Another female body found. Provisionally identified as: a) a forty-something prostitute last seen on a busy city street, b) a twenty-something model last seen in the elevator of her apartment building, c) a high school student last seen hitchhiking on a rural highway. (The answer this time is b.) A 25-year-old model with aspirations to be an actress, she moved to LA from somewhere else and ended up in a shallow grave near the edge of a lake in Northern California. Apparent cause of death: a) drowning, b) strangulation, c) blunt force trauma. (The answer is c.) Her new boyfriend was a person of interest when she disappeared, according to the LAPD. Of 1,600 women murdered by men in the U.S. in 2017: a) approximately half were killed by intimate partners, b) approximately one quarter were killed by intimate partners, c) approximately one tenth were killed by intimate partners. (The answer is a.) Police questioned and released the victim’s boyfriend at the time, and then searched his Toyota pickup truck and rental car when her body was found a month later. As of now her boyfriend: a) has yet to be apprehended, b) shot himself after a high-speed police chase, c) was charged and awaits trial. (The answer is b.) “This is not the guy I know,” one of his male friends told a reporter. He liked boxing, yoga, dog training, and rodeo competitions. His friend, who asked not to be identified, was unaware of his relationship with the victim.

A young woman gone missing, a body hastily buried, a few lines on page 9 of the morning newspaper when her remains were unearthed (“body believed to be”), she will vanish again tomorrow without a trace. Lost. Found. Lost. Autopsy still pending.

Jacqueline Doyle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her award-winning flash chapbook The Missing Girl was published by Black Lawrence Press last fall, and she has recent flash in Wigleaf, Hotel Amerika, The Pinch, matchbook, and Post Road. Find her online at www.jacquelinedoyle.com and on twitter at @doylejacq.

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