Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Missing Telecom Executive

This is a true story, it's not meant to be funny, and I don't know how it ends yet. One of our company's sales executives is missing. It's mysterious, it's confusing, and it's terrifying to think that it could happen to someone that you know. For now, I won't use any proper names in the hope that this is all innocently explained. I'll call him Curt. Here's what we know so far.

Curt was delayed getting into the airport last night. He called several people in the office more than once to tell them that he would be getting in late. Once at the hotel, he met a co-woker in the hotel bar for a drink and discussion. He seemed in good spirits.

This morning around 9:30am, Curt called his boss to verify the meeting time (10:30). We know that he ordered breakfast and that it was delivered at 9:28am. That's the last anyone's heard from or seen him.

The hotel is maybe 1/4 mile from the office - a straight shot with no turns. There's a Starbuck's on the way, but no other distractions. Curt's been to the office before. There's really no chance that he got lost.

The hotel operator looked in his room. The breakfast trays are there - the food eaten. Curt's suitcases are all still in the room. His briefcase is missing. Just as if he packed up and headed to the office, except that he never made it there.

Curt just started at the company, so we didn't have all of his contact information. It's a small industry, so we called friends who called friends and eventually we got in touch with Curt's wife. See, the police won't file a missing persons report without a relative. Curt's wife was on a business trip. She's currently flying home to find any information on what rental car agency he used or any other information that might be relevant. Since Curt had just started, he'd made his own reservations. His wife hasn't heard from him today, either.

Curt's cell phone is ringing. It's not going straight to voice mail. That means it's on somewhere and he's not answering. Curt's not the type to ignore his cell phone. The police have said that they won't contact the cell phone company to trace which cell tower he's near. We're trying some inside contacts to see if we can do it ourselves.

The police have told us that no traffic accidents in the area were fatal today, and that everyone involved in every accident was coherent and in good shape. They also told us that he's not in jail. No one matching his description has been admitted to a hospital - although they're harder to get that type of information from these days.

Curt is an energetic guy, a big guy that you wouldn't want to challenge, and a driven guy who was looking forward to his new assignment. Everyone that knows him well says that he wouldn't disappear voluntarily.

The best scenarios aren't good. No one's thinking about the worst scenarios. Please keep Curt's family and friends in your prayers. If nothing's changed by tomorrow, and if the family doesn't object, I'll post an update.

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