DISCLAIMER - This story is not finished and is still subject to change.
The Internet is often one of the most active & efficient forms of communication that makes up a large part of the modern world today. As a result of its creation as far back as 1992, the world found itself connected between an invisible source of communication known back in the day as “The World-Wide Web”, which eventually was dubbed the Internet.
While the internet has become a massive social network in itself, it’s also subject to many great mysteries that have presented themselves over the course of time—mysteries that often remain unsolved and are eventually lost inside the internet’s vast underbelly where they reside unless they are dug up again, kind of like dead corpses.
One such mystery, as well as the primary topic of my Investigation so far is the disappearance of Katherine Welsh, a 24-year old woman who lived in the Western portion of the United States, specifically in an isolated flat of Lakeview, Oregon. Mrs. Welsh herself was a pretty well-known blogger and small-time journalist who lived with her husband, Thomas Welsh, as well as her (At the time) 6-year son named Ryan Welsh.
Mrs. Welsh for some time ran a blog on her LiveJournal account from 2005-2007, where she gained a reputation for her writing skill. There, she would spend her time talking of many topics ranging from her personal life to descriptions of visits to popular locations in the town, among others. She was a very kind woman, and surely didn’t seem like the type of person you’d see to have any enemies, and on the contrary had many friendships with people from around town as well as other bloggers that had read about her.
So when Mrs. Welsh was considered missing on March 15th of the same year, the announcement came as a shock to many of the folks who had some kind of affiliation with her. The entire community of Lakeview worked alongside the local police to locate the missing woman for about a week, searching every inch of the nearby wilderness in suspicion that Mrs. Welsh may have gone on an early morning hiking trip (One of her frequented daily activities) and had either gotten lost or had been injured along the way. However, by the end of the same week, nothing had turned up of Mrs. Welsh or any traces of her. As a result, Mr. Welsh and his son were both heartbroken.
On March 23rd, the case was handed over from the Lakeview Police Department to the FBI, who began co-operating with the LPD to perform a hard search for evidence. That’s around the time when I got involved with the case, when I turned up to the Welsh Residence to aid the ongoing investigation.
Reviewing the case at first, my colleagues all suspected that Mr. Welsh had participated in foul play against Mrs. Welsh somehow, which no doubt was even under my suspicion at that point. However, as I read more about the background of the Welsh family, it seemed wrong: These two were a happy couple with nothing against each other save for a few minor disagreements here and there, and had well-standing relationships with each other as spouses; it seemed redundant that the thought of murdering Mrs. Welsh could even cross her husband’s mind. We all agreed to the conclusion that the primary suspect had to be somebody outside of the family altogether, or perhaps somebody who had known her previously.
For a couple of weeks, we began to interview some of the locals who were known to have some kind of affiliation with Mrs. Welsh. I met up with some of her friends, the local postman, her fitness instructor, and her co-workers. Unfortunately, they all gave me the same response that my colleagues had also gotten: nothing. It seemed that nobody in the town, not even some of the more notorious people living there (A known sex-offender who was on probation at the time of the investigation) did not seem to know what happened with Mrs. Welsh. The Investigation quickly began to seem futile, dead-ends stricken throughout and very little information coming that was considered even remotely helpful to the case.
That is, until we learned a little more about the online part of Mrs. Welsh’s social life, and the case began to take a very odd turn.
Concept / Critique
The idea behind the story is to capture an unsolved disappearance from a Federal Investigator's Point-Of-View, although at the same time, a disappearance that defies nearly all forms of explanation and originates from the vast, sometimes otherwordly place known as the interwebs.
As for critique, I want to figure out if there's anything I can do to enhance the feeling of mystery and suspense in the story (I had a few ideas for the ending to achieve this, such as an ending I had in mind where it would be revealed to the reader that the narrative was a description of the events by one investigator in a letter to a large news publisher (Maybe the NYT?) that, for some reason, was unable to be sent to them, resulting in the story's events being only known by the persons involved in the incident and thus remaining a lost memory from the past. Likewise, I also wanted to add developments in the story that would cause the living state of Mrs. Welsh to be unknown, only able to be hypothesised by the reader later on.
My main problem for now is that I can't figure out exactly what circumstances Mrs. Welsh should vanish (Maybe she was talking to a stranger, being watched by someone, etc.?) and how to lay out the rest of the story in a fashion that would create a sense of dread and eerieness. Otherwise, I believe I can continue writing the rest of the story with no problems.
If anyone has anything critique to the current story, or anything to add onto it, please feel free to comment below the blog post, or to send me a message. Any and all criticism will be accepted, along with suggestions.