed her that we would do everything we could to find her son. “ I have an inkling that a visit to the Department of Children and Families will be enlightening” I said to Ryan. “ You think?” he replied with a smirk on his face.
My suspicions were confirmed when we were handed David Addley’s file. Detective Ryan and I read through it and I must admit it was disturbing. David’s father was abusive to both him and his mother, beating them regularly, leading to the Boston PD responding to calls at least 5 times. On one such occasion it was reported that David’s father had him extend his hands and extinguished lit cigarettes on them. Other times he would force David to stand in the corner for hours until he would collapse. The report also showed that Davids growth had been stunted because of malnourishment. “I can understand if he ran away” I said. “Not me” Ryan replied, “the kid should’ve been tougher, that stuff wouldn’t have happened to me.” “Weakness has nothing to do with it, he’s just a kid!” I said practically yelling. Putting his hands up Ryan said “calm down man I was just being honest, let’s get some lunch before we go question Mr. Addley.” “Ok lets do that, but keep your fuckin comments to yourself.”
As we walked to the elevator I couldn’t help but think about David and the things he had been through. When the elevator door opened it was crowded with people. All of a sudden I got really hot and sweat formed on my forehead so I loosened my collar a bit. With a look of irritation Ryan asked “are you going to get in?” “Jesus, can you give me a second?” I growled back. Taking a deep breath I pushed my way into the middle. Pointing to my hands Ryan asks “ What’s your problem, why are you rubbing your hands like that?” “Nothing’s wrong I’m fine” I said even though I hadn’t noticed that I was doing it. The others in the elevator were looking at me with concern.
For lunch we went to our usual spot, a little hole in the wall diner. As we were eating Ryan was looking at me funny. “What are you looking at?” I asked. “I’m looking at you man” he replied, are you expecting someone to take your food?” I looked down and saw that I had my arm wrapped around my plate. “They cant, I won’t let them!” I said nearly yelling. The other diners jumped up in alarm, “Relax man, your acting crazy” Ryan whispered. Getting up I toss some money on the table, “come on we have to question Mr. Addley.”
When we arrived back at the Addley residence I knocked on the door and it slowly creaked open. The first thing I noticed was that all of the Addley’s belongings were gone. Ryan and I cleared each room and as I entered one of the bedrooms the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I could picture David standing face first in the corner swaying back and forth. Ryan startled me when he grabbed me by the shoulder “ hey, no one is here, we have to report the Addleys’ as being on the run. “You’re right” I replied and I shivered once again as I realized that I had been standing in the corner.
The case soon became cold and we were assigned to new cases but David was always there in the back of my mind. I asked to be transferred to the Family Justice Division to continue to work on the case. When the case stalled there I quit the force and got my PI license to spend all my time looking for David.
Detective Ryan was upset about my decision saying I was weak for quitting the force. I wasn’t being weak, it took strength for me to leave just like it did for David. In the ensuing 6 years we lost touch with each other. It has been worth it as I have been able to use every waking hour going over all possible leads in my search for David. Every night since that first day I take his picture out of my wallet and go to my bedroom. Rubbing my hands together as I get into bed the last thing I see is David’s picture on the windowsill. I smile as I fall asleep, my hands finally at rest, moonlight falling on old scars.