Without A Trace s01e02 Episode Script

Birthday Boy

We used to sit in the bleachers in that short right field.
We could practically touch Roger Maris.
How about Mickey Mantle? Well, Mickey, he was in center field.
That was 465 feet back then.
And it was different than it is now.
Here you go.
Happy birthday, kiddo.
Thanks.
Okay, you go first.
Damn it.
You stay right there.
I gotta put more money on this, okay? You stay.
Dad, come on.
Wait.
$10, please.
Dad.
Excuse me.
My son is out there.
I'm sorry.
- Gabe! - Dad! Open the door! Get off at the next stop! They separated at the West 57th Street Station.
What began as a classic American rite of passage a father taking his son to a baseball game on his 11th birthday has become the worst American nightmare.
Police say they need your help in finding.
Any information you have will be appreciated.
The father thought that Gabe would be at the next station so he jumped the next train to meet him there.
When he wasn't there, he came all the way up here.
He checked the platform, the gate, then finally the seat.
- The boy had his own ticket? - Apparently.
- And then the father called the NYPD.
- Last night at 7:00.
Why the hell did they wait till this morning to call us? The Yankees are calling in everyone who worked last night.
Hopefully someone saw something.
We don't even know if he ever made it here.
Even if he did, it was the Red Sox last night.
There were 50,000 people.
Nobody would've even noticed him.
Missing 16 hours and counting.
He got on the subway at 6:05, but that's all we know about it so far.
How do we even know that? His father's word? We checked his MetroCard.
It supports his story.
- There are no eyewitnesses? - Tons of eyewitnesses.
Just none that we can find.
This would've never happened at Shea.
It's so sad how bitter Met fans are.
Okay, Danny, you pick up the subway detail with the NYPD.
I want you to cover all the way from here to the Bronx.
Got it.
I'm into convicted child abusers and pedophiles in the same vicinity.
Check all the ones above 57th Street.
If he was lifted at that time, it was probably by somebody on their way home.
Mr.
Fitzgerald, we've got a missing kid all over the news.
We're going to have a ton of incoming calls.
Most of them bogus.
But they've all gotta be run down.
So you want me here? Break major protocol on the first day, that's what happens.
How long does it take to get out of his doghouse? Depends on the dog.
Don't mind Danny.
He's just marking his territory.
You gonna polygraph the father? We'll see.
I hate this part.
I thought he understood what I was saying.
But then he wasn't at 66th Street.
So I assumed that he must've gone ahead to the stadium.
I don't know what I was thinking and why I didn't call the police right away.
Look, I understand that this is difficult.
Mrs.
Freedman, I'd like to have a word with your husband alone if you don't mind.
Okay.
It's time to feed the baby anyway.
Thank you.
Are you having any financial problems? We struggle, like everybody.
Any problems in the marriage? No, not beyond the normal marital stuff.
The normal marital stuff? What does that mean exactly? I don't understand how this is remotely relevant to anything.
It may not be, but I have to ask.
Some sick son of a bitch may be out there with my son.
You're asking me questions about my marriage? I've worked hundreds of these cases.
And certain patterns develop.
I may not like the pattern but I can't ignore them.
You wanna know what those patterns are? When a child goes missing whoever claims to have seen them last is usually the one that took them.
And if that person happens to be one of the parents, the incidence doubles.
My gut says you're okay, but I don't know you.
I'm trying to get to know you so that I can help you.
But I can't help you unless you earn my trust.
Next thing you'll be asking me to take a lie detector.
It may come to that later.
Do you usually give Gabe his own ticket to hold? No.
Why yesterday? It was his birthday.
He's 11.
I wanted him to feel that he was old enough to be trusted with it.
- Okay? - Okay.
- You and Gabe been fighting lately? - No.
- Was he playing hooky from school? - No.
Does he have any friends that could lead him into trouble? No.
Is he involved with drugs? No, he isn't.
You think you saw him where? Okay, what time was that? All right, thank you.
No, we appreciate it.
Every tip is useful.
Yeah, I've seen him.
- You sure? - Yeah, I'm sure.
He came upon me yesterday.
Must've been between 6:00 and 6:30.
Excuse me.
This isn't the stop for Yankee Stadium, is it? You got off too soon.
It's the next one.
161st Street.
Thanks.
I like your jacket.
Thanks.
He went back up to the subway and that was it.
- Did he mention his father? - No.
Did he seem nervous or worried? No, just seemed like a nice kid on his way to the ball game.
Thank you, sir.
Lots of little red dots.
Phone keeps ringing every 15 seconds.
Must be a lot of little brown-haired kids unaccounted for.
I know people are trying to be helpful.
For example, this lady keeps calling me.
She's convinced that she saw Gabe on TV this morning ringing the bell to open the Stock Exchange.
Trouble is, when you think you've got every nutcase in America calling your number, that's the exact moment you get a live one.
One better come in soon 'cause I'm running out of push-pins.
Okay, I got a guy.
Gerald Dearborn, recently paroled.
Committed lewd acts with a minor, and neighbors saw him on 118th at a McDonald's with a kid fitting Gabe's description.
What do you got around Morningside Heights? Let's see.
I got two sightings.
One at 125th, and the other, I think was outside the Columbia gym.
Both were around 9:00 a.
m.
See? Could be our live one.
Need an extra body? Maybe next time.
What have we got? Neighbor saw the pervert this morning with a boy.
- Sounds like this kid could be yours.
- Let's go.
Freeze! Get your ass on the ground.
- I didn't do anything.
- Get on the ground.
Hands behind your back, Gerry.
Easy.
I didn't do anything, man.
I'm clean.
Checking the bedroom.
Take it easy.
Stay still.
Let me get the cuffs on you.
Let's go, bring him out.
You wanted to speak to me alone? - Sure, if you've got the time.
- It's all right, she's finally asleep.
She's beautiful.
Gabe could never sleep when he was her age.
He had so much energy.
I want to apologize for Bob.
He knows that you're just doing your job.
It's okay.
I don't think I'd be as patient if I were in his shoes.
- Do you have any children? - Two girls.
- How old? - Six and eight.
That must be nice, having them so close together in age.
Yeah, it is.
I've heard that if you don't find a child in the first 48 hours, that-- That's not always the case.
Luckily, we're involved in this early.
Yeah.
Okay.
Bring it to the office and check for prints.
Somebody showed up in Gabe's seat yesterday in the third inning.
Luckily, they struck up a conversation with the people sitting around them.
He claims to have bought the ticket from a scalper outside the stadium.
How did a scalper get Gabe's ticket? That's what we're gonna find out.
What have you got? The stub from Gabe's ticket had six partial prints on it.
I'm trying to find a match.
How's the office treating you? The office is fine.
I think Danny's got a bit of a problem with me.
Well, when you found that he missed something on that alibi last week you didn't have to bring it up in front of everybody.
Unless, of course, you wanted to show him up, or show off.
Here we go.
George Lincoln.
Auto theft, petty larceny.
Did ten months at Riker's.
He lives in the Bronx.
George Lincoln? FBI.
We need to talk to you.
You recognize him? I mean, I bought a ticket off of him yesterday.
So what? He's been missing since yesterday and you're the last person to see him.
Man, I ain't got nothing to do with that.
All I did was a little business with the kid.
Got two.
Anybody need some? I got one.
All right, little man.
Let me see.
I hold it.
You look.
You a smart little cracker, ain't you? All right, look, I'll give you $30 for it.
Face value's $45.
That's a single and the game's about to start.
It's the Red Sox and it's a sell-out.
All right, I give you face.
$50, or I'm walking.
I gave him $50.
He went his way, I went mine.
You see where he went? No, man.
On to the next, you know.
Look, I got 15 other guys that'll put me at that stadium till 11:00.
Get their names.
He's clean.
Smart little kid.
Smart enough to blow off the Yankees.
And his father.
Where the hell was he going? It's 37 hours and he's slipping away.
Sam? We know Gabe got to Yankee Stadium and sold his ticket for $50.
That was 7:00 Friday night.
Question is, where was he going after that? His parents have no idea? No, they would've volunteered that information by now.
I can't go back there until I have more.
Maybe it's not like the father says.
Maybe the kid gave him the slip on the subway.
Why would he do that? Because he's 11, and going to a ball game with your dad could be lame.
Maybe he wanted to meet a friend, or a girlfriend.
Maybe he planned on ditching his dad once he got to the game but then he took the opportunity with the subway.
Then that's one pissed-off kid.
But he's not so pissed-off that he doesn't go home for 37 hours.
I mean, he's never done anything like this before.
According to his parents.
No, I think Viv's right.
Something happened to him between 7:00 and the time he planned to get home that night.
- Any chance this kid just ran away? - Why that day? Why like that? I think he took the $50, got back on the subway and went to go meet someone.
So we gotta profile this kid like he's an adult.
Find out everything about him.
Exactly.
Okay, let's do it.
I know I'm not supposed to play favorites, but Gabe's one of those kids that when I go home at the end of the day, I feel like no matter how tired I am, it's worth it.
Well, you're here on a Sunday morning.
That says a lot.
How was Gabe in class? What is it? I could just shoot myself.
I didn't think anything of it at the time.
He was usually so attentive, but lately I think something might have been going on with him.
Like what? I don't know.
It's hard to describe but something was different.
Drugs? I don't know, I don't think so.
Maybe I'm crazy because of what's happened.
But then, his birthday.
The last time I saw him we had a cake.
We all sang Happy Birthday, and he just ran out of the room.
And I tried to talk to him about it after school, but.
What's going on, Gabe? Talk to me.
I told you, nothing.
Nothing's the matter, but you react like that to Happy Birthday? Birthdays are stupid.
Is there something going on at home? Everything's fine.
Can I go, please? Okay.
But whatever it is, I want you to know that I'm here, all right? I was going to talk to his parents about it on Monday.
But now.
I can't imagine what that was about.
He seemed fine that morning.
I thought he was excited about going to the game with his dad.
His teacher says he's been withdrawn lately.
Have you noticed that? She said that? God, maybe a little.
I thought it was probably just his reaction to the baby, or moving.
You never mentioned that you moved.
Yeah, about six months ago.
How could he have gone to that game and sold that ticket? What is he involved in that I don't know about? You were right, asking me those questions.
Apparently there was some stuff going on with Gabe that we didn't know about.
Every parent can say that.
I know she thinks it's my fault.
She won't say it, but I can see it in her eyes.
I don't think so.
I'd like to take that polygraph, if that's all right.
Sure.
We'll set it up.
Let's check that one, right there.
Find anything? He was surfing some porn sites.
- Look at that.
-Baby.
I didn't even know what girls looked like when I was his age.
Well, I was all over it.
My brothers were good for something.
- Any weird chat rooms? - No.
This kid doesn't feel like predator-prey to me.
Where would an 11-year-old go skateboarding around here? E-mails from his friends keep talking about these old loading ramps downtown, on the West Side.
- Let's check it out.
- Okay.
- I didn't call,'cause I had nothing to say.
- You didn't think him coming here the night he disappeared would be helpful? I figured some guys like you would be all over it.
- What's your name? Is it Wally? - Yeah, Wally.
Okay, Wally, don't worry about it.
Just tell us what happened that night.
What time did you get here? Got here about 7:00.
Little man came a little bit after that.
- About 7:30? - Yeah, something like that.
Anyway, when he came up, I noticed he had a little extra pep in his step.
What up, dogs? Check what I got.
Where did you get this? You must've mugged some old lady or something.
Ditched my old man on the subway.
Scalped my ticket.
You tripping, man.
He's going to whup your ass.
Yeah, whatever.
You got a board for me? Then what? Not much.
He hung out for a few hours, till like 9:00, 9:30.
- Then we took off.
- Did he say where he was going? Home, I think.
We figured his dad was going to smoke him, you know? The little man wasn't even sweating it.
- He didn't tell you it was his birthday? - No.
I didn't even find out about that till I seen it on the news.
That's kind of whack, huh? That's Line 2 for you.
Right.
Thank you, and we appreciate your help.
Fitzgerald.
Right.
Port Authority.
Okay, when? You recall what color the jacket was? And the sleeves? Was there a logo? You say this was 10 minutes ago? Hang on.
That's him.
We've got him near the concourse! Copy that.
Gabe! Hey! - What the hell's your problem, lady? - We're FBI.
- Where'd you get the jacket? - What do you mean? It's mine.
Check it.
- Leave him alone.
- Just relax.
It's Gabe's.
Come on.
Jack there's blood on the sleeve.
I swear to God, I found the jacket right there in the garbage.
I never even saw him.
And you didn't notice the blood? I didn't know what it was.
I thought it was paint.
- It was dry already? - Yeah.
Leo's girlfriend corroborates his story.
She confirms the time? because the diner was closing.
And we ran Leo's name.
His mother reported him missing eight months ago in Baltimore.
Abusive stepfather.
What about the girl? She ran away from her foster home in Boston.
No abuse, she says.
Just neglect.
- I'm going to go call Social Services.
- Okay.
NYPD is canvassing ticket agents, vendors, and janitors, but so far nothing.
Okay, we know he scalped his ticket at 7:00.
He then took a train downtown to the West Side hung out until about 9:00 or 9:30.
Then the bloody jacket shows up at 4:00 a.
m.
at the Port Authority.
The question is, how did the jacket get there? And why? Maybe he was running away.
Maybe that's what this is all about.
- From what? - Maybe he wasn't running away.
Maybe he was running to something, someone-- You can't get too far on $50.
We don't know how much allowance he had in his pocket.
But just because the jacket was there, doesn't mean he was.
No, but he might have been in the vicinity.
We got three sightings in that 10-block radius.
A movie theater, a diner, and a cybercafe.
But the cybercafe is the only sighting that fits our timeline.
Plus, this place got busted last month for letting underage kids access porn.
- Samantha, check that out, will you? - Yeah.
We don't know if he made it to the Port Authority.
For all we know, those boarders ripped off his $50 killed him, and dumped his jacket.
Okay, forensics.
The blood on the jacket is O positive, same as Gabe's.
- Cybercafe, skateboard, Port Authority-- - Office.
You got it.
I'm going to go see the parents.
We're not going to know it's his blood until we do a DNA test.
What do you need? His toothbrush or a comb.
Look, man, I'm not a cop.
I don't give a damn about what you're into.
I just want to do my job and find your friend.
Look, I wasn't there when it happened.
So I don't know so much.
What do you mean? When what happened? The guys went to have some fun with one of the Koreans.
What Koreans, Wally? You know, from one of them delis.
I'm not even sure which one.
- They went to mess with the guy.
- What do you mean, "mess with"? It was stupid, man.
They go in there, they trash the place, maybe grab some smokes.
Like I said, it's stupid.
And Gabe was with them? I tried to tell him not to go but I guess it kind of got out of hand or something.
Like I said, I really don't know.
Thank you, brother.
You're not going to run me in for this? Just need the information.
Yeah, he was here that night.
Came in around 11:30 or so.
I need to use one of your computers.
Can't do it.
Got to be 16.
Please.
Just five minutes.
Please.
Go ahead.
It wasn't five minutes, though.
He logged on.
Looked like he sent one e-mail, then sat there staring at the screen.
Not doing much of anything for maybe a half an hour.
Then all of a sudden he starts typing away like crazy.
- Did he have blood on his jacket? - Not that I saw.
Which computer was he on? I checked all the logs.
No violent crime was reported in that area the night of the disappearance.
That Friday night.
You sure? Yes, I'm sure.
I ran Chelsea and the West Village.
Nothing in the time period we're looking at.
Yeah.
I did, however, check all the local hospitals.
A Korean deli owner checked himself into the ER at St.
Vincent's around 11:00 p.
m.
Head wounds.
Why didn't you tell me that in the first place? You didn't tell me you were looking for a Korean deli owner.
I had to hear that from Jack.
You want the address? Yes, I want the address now.
I'm here just doing business and they come in with their skateboards and making trouble.
I would have called police, but they don't do anything.
I understand.
Just tell me what happened.
They come in over there.
Hey, kid! I wake up later and go to hospital.
I nearly died! That's probably what he thought.
I haven't seen him.
How about you, Sal? Yeah, sure.
I remember this kid.
He was here Friday night, looking to buy a ticket.
Excuse me.
Where do I buy a bus ticket? - Depends on where you're going.
- Texas.
- This ticket for you? - Yeah.
Sorry, kid, you got to be at least 15.
And to cross the state line, you need a note from your parents or be accompanied by an adult.
I don't know what happened to him after that.
An 11-year-old wandering around here by himself at midnight trying to get to Texas.
Why didn't you call a cop? Kids like that come here every day.
Hey, we got the e-mail from the cybercafe.
You ready for this? "Dad, I really messed up, and I'm in big trouble.
"Please e-mail me when you sign on.
I'm waiting.
" What was the response? We don't know.
There were instant messages but we can't read them.
- "Dad.
" - Dad.
It wasn't Gabe's blood on the jacket, it was the deli owner's.
Gabe must have thought he killed him.
He didn't know what to do.
So now he walks the streets, tries to get a hold of himself, figure out a plan.
And finally, a couple hours later he heads for Port Authority.
When he saw the blood on his sleeve, he panicked and threw it in the garbage.
Oh, my God, he ran away! He tried to buy a bus ticket for somewhere in Texas.
We don't know anyone in Texas.
You said, he tried.
He tried to buy a ticket? He's too young, so they wouldn't sell him one.
We think maybe he asked someone at Port Authority to buy the ticket for him.
We're checking all children's tickets bought in that 12-hour period.
This doesn't make any sense.
If he got into trouble why wouldn't he come to us? That's what we were trying to figure out until we found the e-mail.
What e-mail? The e-mail he sent to your husband.
What the hell are you talking about? He sent you an e-mail asking for help.
This is insane.
This is absolutely insane.
You think I was e-mailing my son in the middle of the night? After all of this, you still think I know where he is? You people are unbelievable! I wasn't even on the computer that night.
You were here.
I don't know.
I don't remember.
Look, we know you don't want to get your son in trouble.
I swear to God, I have not seen or heard from my son in two days.
Whoever he was communicating with, he was calling him "Dad.
" Oh, my God! He found him.
The birth father.
Gabe's adopted, isn't he? Why didn't you tell us this from the beginning? He's our son.
He's been our son since the second day of his life.
And you never told him? We wanted to wait until he was older.
We thought that he would handle it better.
I don't understand this.
You're saying he's been communicating over the Internet with his biological father.
Then he gets into trouble, and he goes to him? Not to us? Right now, he doesn't trust you.
He probably feels like he's been lied to his whole life.
That's why he acted out.
That's why he reacted the way he did to his birthday at school.
That's why he didn't want to go to the ball game with you.
And it was a closed adoption.
We don't even know who the birth father is.
He couldn't have found the kid through us.
We don't give out that information without the consent of the adoptive parents.
Maybe he hacked into your computers? Anything before 1994 was never inputted in the computer.
We'd appreciate your help.
Listen, I'm sorry.
But we need to protect the anonymity of our clients.
Look, Mrs.
Cannon, we could wait another hour till we get a court order or you could help us now make it home in time for dinner with your family and give us a real shot at finding this boy.
"Gabe Freedman.
Biological mother: Barbara Young.
Lives in San Francisco.
"Biological father: Edward Perkins "died three years ago.
" Then who was he running to? So far, all we got on that e-mail address is that it's registered somewhere in Texas.
That doesn't help us much.
We already knew he was headed there.
So the theory is some friend, family member, someone at the adoption agency someone who knew that Gabe was adopted broke the news to him over the Internet has been using that information to prey on him - and has now lured him to Texas? - Right.
Why would that work? Gabe didn't know he was adopted.
Why would he ever believe him? Maybe they have a copy of his records, or know about his birthmark or they're preying on the insecurities of a kid that has a new baby coming into the family.
Someone convinced him and conned him into not telling his parents.
The first contact must have been an e-mail.
After that, it must be instant messages because there's no record of the communication on Gabe's computer.
John Scaperelli from Greyhound.
I think Gabe found out he was adopted, and he's the one who initiated all this.
There's a bunch of these "find-your-parent, find-your-child" websites.
Most of them aren't regulated.
Like Danny was saying, any John Q.
Pedophile who wants to lure kids into his lair puts one of these on the Net and he's in business.
These kids log on, give them their names, they ask for help.
These guys go along with it and pretend they're doing this research.
And say, "I found your father.
Here's his e-mail address.
" Except it's not the father's e-mail address.
It's the pedophile.
And the pedophile convinces the kid to communicate using instant messages - so that it's their little secret.
- Makes sense to me.
And I ran background checks on all these websites and one of them is registered in Amarillo, Texas.
I got the computer guys on it now.
One adult ticket, one child ticket purchased at 1:30 a.
m on the night of the disappearance.
But not to Texas to Santa Fe.
Santa Fe? That's 300 miles from Amarillo.
If you're Gabe, Santa Fe's a lot closer than New York.
So some Good Samaritan buys him a ticket escorts him on the bus, and thinks he's doing him a favor.
We better call the regional authorities right away.
- Fitzgerald.
- Yes? We got a hit.
- How long? - Just came online.
Here we go.
We got the kid.
Here comes Daddy.
Sick bastard.
Listen up, guys.
Gabe is staying put in Santa Fe.
The "Dad" is driving from Amarillo to meet him there.
If we hop on the next jet, we might beat him.
Viv, I need you to call Santa Fe, tell them I'm on my way.
Sam, contact the parents.
Danny, you come with me.
Martin, you, too.
Sometimes I wish I'd never quit smoking.
Any sign of the boy? South entrance, negative.
East entrance, negative.
Snack bar, negative.
Possible ID on the boy, coming from the jungle gym.
Hold your position.
I've got the boy.
Just hold.
Man with newspaper heading towards the boy.
The boy's within range.
Should we grab him? Do not seize the boy.
Do not seize.
Come on.
- Got to go here, Jack.
-No.
Just wait.
You've got five more seconds.
Just wait.
Suspect confirmed.
Moving in.
FBI, get down on the ground! Now! Get down! - What'd I do? - Dad! I didn't do anything! I was just.
- You good? - I was just walking.
Hold your positions.
Second subject running towards lake! - We got him.
- No, you don't! Where'd you learn that? White collar? Sixth-grade swim class.
I was gaining on him, you know.
Sorry about that.
His name is Darren Oaks.
He's a paralegal, he's married, and he has two children.
We know he's contacted boys on the Internet before but we don't think he's ever tried anything like this.
Gabe's on his way up.
I don't know what to say to him.
Just tell him what you told us.
So they know everything that happened? Everything we've been able to tell them so far but you're going to have to fill them in on the rest.
They're gonna kill me.
No, they're not.
They love you.
So if that wasn't my real father then who is? Your parents can explain that better than we can.
Heard you got a little wet.
Beats sweating my ass off in the doghouse.
The Red Sox in October.