Vanishing Acts
Matthews,” I tell Fitz.
The screen glows green with a new list of articles, all from the Arizona Republic.
June 20, 1977–Investigators continue to search for clues in the disappearance of Bethany Matthews, 4, of Scottsdale, who was last seen in the company of her father, Charles Matthews, 33, during a routine custody visit. Police in Albuquerque, acting on a tip, raided a hotel room that had been paid for with Mr. Matthews's credit card, but turned up no positive results. Meanwhile, the girl's mother, Elise Matthews, has not given up hope that her daughter will be found and returned safely. “There is nothing in this world,” Mrs. Matthews vowed yesterday at a televised press conference, “that can keep me away from her.” Mr. and Mrs. Matthews divorced in March, and shared custody. Matthews was last seen picking up his daughter from the home of his ex-wife at 9 AM on Saturday, where he indicated that he would return before 6 PM on Sunday. When he didn't bring Bethany back, and Mrs. Matthews was unable to reach him via telephone, she involved the police. An initial search of Mr Matthews's apartment suggested that the subject had permanently vacated the premises. Volunteers who would like to contribute time or materials to the search effort should report to the Saguaro High School gymnasium. Any tips regarding the whereabouts of Bethany Matthews or Charles Matthews should be directed to the Scottsdale police, at 555-3333.
Delia puts her hand over Fitz's, where it rests on the mouse. She clicks a single word at the end of the article: photo. Twin head shots fill the computer screen-one of a little girl who looks frighteningly like Sophie; the other of a younger, grinning Andrew Hopkins.
A minute later she runs out the door and into the woods, Greta bounding off at her heels. We both know enough to let her go.
“This is all my fault,” Fitz says.
“I think Andrew might be a little more to blame.”
He shakes his head. “I didn't know her name ... her real name. After I saw the obituary on Cordelia Hopkins, I started thinking of who might steal an identity, and why. Delia mentioned some weird memory about a lemon tree ... so I narrowed down my search by figuring out where they'd grow.” Fitz starts counting off on his fingers. “Florida. Southern California. Arizona. Only one of them had a well-publicized kidnapping case in 1977. I called the number in the article for the Scottsdale Police, and asked about Bethany Matthews. It took a while to find someone who knew what I was talking about–all of the officers who'd worked on the case had retired. They asked me where I was calling from.”
“And you told them?”
Fitz grimaces. “I had to say I was a journalist, didn't I? The thing is, Eric, I never told them Delia's new name.” He gets up from the chair and faces the window, scanning the woods as if he might be able to see her. “My guess is that someone from Scottsdale heard the words New Hampshire Gazette, did a little digging on the Internet. Andrew's a town councilman, you know how many times his picture's been in the paper? Not to mention Delia's?”
“He hid in plain sight,” I murmur. It seems remarkably fast for a law enforcement agency to have connected the dots–and yet, I know that it's an illusion. A warrant for Andrew's arrest has been sworn out for nearly thirty years; the police just didn't know where he was so they could serve it.
Fitz turns away, his hands in his pockets. “You have to go find her.”
“You go. You're the one who brought in the cops.”
“I know,” Fitz admits. “But I'm not the one she wants.” By the time the end of sixth grade rolled around, boys had mustered up the nerve to ask girls out. This meant absolutely nothing, except that the duo would sit next to each other at lunch in the cafeteria, and occasionally talk on the

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