Investigating Officer(s): Det. T. Armstrong, Det. S. Murphy
Incident No.: 001316-26D-2014 / 001457-09E-2014
Case Description: Laurie Daniels homicide investigation / Arson and homicide investigation, Daniels residence

The following handwritten letter, addressed to Reggie, was found in the black, wheeled suitcase (Evidence # 001457-05) recovered from the shop at the Daniels residence.


Dear Reggie,

I don't know what's up with your phone. I keep trying to call so we can work out when you're gonna pick me up at the greyhound station, but I can't ever get through. there's some dumb message about me having the wrong number, please hang up and try again. But I'm sure this is right, it's the same one I called before.

I saw on the weather channel that y'all are having some bad weather up there so I guess the phone lines are probably down. That would explain it, and I know you don't dare try to call me after what my dad said last time.

Boy am I glad I found you in your room at the Rebel Inn that day. I can't even imagine now what it would be like if we hadn't spent that afternoon together. You would always have been just some guy I kissed at The Roadhouse, nothing more.

If I hadn't come right then, I would never have seen you again. That's so strange, cuz it's like destiny, like you were the one person in the whole world for me and I could so easily have missed you.

You're the only person who has ever understood me. It's like I talk to you, and for the first time ever, I'm not telling someone what they want to hear, just what I want to say.

Like, with Carla, stuff was always great so long as we were talking about guys we had crushes on or whatever movie was playing or what to wear to the Homecoming dance, how to get our hair done. But she hated it whenever I wasn't really in the best mood, you know, she would get all nervous and start changing the subject.

Now that the shit has hit the fan, she's really flipping on me. She doesn't want to think about the fact that you and me are having a baby. It's like she's not even happy for me. She doesn't want to be there for me at all.

And last night I told her some stuff that's really eating at me, and it was like she wasn't there. I totally understand that she wouldn't have any clue what to say. She's never had to deal with anything like that before.

I mean, Mr. and Mrs. Brogan are the best. He would never lay a finger on Carla, and her mom knows everything that happens to her. I swear, she told her mom when she first got kissed even though she knew her mom would flip. She was only 13 and it was the first time she'd ever gone out with anyone. But her mom was totally cool about it. She said she was so glad Carla had told her.

My mom would never have done that. She's so cold about everything, like the only thing that matters is that everything looks OK. She doesn't seem to care at all about the whole thing so long as no one knows anything.

She's already bought a ticket for her and me to go to Atlanta, and she's telling everyone how she thought it was high time that she and I go on a trip, just the two of us, mama and her little girl.

She's such a fake. She just wants me to get an abortion somewhere far from Oxford, so I won't mess up her reputation.

It's not only Carla that's flipping out. Everyone is. I'm totally stressed too, but that's just because I'm not with you right now and I miss you. Not to mention that living at my house is no fun. Not like it ever has been, but it's really awful now.

My dad keeps calling me a slut. He swears I'm some whore when everything is his fault anyway. A couple of nights ago he really beat the shit out of me.

It took me and Carla half an hour to make it look OK. We used all kinds of base and powder, and then I wore sunglasses until I got into movie theatre where it was of course dark.

My dad is such an asshole. He can't understand that having this baby with you is the best thing that ever happened to me. He swears he's gonna sue for statutory rape — that's such a laugh. I mean, you're like three years older than me, and he's like 26 years older. I hate him so much.

But hey, that's not a bad idea to sue for statutory rape. I bet that would really screw up his practice. Mr. Cross-Examine pleads the fifth. I can just imagine him walking into the courthouse on the Square, and for the first time ever he's the one getting questioned. "Mr. Daniels, have you ever or do you now sexually abuse your daughter Melanie?"

That would probably drive him to suicide, which would be just fine by me. Knowing him, he'd probably make it look like an accident, like he was out fishing in Sardis when the boat sank. Boo hoo.

I hate thinking about him. I guess until now no one except him and me knows what's been going on. Now you and Carla do, except she acts like she didn't even hear me when I told her. I guess I feel like I can tell you anything, which is a good thing since we're gonna spend our whole lives together.

When he was hitting me I told him he'd better lay off, that he wouldn't stand a chance against you. I kept thinking of what you told me your brother did to your dad. It served him right, but it kills me to think that you'd have to go to jail for something like that.

I mean, it's a totally different thing whether you hurt someone who can't do anything back or if you hurt someone who is hurting people you love, you know?

The whole time it was happening, my mama was pretending to be really busy in the kitchen, fixing dinner like nothing was happening.

Laurie was at school. She has cheerleading every day anyway, but that night they had to stay later to make signs for the pep rally. She's pretty much always out. Her way of dealing with our lovely family is never to come home.

Anyway, while my dad was hitting me, I kept seeing you come through the front door wearing your uniform, so damn sexy. And so long as I could imagine you, it didn't hurt so bad.

It's the same thing now. I keep imagining walking with you and our baby to buy milk in the morning. The way I imagine it, you're holding him in one of those baby backpacks, and you're holding my hand really tight, making me strong, you know.

That way I can sit through class and pretend to take notes and everything, and I'm not even that worried about what's gonna happen, cuz I know you're gonna take good care of me.

Oh my god, study hall is almost over and Carla's mom is picking us up from school in a few minutes. I've got to mail this before anyone sees it. If my dad found it, I'd be dead meat. He'd for sure send me away somewhere.

Oh god, Reggie, I don't know what to do. I've got to get out of here soon. Everyone's making plans to deal with "the situation" and I can't bear for any of them to go through. If I lost our baby I would be so heartbroken.

I guess the best thing for me to do is to come to you soon. I'm just kinda scared all of a sudden. But call me as soon as you get this letter, except don't call me at home.

Leave a message with Will at The Roadhouse, OK? He's the guy who tends bar there, and I can always check to see if you've left a new number where I can call you. Oh yeah, you don't have the number. It's (662) 234-XXXX.

I'll see you soon. Hopefully I won't be too fat to fit into any pretty dresses, but I guess our wedding won't be too fancy. It's not like I have anyone to invite! I miss you and love you lots.

XOXO

Melanie

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