It happened at a super Target attached to the mall. Son (8), Daughter (6) and I had finished browsing the baseball cards and toys on the lower level, taken a quick tour of the shoe department on the upper level, and were about to check out. Son was buying basketball cards with his savings and as we approached an open cashier, Daughter looked at the eye-catching candy and magazines in another empty checkout aisle. It was early afternoon on a Sunday and the store was pretty empty. While Son retrieved a $20 bill from his wallet and struggled to fit the change back in, I asked the young cashier for directions to the Foot Locker in the mall.
“Turn right when you get into the mall,” he explained. “Then you’ll see a place that looks like a – no, it has a – oh, wait, it’s a hair place, turn left and it’s on the left before the food court.”
I turned around to get Daughter from the empty cashier lane where I’d just seen her. She was gone. I scanned the other checkout lanes, nothing. I walked down towards the big doors to the parking lot, nothing. We were next to Ladies clothing, handbags, and eyeglasses. I checked them quickly; no Daughter. There weren’t any toys or “girlie things” on the floor to beckon her. Where had she gone?