Recap: Penny And Aggie Missing Person The Belleville Interviews
"It doesn't even feel like she's gone. It feels like this is just another game she's playing. And she never tries to win. She just tries to make everyone else lose."
"Missing Person," which ran for three and a half months, concerns the mystery of Cyndi's kidnapping, while revealing much about the motivations and values of several cast members, and the relationships between them. While maintaining the overall realistic setting of the comic, the storyline also experiments with genre fiction beyond Teen Drama
This first chapter takes the form of an early Saturday morning report by FBI agent Pat McBell, who heads the team investigating Cyndi's disappearance. (The FBI is involved because Cyndi's father Carl knows the mayor.) McBell pieces together the known facts: Cyndi, last reported seen on Friday afternoon, went missing sometime between then and an hour later, when Aggie and Lisa, at lacrosse practice, discovered swerving tire tracks on the lawn where her car had been, suggesting an unfamiliarity with the vehicle, an expensive, collectible Porsche. He deduces from this, and the bloodstains he found on the grass, that Cyndi wasn't the driver.
Cyndi's boyfriend Braz calls her parents when she fails to show up that evening at her friend Meg's party. They in turn contact the police who, using the car's recovery antenna, find the vehicle abandoned in an alley some distance away from the school, as well as a bloodied lacrosse stick. From this evidence, plus the lack of a ransom demand, McBell theorizes that the kidnapping was a crime of passion by a peer. The Kristoffers surrender her laptop to the investigators, who mine her Facebook
and e-mail history for potential suspects. Aggie also gives an extensive account of Cyndi's misdeeds. From all these sources, it appears the suspect list is large indeed. McBell observes that Cyndi has a pattern of making online and offline friends and then quickly replacing them with others; however, he notices that Meg is the closest she has to an ongoing, in-person friend, and so talks to her first. This leads from the agent's narration to the "interviews" portion of the chapter.
Meg, mildly concerned about her friend's safety, doesn't provide any leads, but does reveal more about her personality, in that neither she nor Cyndi have any use for "touchy-feely" friendships. She also dismisses the notion that Cyndi considered the class presidency all that important, nor even the high school stage of life itself, the latter apparently because Meg herself claims not to. Next is the anxious Braz, who admits to having menaced Jack, in order to scare Stan out of running against Cyndi. When the agent says he'll need to speak with Jack, Braz insists in a panic that he "was just waving [the lacrosse stick] around ironically."
Jack, who has a history of trouble with the police but no charges, acts arrogantly under interrogation, but provides the alibi that during the hour Cyndi disappeared, he was consoling Stan after Cyndi helped ruin his relationship with Brandi. Katy-Ann, under pressure to finger her boyfriend given his record, insists that he couldn't have been the perpetrator. But when McBell points out he wasn't very concerned about her vanishing, she recalls his claim, after repelling Braz's assault, that he'll "do what it takes" to protect his loved ones. She suggests Braz as a suspect, and then, when informed he was the one who reported her missing, reluctantly suggests Charlotte.
Charlotte declines to answer questions about the rape slander video and attempted bomb-threat frameup, without a lawyer. Nevertheless, the agent points out she has a history of threatening behaviour, including recently having tried to attack Tharqa. She admits to getting angry and to having justified attacking those she resented, but says she couldn't justify kidnapping or killing Cyndi, because she'd go to Hell. She also claims an alibi in that she was talking to Duane at the time. Duane corroborates this alibi and, while he's there, asks if the police can do anything about the physical abuse she appears to receive from her mother. McBell suggests they could, if she agrees to testify; otherwise, Charlotte will have to wait until she's eighteen and legally independent of her mother to be free of her.
After questioning several more suspects, who are seen in briefer snippets (including Brandi, who acts nervous and guilty), McBell interviews Penny, who surprises him by claiming Cyndi's motives are unreadable, and adds she suspects she may not really be missing (see page quote). Last, Aggie, having managed to avoid divulging it as long as she could, finally gives in under pressure and tells the agent about Brandi's assault of Xena back in December.
Returning to McBell's narration, the arc reveals that, as dawn breaks, Braz and Brandi will be held for further questioning, due to their guilty behaviour and past history of violence, while Stan, Jack and Charlotte will be under covert surveillance at home, due to their suspiciously calm attitude. He's also added, to the suspect list, Michelle, owing to Cyndi's role in her eating disorder, as well as Xena and Samantha, because of their "irrational" personalities. McBell, disagreeing with Penny's take on Cyndi, remains confident his team will crack the case.