A photo of a telephone.
Photo courtesy of Paweł Czerwiński/unsplash.com

It is early Monday morning, and Marvin and Anna begin the difficult task of locating Walter Lacey. They attempt to contact the many homeless outreach services in the Baltimore area and so far have been in touch with the Helping Up Mission, Beans and Bread outreach Center, and the shelter at St. Anne’s Church.   

“Mr. Lacey, your son didn’t serve in the military, did he?” asks Anna. “Because I just learned of a place called the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training in downtown Baltimore, and they help homeless veterans there.”  

“No, Walter never served in the military,” Mr. Lacey says.  

“Well, I am going to call them anyway, because I understand that during the winter season MCVET will allow civilians to stay in their facility,” explains Anna. “Maybe, just maybe, your son has passed through those doors. I will also contact the police and notify the missing persons department. Maybe something will come up.” 

As Marvin and Anna continue to contact various agencies, a fax goes through the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. A photo of Walter Lacey is being distributed, but he is listed as an unidentified individual with an approximate height, weight, and age. The director of social services receives this information and posts it on a bulletin board.  

“Mr. Lacey, would you have a recent photo of Walter available?” Marvin asks. “That would help in our search for him/” Then he turns to Anna and says, “What you and I will have to do is go out in the city and hunt Walter down.”  

“Ok, but let me contact another friend of mine,” Anna answers. “She is with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, and she may have other connections who could help us.” 

Meanwhile, somewhere on Garrison Boulevard, a confused and bewildered Louis Henley is trying to find a liquor store. Located in an upscale neighborhood, Garrison Boulevard stretches quite a long way.  

Henley has heard about Brown’s Memorial Church, which serves as a shelter for the homeless, and he knows he as landed somewhere near there. He starts asking local neighbors for directions.  

Tired, hung over, smelly and partly clothed, Henley soon finds a tree to sit under. His mind wanders again back to his downfall as a boxer. He still feels the savage blow that landed him on the canvas mat.  

As he begins to stand up, a sharp pain hits him hard in the chest. He falls to the ground and begins convulsing. A passerby sees the seizure and immediately calls for an ambulance. EMS services calls for an ambulance. EMS services arrive and give Henley oxygenThe paremedics begin treatment while en route to Sinai Hospital. Henley suddenly falls unconscious and is unaware of what is gong on around him.  

Back at Mercy Hospital downtown, doctors and nurses finally get the information on Walter Lacey’s identity. Dr. O’Ryan, head of the intensive care unit, has just learned who Walter Lacey is. The next step is to find his next of kin.  

Over at the social services department, a person is talking to officials about Walter Lacey.  

“Sir, you say you have seen this person before,” says an official.  

“Yes, I often stay at the Baltimore Rescue Mission, and I have spoken with him on a few occasions,” the stranger replies. “He got into a scuffle with another fellow several days ago, and the other fellow whipped on him pretty good. For such a short fellow, he handled handled pretty well, just like a professional boxer or prize fighter. That Lacey fellow didn’t stand much of a chance.” 

“Can you describe the person he fought with?” asks the official.  

“Well, he was a shorter man, I would say about 5-feet-7-inches, 180 pounds with a bald head and broad shoulders. He was a black male, and I would say he was in his middles 30s to early 40s, heave eyebrows, a long nose and wide jaw bones. That’s about the best that I can describe him,” says the stranger.  

The phone rings.  

“Hello, this is Anna Jackson on special assignment here in Baltimore,” says Anna from the other end. “I wonder if you might be able to assist me in locating an individual. This person goes by the name of Walter Lacey. He has been missing for quite some time and his family is very concerned.” 

The name is overheard and a case manager takes the call.  

“This is Sasha Holloway. I may be able to help you.”