The Wind Chill Factor Kicked In

by Jamey Genna

 People disappeared in the 70's—young girls, teenagers, they always said they ran away.  Nobody really believed that the next-door neighbor was capable of that kind of horror.  These two girls disappeared and the police had been digging up the farm of this one family for two months.  Thirty-five years later, some guy in prison said something and they had a lead, so they were lifting up the machine shed and they found a purse and some bones, but the police hadn't revealed what kind of bones they were yet—animal or human.  It was quite likely they were animal bones, and old purses and bureaus often end up in machine sheds in the Midwest. 

This other teenager had a baby and she put it in a garbage bag and threw it away.  It was unclear whether the baby was dead when she put it in the garbage bag.  She wouldn't say.  The girl's boyfriend somehow lost his job because of her actions, and the police were looking for the baby's body in the dump up in Worthington.  The girl tried to say she'd put the baby up for adoption in Sioux Falls at the Center for Adoption, but they, the parents of the boy—the boy was a man—the parents asked her about it and then they went up there to find out about it and there was no record of it, so then the girl admitted.  She said no one would help her.

Nobody was here to help me, she said.

She admitted that she had thrown the baby away, that she had put the baby . . . .  She said, I put it in a bag, and then they said, what kind of a bag, and she pointed to the sink cupboard, and they thought she meant it was under the sink still, and they looked and there was a box of Glad bags, the dark green kind.  She was unable to say garbage.

The people in the town were angry that the police hadn't put her in jail yet.  Why did they keep digging up that farm for those two missing girls from the 70's?  Why did they keep digging in that family's yard?  The man was in prison already for 215 years for raping and murdering someone else a long time ago.

They found the baby at the dump in Worthington.  They had to sort through all the garbage.  They had to close the dump.  They didn't think there was a chance in hell that they would find it.  Everyone was praying, everyone who read the newspaper was praying that the poor dead baby would be found.  The deputies were praying.

Then, one day during the search, the deputy found a strange note—it was scribbled on an envelope.

The baby is here, it said, or it said, look here for the baby.

That's what they said it said.  The winter was a long one, mild in December, but during January—the wind chill factor kicked in.  

Look for the baby here, it said.

So the deputy went back and looked in a place he hadn't planned to look or that he had already gone through and the baby was right there!

Why hadn't they put that girl in jail yet?  Why didn't they do anything about her?  Why not leave those poor people on that farm alone.  Stop digging up their land.  That family has suffered enough.