My colleague was a newlywed with twins on the way, but then his wife went into labour early.
Two days later his mother had a stroke and required emergency surgery. She was on the other side of the country. He took a week off and went to visit his mother in hospital. After he left, however, we lost contact with him.
A week passed and he didn’t return to work, so we went to visit his wife in the hospital, but she was in a panic because she was unable to contact him either. Our boss went to the hospital his mother was supposed to be in, but all the doctor said was, “I can’t reveal anything.”
The boss went around the rooms in the brain surgery department one by one, but there was nobody there that corresponded to our colleague’s mother. Other departments were the same. We received the wedding invitation list from his wife because it had the addresses of his family on it, and we went to visit those who lived nearby, but the addresses didn’t exist. We came up empty.
His phone remained off, and we still had no idea where he was. With his wife’s permission we filed a missing person’s report with the police.
A few days later his wife gave birth to stillborn twins. She was unable to eat or sleep due to shock and anxiety, and we still didn’t know anything of her husband’s whereabouts.
On our company’s end, we needed to start dismissal proceedings for him, but thinking of his wife, our boss and other colleagues went out numerous times searching for him.
The police had no leads either, and eventually our company raised enough funds to hire a detective agency. However, three months passed without any change in the case.
In the end he was dismissed from the company and his wife was forced to move out of the company housing. We helped her with the move, but she was a wreck and I couldn’t help but feel pity for her.
Six months passed, and yesterday she came to visit us to say thank you for everything we’d done. Her husband still hasn’t been found. There’s no evidence he used his bank or credit cards, and it was like his entire family just disappeared overnight. One of the colleagues she knew in our company said that she was trying to treat things as if “the marriage, pregnancy and stillbirth were all nothing but a bad dream.”
The fact we could never settle the case leaves a bad taste in my mouth even now.