It was early morning in Karbala, Iraq. Ben Hewitt was sitting in a coffee house with his interpreter Sami. They were sipping coffee and waiting for news of where to make the exchange. Ben had to get Peter out and it had to be now. Under the table was a metal suit case that contained a half million American dollars, the other half million to be handed over when Ben and Peter were safely through customs at the airport. Peter’s cover had been blown and working for the NOC which is a covert department of the CIA he couldn’t turn to them for help, he was able to get a message to them and they called Benett Hewitt.

Ben was told to meet with Paul Ward at the warehouse, he would be filled in on the details at the meeting. He told Janet he had a business appointment and would be back later but he got a sinking feeling on this one and took his 9mm with him. It might be overkill but something told him this was not going to be an easy assignment. It was also going to be his last.

Sam went over and over the story Janet told her in her head as she was driving home. It was almost unbelievable, but she knew Janet was telling her the truth. If Ben was working for the government that would explain how he was able to get the legal documents he needed so quickly. She hoped that she could find Ben alive because he was all Janet had, except for the daughter she gave birth to years ago.

She pulled into her garage, went into her house, gave Bonkers fresh water and food, took a hot shower and went straight to bed. It had been a long day and she needed sleep. She made a mental note to possibly break the date with Mike depending on what other information Janet would reveal tomorrow.


Needless to say I got very little sleep that night. I was going to be fifteen in a few days, being pregnant at that age with no one to turn to, no place to live and if I went to the authorities they would send me right back to Mexico. I cried for what seemed like hours. I finally fell asleep from exhaustion. I woke up and just laid there thinking about what I should do. I really didn’t have too many choices. I heard a knock on the door and of course it was Ben. He told me to take a shower and he would make breakfast. I didn’t feel like eating but I told him I would be out shortly. I decided to give the baby up for adoption but I wanted to make sure it went to a good couple who would love it and were American. I showered, dressed and went to the kitchen. Ben was sitting at the table drinking coffee. He made pancakes and sausage and told me to have a glass of milk, or a cup of tea.

No coffee, your pregnant you need to eat properly”.

I just picked at my breakfast and told him I wasn’t that hungry. He asked me if I had decided what I wanted to do. I told him yes but I had some questions.

I will answer everything I can for you”, he said.

I told him I wanted the baby to go to a good couple that would love and take care of the baby. I wanted to know who they were and where they lived and how old they were. What kind of job the father had and if the mother was going to stay home and take care of the baby. What would happen to me afterward and how do I know he was telling me the truth, and why was he doing this and where did he get that birth certificate and guardianship paperwork from. He told me I wouldn’t be able to know the people that were adopting the baby but he would make sure that they were a good loving couple and that they would love and take care of the baby it’s whole life. As far as the paperwork with my new name and guardianship papers it was all legal and as far as anyone was concerned he was my uncle. He saw the look on my face and without me saying anything he said;

Janet I am trying to help you, I am not going to sell your baby, it will go to a good home with loving parents and never be abused. I promise. I can’t tell you right now how I got the paperwork but will tell you when the time is right”.

Alright I’ll give the baby up for adoption, I told him with tears streaming down my face. He put his arms around me and let me cry it out. After I calmed down he told me we would be moving to New York in three weeks. He would take me to a doctor and make sure I was healthy and he would hire a tutor for me and after the baby was born I would be able to go to school just like any other normal kid. He kept his word. On my birthday we went out and he had a couple of photos taken of me, a few days later I had an American Passport and a birth certificate. I told him then that I had turned fifteen a couple of days ago so he took me out to dinner that night to celebrate my birthday and a new beginning for me. He also told me his name was Benett Hewitt and that he was in the Import, Export business and that’s all he could tell me. I thought it was strange but at that age I didn’t say anything because I knew he was really trying to help me get my life on track.

We did move to New York and he brought me here to this condo. He arranged what doctor I would go to and hired a tutor for me. I had to call him Uncle Ben whenever we went out and in front of the tutor and the doctor. I delivered the baby, a little girl I got to hold her a couple of hours after she was born. That same night I started to hemorrhage. I was rushed to surgery and when I came out of the anesthesia Ben was right there. I knew I would never see my baby again but I also knew that Ben made sure she would be safe. I was in the hospital for another two weeks and the doctor said I was well enough to go home. I was also told that the hemorrhaging was because of a tear in my uterus that was so bad they had to perform a hysterectomy and I would never be able to have any more children.

Oh my God Janet I am so sorry”. Sam said.

Thanks Sam it was horrible then but I have Ben and he’s been wonderful to me for all these years”.

It’s eleven o’clock do you want to call it a night Janet? I can come back tomorrow morning”.

Yes, thanks I am exhausted”.

I just have one more question. What does Ben do for a living”.

He never told me this but I think he works for the government in some capacity”.

What capacity do you think”?

I don’t know for sure but maybe the FBI or the CIA or something like that, I don’t think Ben is doing anything illegal, if that’s what you mean”.

Alright, I’ll see you in the morning is ten good for you”?

Yes, that’s fine”. Sam took the elevator down, said goodnight to Charles and the doorman but drove home with a bad gut feeling.


Ben asked me to speak to him in Spanish. I did and then he asked me why I didn’t have an accent when I spoke English. I told him the truth. As a child I had a little friend and she spoke English. Her parents were American and lived in Mexico for several years. I learned from her and my mother spoke English as well. He asked me if my mother was American. I thought she was maybe half American but I really didn’t know. I started to tear up so he dropped the subject. He made dinner that night and made me watch him cook. He seemed so kind and gentle but I still didn’t trust him. I didn’t trust any man at that time.

Over the next few days he brought me books and made me read them out loud to him. I did, I read well and asked him why he was making me read out loud. He told me I had to go to school and he wanted to see what grade level I would be on. I got sick to my stomach when he said that because I knew I was pregnant. I started crying. He asked my why I was so upset about going to school. I finally told him I was pregnant and that’s why my pimp was beating me the night he came along”.

Oh Christ, your pregnant”?

I started crying even more and shook my head yes”.

Alright, stop crying we’ll figure something out”.

I told him I would not get an abortion and that’s what my pimp was so angry about. He told me to clam down and we would talk about it tomorrow. I thought about running away but I had no place to go and he was so kind. I just couldn’t figure it out, you know”? She looked at Sam but she was just sitting there listening and taking notes. Janet asked her if she wanted another cup of coffee and something to eat Sam told her coffee would be fine. “How come your so fair Janet”? Sam asked.

I don’t know. My mother was fair, she had dark brown hair but blue eyes. I asked her one day how come she and I had blue eyes when all of my friends had brown eyes. She told me that’s how God made us and not to ask any more stupid questions. I never spoke to her about it again”. Sam knew Janet dyed her hair but the blue eyes threw her off. She never expected to hear that she was Mexican. Janet gave Sam the cup of coffee and placed a tray with coffee cake on the table.

Can we stop for a few minutes”? Janet asked.

Yes, it’s getting late but I have to get all the information I can so I know which direction to take”.

They drank their coffee and both women had a piece of coffee cake. Janet asked her a few more questions. What was her mother’s name, where she lived in Mexico, did her mother have any family there. Janet answered but Sam could see she was upset so she waited until they both finished their coffee and asked her if she could continue.

Yes, I am Okay, I want you to find Ben and I will help in any way I can”.

Alright, what happened the next day, after you told Ben you were pregnant”.

He went out the next morning and came back about an hour or so later. I was reading one of the books he had given me. He brought a few bags of groceries and we put them away. He then told me he had to go on a business trip and would be gone for a few days possibly a week and asked if he could trust me to stay in the condo and not go out for any reason. I told him I would be fine because my mother used to leave me alone for days at a time and I had been on my own since I was twelve. He just shook his head but he had such a sad look in his eyes. That was the moment I knew I could trust him. He wrote a phone number down and said I was only to call him if it was a real emergency and told me to be careful not to play any loud music and not to go outside not even on the patio and keep the blinds closed and the door locked at all times. He left that afternoon”.

What did you do while he was gone”?

Nothing, I stayed in the condo just like he told me and watched television and read books. He had bought enough food to last me a month. I did as I was told, I felt he was going to help me and it felt so good to have someone who seemed to really care. Ben came back almost a week later. He looked tired like he had been driving all night. He took a shower and we cooked dinner together I was actually happy he was back. He didn’t say much during dinner but told me afterward that he wanted to talk to me. I could tell it was serious. He went to his bedroom and came back with a bunch of papers. “Here’s what we’re going to do”, he said and handed me one of the papers. I looked at it and it was a birth certificate with the name Janet Mauroe as the child and June Hall and Robert Mauroe as the parents. It was the same year I was born but not the day, it was a different month. He also had other legal documents stating that he had guardianship over me, he was my uncle on my mother’s side of the family. I was an only child and he was my only living relative. I asked him what all this was. He told me it was the only way I was going to be able to stay in the U.S. and that I would have to get a photo taken for my passport, and then he told me what we were going to do. He was going to hire a tutor and bring me up to speed on my grade level and I had to go to school after the baby was born, but I had to give the baby up for adoption. I started crying, I didn’t want to give up the baby. I had no one who cared about me and this child would be all mine. Someone to love and someone who would love me back, really love me. He told me this was the only way he could help me and he was sorry but if I wanted his help that was the way it would have to be. He held me in his arms and let me cry, and when I calmed down he told me to think about it and let him know what I wanted to do in the morning”.


I was born in Mexico. My name was Alajandra Martinez. My mother was a hooker and I don’t know who my father was. When I was about twelve one of my mothers friends as she used to called them raped me while she was sleeping. When I told her she slapped me across the face and told me to get out of her house. I lived on the streets for a few weeks until a woman who knew my mother and what she was took me in. She was kind and let me stay with her and her husband. One day he groped me while she was in the garden they kept. She walked in and caught him. They fought for hours. I was terrified. The next day after her husband left she handed me an envelope containing enough money for me to pay for a bus ticket to California. Once in California I had only about twenty dollars left, no place to go and no one who cared. I couldn’t rent a room because of my age, even though I looked older because I had developed early. After a couple of days I met a man near the bus station, I used to sleep in the bus station. He offered to take care of me. A nice place to live, new clothes and food. Little did I know then he was a pimp. By the time I was fourteen I was a full fledged prostitute. I was also pregnant. I was only about eight weeks along and I told my pimp one night when he stopped by my corner to pick up what ever money I had made so far. He started slapping me around and screaming at me, beat me pretty badly. Out of nowhere a man grabbed him by the jacket and threw him to the ground and beat the shit out of him. I begged the man to stop but he didn’t listen. I knew I would pay for this later, but the man told me to get in his car. I hesitated and he shouted; “get in the damn car now”! I jumped in his car he gave the pimp one last kick and got in the car with me. I thought he was a cop and I was going to jail but he didn’t take me to the police station, he took me to his condo. He cleaned my cuts and told me to take a shower. I was crying the whole time. He told me his name was Ben and he was not going to hurt me. I did as I was told. He handed me sweat pant and a polo shirt to put on after my shower. When I was showered and came out of the bathroom he had a cup of hot tea and a sandwich sitting on the kitchen table. Ben asked me my name I told him. “You are here illegally aren’t you”?

Yes, but please don’t send me back”, I cried. I explained my life up to this point to him. He asked me how old I was, I told him the truth fourteen. He told me not to worry. I could stay with him for now and he would not turn me over to the authorities. I asked him if he was a cop, he said he was not. The next day he asked me what size I wore, clothes, underwear, shoes etc.. He told me to help myself to breakfast and he would be back later. When he did return he had packages for me that contained every thing from skirts, blouses, jeans, tee shirts, shoes sneakers everything I could ever dream of. I thanked him and he smiled and said; “No problem, you deserve a break”. Over the next few days we talked about how much schooling I had and what I would like to be when I grow up. I asked him how old he was he told me twenty four. “It’s funny I thought at the time that Ben was so old. I never expected what happened next”.


Thursday Sam entered 45 Sutton Place So. Charles was at his desk. “Good evening Ms. Cole, Mrs. Hewitt is expecting you. He walked over to the elevator and inserted the key, the doors opened and she entered, pushed the up button and the doors closed. Janet was waiting for Sam and had coffee and cake set out on the kitchen table. Her condo was not ostentatious but everything was high end. “Hi Sam, come in I have some coffee and cake ready. We can sit in the kitchen”.

Hi Janet, that will be fine. Thanks”.

Do you have any news for me”?

I am afraid not Janet, but I am going to be straight with you and hopefully you will be the same with me”.

I have been straight with you”, Janet replied with arrogance in her voice.

No you haven’t. There is more to this than meets the eye here Janet and if you want to see your husband alive again you are going to have to tell me the whole story or you will be wasting my time and your money”. Janets eye’s filled with tears, she put her head down and grabbed a tissue from the box on the table.

Does that mean you think Ben is dead”?

No, it means if you want me to try and find him alive I need to know where to go next”. Just then Sam’s cell phone rang. It was Mike and he told her they found the SUV in the long term parking lot at JFK. He wanted to know if the Mrs. wanted them to tow it or leave it where it is. Sam thought for a moment and told him, “no don’t tow it, not yet. I am with my client now and I will get back to you if she wants it towed. Thanks Mike”, and she hung up.

Janet, the police just found your SUV at JFK long term parking. Do you want to tell me what I should know now or am I finished with this case”? Janet looked up at Sam.

Where do you want me to start”.

From the beginning and don’t hold anything back, understood”?

Yes, lets go sit in the living room. This is going to take a while”.


Hi Mike, what have you got for me, something good I hope”.

I am afraid not Sam. The FBI came back negative, sorry Sam. I will keep my eyes open for the car and give you a call if I hear anything”.

Thanks Mike. Who did they pull out of the river”?

Some homeless guy, he was probably drunk and fell in. Why do you ask”?

Nothing really, I just heard them call to you when we were speaking before”.

Talk to you soon Sam. Think about dinner one night this week”.

Alright I’ll think about it and let you know”.

Samantha was attractive with medium brown hair and light brown eyes. She stood five foot eight in stocking feet and wore a size ten in clothing. She was also a marksman and carried a 9mm., hand gun. She also owned several other pistols, including a 357 magnum and a 44 caliber hand gun also a small 22 caliber that she kept in her purse. She taught Connie how to shoot at the gun range and got licenced to carry a firearm. Connie kept a 38 caliber in her desk at work. She did not care for guns but Sam convinced her that it’s better to be safe than sorry. If they worked late Connie carried the pistol in her purse until she was safely home.

Sam was not romantically involved with any one for some time. She did have a boyfriend when she was a detective and they lived together for a while, but it didn’t last long. He couldn’t stand the hours she had to work, he was not in law enforcement. They parted friends.

Mike Dunn was a good friend but it seemed to Sam that if she started dating him their friendship would end. She liked Mike but was afraid to get close to anyone. Her childhood and teen years were tumultuous and she didn’t or couldn’t trust people.

Locating Ben Hewitt was tougher than Sam thought it would be. She needed Janet to give her more information. Connie made an appointment for Sam to speak to her again at her condo on Thursday evening at eight pm.. On Wednesday Connie knocked on her office door about three in the afternoon and announced that Mike Dunn wanted to speak with her. “Show him in”.

Hi Sam”.

Hi Mike, what can I do for you”?

I want to know why you keep dodging me”.

I’m not dodging you”.

Then why won’t you have dinner with me”?

I, um, I’m very busy right now working on a case”.

Does that mean you don’t eat”?

No! I eat but there’s no set time”.

Sam, you know I’m crazy about you so why don’t you give me a chance to wine and dine you. You just might enjoy yourself”. Sam giggled and blushed.

Alright Mike. I’m free Friday evening, are you”?

It just so happens that I am, is it a date then”?

Yes, yes it’s a date. I just hope it doesn’t ruin our friendship”. Mike walked around her desk and took her hand, she stood up and he cupped her face in his hands and kissed her gently on the lips.

I have just broken our friendship”. He smiled. “Do me a favor Sam, don’t wear jeans on Friday night, OK”? She gave him a playful shove.

I promise no jeans”.

Great! I’ll pick you up at eight”. He walked out smiling. Connie gave him a thumbs up as he left.


Sam picked up the folder that Connie had given her and was reading through it when Connie got back from the bank. Ben Hewitt’s name wasn’t on anything aside from his drivers license. The condo, cars and bank accounts were all in Janet’s name. She was staring at his photo and thinking to herself. This guy looks so familiar to me. I have seen him somewhere, but where? Her office door opened. “Lunch time Sam”, Connie announced and placed Sams lunch on her desk along with a cup of coffee.

Thanks Connie. What am I having today”?

Ham on rye with mustard and a small toss salad, no tomato”.

Sounds good. Grab a chair Connie unless you want to eat at your desk”.

No I’ll eat in here, thanks. What’s the matter Sam, you look frustrated”.

I am” she said and pushed the photo of Ben Hewitt toward Connie.

I know this guy or I met him before. He looks so familiar to me but I can’t recall where I know him from”. Connie was staring at the photo.

He’s good looking for an older man but nothing out of the ordinary that I can see. Eat your lunch maybe it will come to you if you don’t think about it so hard”.

You’re right”, Sam said and took a bite of her sandwich. “Janet Hewitt isn’t telling me everything either. I am going to wait a couple of days and then go question her again. Unless Mr. Hewitt shows up before that, or his body. Another thing that doesn’t add up is that every thing they own is in her name, and she’s going to have to tell me why. I need more to go on than a name and a photo”.

If anyone can do it you can Sam. You’ve solved some pretty tough cases in the past”.

Thanks Connie but I have a bad gut feeling about this one”. With that the phone rang. Connie reached over and picked it up. “Coles Investigation Service. Hold on please”. She handed the phone to Sam it’s Mike from the 115th..


Connie knocked on Sams office door. “Come in Connie, and sit down. Do you have anything for me”?

Nothing Sam, well nothing that matches Mr. Hewitt’s photo”.

His name is Bennet W. Hewitt, not Benjamin. I thought Ben stood for Benjamin but found differently from Janet today”.

Okay I’ll re-run everything in his name. I ran Janet Hewitt’s name as well”, and handed Sam a folder.

Let me go over this and I want to call Mike Dunn and see if he has had any time to get some information and to tell him about the change of first name. Did you check to see if there is a warehouse in Hewitt’s name in the Bronx”?

Yes but nothing. I even checked all five Boroughs, still nothing in the name of Hewitt. There is a list in the folder with all the Hewitt’s in New York State and the last known addresses. Let me know how you want me to handle that”.

Thanks Connie”. It was passed noon and Sam was hungry. She handed Connie the check from Janet and said;

Why don’t you get some lunch then deposit this in the bank. I will hopefully have some more information about Mr. Hewitt by the time you get back”. Connie took the check and whistled.

Wow, nice”. She said. Sam just looked up and smiled.

Just deposit the check and bring me back a sandwich and a salad please”. With that Connie left.

Samantha dialed Mike Dunn at the 115th prescient. The phone rang. “Hello, this is Detective Dunn how can I help you”.

Hi Mike this is Sam. Did you get a chance to get any information on Hewitt yet”?

No Sam. We ran his name for the city and state of New York but nothing. I also sent his name over to the FBI office but didn’t hear back from them yet. There are drivers licenses under that name in the state but the description you gave me doesn’t match”.

Mike I just found out this morning his first name is Bennet not Benjamin”.

Alright I’ll try under that first name. What’s going on”?

You know I can’t go into it Mike but if it comes to the point that your department needs to get involved I’ll let you know”. Sam heard another detective from the office call out to Mike.

Mike! Lets go they just pulled a body out of the East River”. The hair on the back of Sams neck stood up.

Sam I have to go. I’ll try and get back to you later. Sam? Are you there”?

Yes, sorry Mike, I’m here. OK, thanks talk to you later”. She hung up but had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach.


I think Benett is in trouble with the government”.

Benett is your husbands first name”?

Yes, Benett W. Hewett”.

Alright, why do you think that”?

Ben gave me a key to his safe deposit box and told me to keep it in a safe place and never tell anyone about it. If something happens to him I am to go to the bank and remove everything in it and to read a letter and all the paper work included and follow the instructions but only if he is dead”.

Do you think he’s dead”?

I don’t know, I hope not but I don’t know if I should go to the bank or wait. That’s why I got in touch with you first. I don’t want to go against his orders if he is alive” She started crying.

Calm down Mrs. Hewitt. You did the right thing. Please don’t take this next question wrong but does he have a lady friend”?

Right now, I don’t think so but he has strayed in the past. He said they were one night stands and he loves only me and would never leave me, I believe him”.

Have you ever uh, strayed”? Janet shot her a look.

No! Never and I never will, I love Ben with all my heart”.

Why do you think he’s in trouble with the government then”?

I overheard him mention the FBI and CIA in a conversation one day”.

Do you know who he was speaking with that day”?

No, he was shooing me out of the room at the time. I did ask him when he hung up but he told me it was nothing and not to worry about it”

How long ago was this”?

About six months ago but he’s been on edge ever since, now you know why I came to you. Can you help me”?

Sam discussed her fee and they came to an agreement. Janet looked exhausted by this time and Sam told her to go home and she would be in touch. She thanked Sam and said; “Please find him Ms. Cole, please”.

I have already started some preliminary work and I will speak to you soon. Do you want me to come to your home or do you want to come here, and please call me Sam”.

Thank you and you can call me Janet”. She smiled.

Alright I’ll be in touch Janet”. With that Janet left.


As Sam walked through the lobby Charles smiled, she just nodded her head. The doorman opened the door for her and she walked toward her car. She sat in her car a few minutes thinking about the whole scenario. There was something Mrs. Hewitt wasn’t telling her and she had to get it out of her tomorrow.

Sam started her car and left Sutton Place behind her. It was almost four am., Sam was tired and it had started raining again.


With very little sleep under her belt Sam arrived at the office at eight thirty that morning. Connie was already there and the coffee was ready. “Thanks Connie, I could use a good cup of coffee right now”.

Rough night”?

You could say that but not in a good way. A Mrs. Hewitt will be here at ten, show her right into my office”.

Will do boss”. Connie said jokingly. Sam handed her the photo of Ben Hewitt.

Run this guy and see if you can find anything about him, his name is Ben Hewitt. He is fifty seven years old and supposedly owns a ware house in the Bronx”,

What’s the address”?

Don’t know and neither does his wife. He is driving a black Honda SUV. It is registered in Janet Hewitt’s name”.

Wow! He’s cute” Connie said looking at the photo, “he also looks familiar”, she said.

He’s also missing”. Sam replied and went in her office and closed the door. She took a few sips of her coffee and called Detective Mike Dunn at the 115th prescient. “Hi Mike, this is Sam, can you do me a favor”?

Yeah sure Sam, what is it”?

See what you can come up with any information on a Ben or Benjamin Hewitt. He has whitish gray hair, is fifty seven years old and lives at Forty Five Sutton Place South in Manhattan. He supposedly owns a warehouse in the Bronx too”.

Sure Sam, what’s going on”?

Just another missing persons case Mike, nothing special”.

Okay, I’ll call you if I come up with anything”.

Thanks Mike. Talk to you later”.

Hey Sam dinner tonight”?

Thanks Mike but it’s going to be a long day”.

You know your breaking my heart Sam”.

Yeah Mike, right. Thanks for the help”. Sam hung up.

Janet Hewitt showed up at ten o’clock and Connie showed her into Sams office. “Good morning Mrs. Hewitt. Have a seat. Would you like a cup of coffee”?

Yes, thank you”.

Cream and sugar”?

Just a splash of cream and one sugar, thank you”. Connie had been standing there and said she would be back with the coffee in a jiffy, left the office and closed the door.

Did you hear from Ben yet”?

No”. Janet said, “I am still getting his voice mail”.

Mrs. Hewitt why don’t you want to go to the police? Fill out a missing person report and let them handle this”.

I can’t”.

Why not”?

It’s a long story”.

If you want my help you have to be totally honest with me or you will be wasting you money”.

If I tell you will the police find out”?

Mrs. Hewitt I am a private investigator, unless your husband has done something wrong anything you tell me is strictly confidential”.