Two young Constables walked into Romford Police Station.
“Well that was a waste of time.”
“Well at least we found out that someone called Samuels used to live there. All be it fifteen years ago.”
They approached the Sergeant’s desk.
“Morning Sarge, no joy on that Ray Samuels visit.”
A voice shouted out from another room along the corridor.
“Bloody hell, it’s a long time since I’ve heard that name mentioned.”
The Desk Seargeant shouted back.
“Why, what do you know about Ray Samuels?”
A small bearded man came out of an office no bigger than a broom cupboard. He looked as though he’d just got out of bed. His hair was uncombed and greasy. He was wearing a shirt that had obviously seen better days and a pair of trousers that at some stage many years ago might just have fitted him, but certainly not now. His belt was straining under the weight of his belly.
He looked at the three Policeman in front of him.
“I keep forgetting I’m working with a load of kids. None of you would have been around when Ray Samuels was the talk of this station.”
The two Constables and the young Sergeant looked at him rather confused. The bearded man continued.
“About twenty years ago we had a bloody man hunt on our hands here. A young guy, Ray Samuels, went missing. He was late twenties, good looking boy, went out for a run and never came back.”
The young sergeant looked at the older man in a somewhat irritable way and said aloud. “AND…”
“And, nothing, we never found him. Disappeared off the face of the earth, no body, no clues, nothing. It was like he vanished into thin air. We thought at first he’d turn up with some tart somewhere, as I said he was a good looking bloke. There was a rumour he was carrying on with a bird from work, but that didn’t turn out to be true. Then we thought maybe he’d done a runner, maybe he was in debt or something. But nope, he had loads of money in the bank. We searched for him for years, never stopped, there were a few sightings here and there but nothing ever came of them. So in the end we gave up. His missus got remarried about ten years ago. She’s a mate of my wife. Lovely lady is Laura, got a daughter as well, Stacey, she must be about twenty four or twenty five now. Cracking looking girl.”
The desk sergeant was intrigued.
“So you never found him and just closed the case?”
“Yeh not much more we could do. We kept it open for about three years though, then we just couldn’t justify the man hours”
One of the young Constables smiled. “Course in those days you were all bloody dinosaurs, didn’t know what you were doing, probably still using magnifying glasses and sniffer dogs.”
The three of them laughed. But the bearded man didn’t see the funny side.
“Don’t you believe it. We had the best down here. We even had specialists turn up from Scotland Yard. At one stage we even had top brass from the Government. There was a rumour they were from MI5 or MI6 or something, it was all very secretive. We even thought he might be a spy, it was a big case back then. Anyway, why you talking about Ray Samuels?”
The desk Sergeant looked at his notes.
“Some Station up North were asking about him.”
“Why? What do they want with Ray Samuels?”
The desk Sergeant put on his glasses and carefully read the notes passed over from the night shift.
He took his time. He read them twice. He removed his glasses and looked up.
“Well according to these notes, Buxton Police Station are holding a man, aged about 30, dressed in jogging gear, says he lives in Romford and claims he’s Ray Samuels.”
Romford Police Station fell silent.