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Cyclone (Caitlin’s Story Continued, 1)

Randi Turkin 3 weeks ago

“It looked as if a cyclone had run through. My adrenaline went up a zillion notches and I felt my pulse begin to race as shock and anger coursed through my system.”

Editor’s note: Caitlin’s journal ended abruptly on the evening of Sunday, May 24, the night before George Floyd was murdered. Now it’s two months later, the end of July, and obviously a lot of things have happened in the time that’s elapsed since we started posting Caitlin’s journal entries. It was an editorial decision on our part to let the journal run to completion before jumping in to say what had happened to Caitlin. So here goes. (BTW, this is Randi bringing you up to date.)

***

Caitlin’s last entry was written during her third night in the home of one of my property management clients and the last she would ever spend in any sort of comfort.

I arrived at the house mid-morning on Monday with a brown grocery bag full of fresh produce, milk, eggs, bread, deli meats and some delectable bakery treats I’d picked up for Caitlin at the Central Market by my house. Despite the crazy hailstorm we’d had the evening before, it was a beautiful day. Not too hot yet even though the sun was already blinding white in a cloudless sky. I was in a great mood, but something felt “off” the moment I pulled into the driveway. Caitlin’s truck wasn’t there. WTF? Wasn’t she in hiding? Where in the world could she have run off to? She’d told me she wouldn’t be leaving the house out of fear for her safety. I knocked on the door to announce my arrival anyway in case she was home, and then stuck my house key into the deadbolt — but when I turned it, I could tell it hadn’t been locked. The burglar alarm wasn’t on either. It seemed that Caitlin had left the house without locking up, and I was both unnerved and irritated as I made my way into the kitchen. And there I was shocked by what I saw.

It looked as if a cyclone had run through. Cabinets and drawers were flung open, and papers that my clients had filed away in their kitchen desk had been strewn all over the island and floor. My adrenaline went up a zillion notches and I felt my pulse begin to race as shock and anger coursed through my system. I dropped the bag of groceries on the counter and made my way over to the utility room, where a quick glance into the usually tidy room showed much of the same — pill bottles and treats for the family’s dog pulled out of the cabinets and carelessly left on the countertop, packages I’d been holding for my clients slashed open and tossed to the floor. My blood was boiling. What had Caitlin done? Who was this crazy person I’d let into my life, and worse, into my client’s home? I wasn’t even sure if her story about her husband’s kidnapping was real or just some scenario that she’d created in her own deluded mind. Terrified of what I’d find in the rest of the 6,000+ square foot house, I made my way to the formal living room which, thankfully, seemed largely untouched. I stopped at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the master bedroom and listened for any movement.

“Caitlin!” I called out.

The silence was deafening.

Cautiously making my way up the stairs, I peeked around the corner into the bedroom. The top mattress had been pulled off the bed frame, the lush comforter rumpled in a large pile next to it. What the hell? The jacuzzi tub in the ensuite bathroom had perfumes and oils in gorgeous antique bottles set out all around it — I’d never even seen any of these in the seven or eight years I’ve been taking care of this house. Caitlin had been treating herself to my client’s luxuries, stowed away in a bathroom cabinet somewhere. I felt my annoyance growing, but it was when I reached the husband’s closet that I really began to panic. The closet doors were wide open, his expensive suits and shoes tossed out haphazardly onto the floor. And to my horror, the fireproof safe — which I can only imagine must hold all the important papers, jewels, and who knows, maybe piles of cash, belonging to this wealthy family — had been dragged from a dark corner of the closet to the middle of the walkin. It didn’t seem like Caitlin had succeeded in opening it, thank god, but I couldn’t figure out how she — so frail and skinny — could possibly have moved that thing. I’m a healthy girl and I wouldn’t have even tried; it must weigh 700 pounds. There’s no way she could have done this herself. That was the thought that kept repeating itself over and over again as I made my way through the rest of the house.

I skipped looking at the daughters’ two bedrooms and headed down the long hallway toward the rec room and the staircase leading to the downstairs guest wing, which is where I had told Caitlin she could sleep. Halfway down the long flight, I heard a female voice moaning, “Help me,” in between pathetic and mournful sobs and clicking noises.

I froze and listened, thinking, Oh my god – what the fuck am I about to walk into? After what felt like an eternity, I made the realization that I had nothing to protect myself from this insane woman should she decide to all out lose it on me. So I tiptoed back up the stairs to the rec room where I silently opened a closet door and grabbed the first weapon I could find – an old ski pole.

Making my way back down the stairs, ski pole held at the ready like I was about to swing at a baseball, I followed the cries to the guest bedroom where I found something I wasn’t at all expecting.

***

We’ll be publishing this story on Mondays and Wednesdays until it’s told in its entirety. We highly recommend starting at the beginning of this story with our series of videos, when we first announced that Caitlin was missing til when we finally found her and met in person for the first time. If you’d like to start in the middle with her journal entries, click here.

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