This is a chapter taken from my book: THE HALLOWEEN ABDUCTIONS
October 31, 2016 - Abbeville, AL
All she could see were the moving lights outside her window. There was darkness—nothing but darkness—with the exception of the flashlights moving across the yard and into the woods. Then there were the sounds—barking dogs, continuous barking. There were voices; calling to each other, signaling... It was loud and echoing. The sounds begin to fade as the search and rescue team move away from the church yard and through the woods, then scattered onto the surrounding properties. All she could feel was the pounding of her heart and the tears streaming down her face. Her child, her only child, her little boy was missing. The thoughts in her head were crowding her brain: was he still alive? Was he cold and scared? Did he think his mommy had abandoned him? Why would God allow this to happen to an innocent little boy? She just wanted to scream, to hit someone, to… no, she just wanted to hold her little boy again.
The clock strikes midnight. Just three hours earlier, four year old Josiah Hindson was playing on the indoor playground at Lake Community Baptist Church. The church had carried out their annual October 31st Harvest Festival. Josiah’s parents, Seth and Carly Hindson, were the church youth ministers. They had been in charge of the youth activities for the night, and now that the festivities were over, they were helping with the clean-up. Josiah, as well as the other preschoolers, were playing under youth supervision on the indoor playground while other youth and parents participated in the clean-up. The festival ended at 9 PM and clean up was complete by 10 PM due to proper organization and adequate participation. Not many churches could boast of such efficient ministry teams. As Seth Hindson went to warm up the car, Carly went to the playground to pick up Josiah. However… he was nowhere to be found. The initial feelings of fear soon subsided as Carly remembered that his favorite game was hide and seek. She knew her son well and guessed he was probably hiding in one of the playground tunnels. She decided to join in the fun and play along with her son. Yet within minutes of joining the game, she realized it was not a game. Fear hit hard and soon turned to panic as she realized her baby was not on the playground but was, in fact, missing.
It didn’t take long for the church to organize a search party. There were at least thirty people (who had helped with the church clean-up) still lingering around and talking when it was discovered that Josiah was missing. Among these church members were Sheriff Beau Davidson, Lee Bryant, and Nancy Kingston. Sheriff Davidson didn’t take long to contact the authorities and make sure the proper reports were filled out. He also put in a help request to the Dothan Air Search and Rescue unit. Lee Bryant was one of the many farming church members and a devoted hunter. He had no shortage of hunting dogs. As a matter of fact, his dogs had been used before to assist local law enforcement as well as law enforcement in surrounding counties in search and rescue missions. His farm was only a mile from the church, and part of his property had been used this night for the church hayride. Mr. Bryant, who was also a deacon and a choir member, wasted no time getting his dogs to the church and geared up for the hunt. Nancy Kingston, the church clerk, was great at organizing any event or ministry. Being a driven woman, she immediately jumped into the role of organizing the search party. She also activated the community prayer chain and began enlisting help for the search in the surrounding areas. Her nineteen year old son, Travis, recruited several members of the football team who immediately began researching the church building and property.
As thankful as the Hindsons were for the quick response and the love and support they were receiving, it still seemed not enough. It would never be enough…not until their little boy was in their arms again.
October 31, 2016 - Albany, NY
It is shortly after 10 PM and the fall festivities at Revival Fire Gospel Church were starting to die down. The night’s fall celebration had gone well and the church members felt joyful and accomplished. Assistant Pastors Lawrence and Carly Hickman were quite proud of how well the Alternative Halloween Party had gone. Never would any of the members of Revival Fire celebrate Halloween, so the church always held an alternative Halloween Party. The Hickman’s had two sons Henley (20 years old) and Manley (15 years old). The Hickmans were proud parents of their two homeschooled boys, who were both actively involved in church. Henley always headed up games and recreational activities, while Manley was a gifted singer and violin player. He used his musical abilities to help lead church services and special occasions in praise.
As the members were getting ready to leave Revival Fire after the clean-up from the night’s festivities, the youth pastor, Will Boutman, approached the Hickmans with some concern. He told Lawrence and Carly that he had heard Henley making comments to some of the older teen girls of a comical but sexual nature. He tried to speak to Henley in regards to this behavior, but Henley laughed in his face and walked away. He also relayed that a parent had come to him complaining of Manley cursing at their four year old, when the young boy touched Manley’s violin. He requested that the parents talk to the boys and remind them that if they were going to be in church service that they must conduct themselves in a Christ-like manner. Carly sneered and turned away, but Lawrence reluctantly agreed to speak with the boys. On the drive home, instead of confronting Henley and Manley on their behavior, the parents railed against Pastor Boutman for insinuating that their boys would dare do anything wrong. The family arrived at home, went in, went to their separate rooms, and went to bed.
At 2 AM the phone began to ring at the home of the pastor of Revival Fire Gospel Church. At 2:04 the phone begins to ring at the garage apartment of youth Pastor, Will Boutman. Its 2:05 and the phone is ringing at Assistant Pastor, Lawrence Hickman’s home. Three-year-old Martina Boutman, niece of Will Boutman, is found missing from her bed. All differences that had occurred earlier are laid aside. Everyone is united under a common mission: to help the family and the police in the search for little Martina.
October 31, 2016 - Baton Rouge, LA
It's 7 PM and it’s a typical Halloween night at the Swamp Land Neighborhood Park. The annual community Halloween party is well underway, complete with a costume competition, haunted house, children’s games, and lots of food. Laughter, squeals, screams, and chattering echo through the air. Residents are comfortable. They are content. They feel secure. Their cozy little world has never been stirred. Their children roam freely and the parents mingle uninterrupted. It is the perfect family community. It is the perfect place for the Thompsons. They moved to the community nine months ago. Marla and Jack Thompson, with their eighteen year old son (Buckey), love their lives in this new community. This is the Thompson’s first year at the community Halloween celebration, and this event has confirmed that life couldn’t get any better. Everyone is oblivious to the horror that will soon unfold. That is the horror that two year old Essie Lane will encounter.
October 31, 2016 - Atlanta, GA
The employees at Happy Clown Burgers had never seen so many out-of-control creatures running around in one place. A Dalmatian, a Transformer, and Spongebob were spitting spitballs at Strawberry Shortcake and Dora the Explorer. The Edward Cullen and Katy Perry wannabes were making out in the corner in between eating their chicken nuggets. There were ghosts, witches, Darth Vader, hobos, scarecrows, a dinosaur, and Spiderman running around like wild animals on the indoor playground of Happy Clown Burgers. Two women, who thought they made great impersonators of Elvira and Beyoncé, were supposedly watching their children who were amongst the tyrants on the playground. However, instead of actually paying attention to their kids, these two mothers were more concerned with the younger men and teenage boys coming in and out of the burger joint. As the trick or treating was winding down for the night, more families were coming in and out of Happy Clown Burger. Libby, the red headed cashier of 17, commented to her co-worker, “It would seem that parents want their kids to have a nutritious meal before they go home and eat all that candy.” They both laughed, knowing exactly how nutritious their food was not. Young, old, and in between, people were generally happy and without a care on this Halloween night. The Happy Clown employees were just waiting for closing. All they could think about is how irresponsible most of the parents had seemed in allowing their kids to run uncivilized. They were thankful, however, that the family with Thing 1 and Thing 2 had left. Those little things had been playing with the drink dispensers their entire stay. All they did was waste and make a mess while their parents played with their iPhones. Finally the customers began to clear out; there were only about three families left to finish up their meals. The cashiers gave a sigh of relief and begin to clean up for the night. They were enjoying the sound of quiet; that is, until the quiet was interrupted with the screams of a young mother. This young mother, dressed as Raggedy Ann, was crying uncontrollably. Her husband, Raggedy Andy, had gone to warm up the car for his wife and two young children. Liam Masters, four years old, was dressed as a box of French fries, and was crying and pointing toward the door. All he could say was “the cowboy got her.” Eighteen month old Breland Masters, dressed as a bumble bee, was now missing. Her mother, Lacy Masters, daughter of one of the richest men in the city, had walked away from the table just long enough to throw their garbage away. When she turned around, her little Breland was gone.
October 31, 2016 - Panama City, FL
Beachside Methodist Church was hosting their first annual Harvest Festival concert and trunk or treat party. Because of crime and the negative impact of today’s culture, the families of Beachside Methodist had decided to host a more wholesome type of celebration for Halloween night. The church had even chosen a theme for their decorations and costumes: IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE. Everyone was to dress as if they were ready for a jungle safari or come as their favorite jungle animal. There were big lions, itty bitty lions, snakes, elephants, and more. There were even more who dressed ready for a traipsing through the jungle. The church praise band put on an outdoor concert. There were activities such as cake walks, guess the animal games, jungle puppet show, and face painting (the most popular being leopard spots and zebra stripes). The pastor even preached a mini sermon based on the theme. He warned parents that life in this world was like a jungle. There were dangers everywhere and they were waiting to entrap their children. He warned the young people of the evil predators in the world, the ones who waiting to pounce on them like a lion stalking its prey and destroy their lives. Then there was the trunk or treating. The children especially loved this part. The church members had parked their cars in a circle, decorated their trunks with either Halloween decorations or jungle decorations and had filled them with candy and small toys. The kids went from trunk to trunk. They filled their bags, they carried on conversations with the adults at each car, they laughed, and some sang as they collected their loot. In this small church setting, the atmosphere was cozy and secure. Everyone knew each other. Even the newest church additions, the new minister of music and his family felt at home. Mitch and Vanessa Parker had received their first position as ministers in the small church. They were also first time parents. They had a beautiful three month old little girl with fair skin and a head full of black curly hair. Everyone thought she looked just like her father. Lacey Parker was already loved by the entire church. Having only been at the church for six months and being very protective parents, the Parkers still were not quite comfortable with how much their baby girl was passed around. All the babies were passed around in this close knit church family. When the Parkers arrived at the church’s Fall Festival with Lacey looking adorable in her little giraffe outfit, everyone had to hold her and hug her and show her off to the family and friends they had brought with them. Vanessa forced herself to relax and trust her new church family. Before the night was over, that would prove to be a mistake. The fun and laughter turned to fear and tears as the police were called in to help find baby Lacey Parker.
Chapter 2 to follow...