Got a call from detectives at the Green River Task Force, who asked me to do them a favor. They had information that might lead to the identification of one of the Jane Doe remains they still have. The favor involved trying to confirm that there was a female from my area that had disappeared back in the late 70’s. The parents had never made a missing persons report, and my job was to take that report if the daughter was in fact missing; and then to obtain a DNA sample.
I arrived with evidence tech Kristen (who was there to scrape cheeks for DNA) at the home and knocked on the outer door of the front porch. The door opened and an old woman stepped out to open the porch door. I then noticed, down by the woman’s feet, an old chihuahua waddling arthritically alongside her. The dog looked to be 30 years old and next to death, but its clouded good eye still looked at me as if I was its last challenge; bite the cop and finally get to go to doggy heaven.
Now I know that chihauhaus are very small, but my ankles hurt just as much as anything higher when bitten. The woman could sense my discomfort and said,
“She’s old, she’s mean, and she bites”.
It took me a minute to decide if she was talking about the dog or herself in the third person. I decided that she must have been talking about the dog because I noticed that she had forgotten to put her teeth in when she answered the door. Once inside, the dog took to barking at me; at least I think it was barking, either that or hacking up it’s left lung. Kristen (who has two chihauhaus herself) knelt down and started goochy-gooing this creature, and within a minute the dog was wagging its tail and accepting her scratches. The woman looked angry and said,
“She don’t even let me touch her”.
She then told me the story of how she had last seen her 19 year old daughter in 1979, and she has not heard from her since. The daughter was living a rough life in the 70's, and this woman had written her off, never bothering to tell anyone that she was missing and likely dead.
I guess even an old dog can learn kindness; some people never do.