Woman Details Being Trapped Inside Wrecked Car for Eight Days


Tom gave her their account numbers and all the information he could. He also provided his social security number and his pin numbers, so she could check out everything for herself. He wanted her to. He insisted that the detective search the house and even take his computer, to prove that he wasn't involved with her disappearance in any way. He told them that they didn't need to get a warrant and that he wanted to be as open with them as he possibly could. He pleaded with the police to follow up on every lead, and he prayed that they would eliminate him as a suspect as quickly as possible, so that, then, they would move on to investigate more productive leads.

I wake up cold, so cold. My fingers and arms, legs and toes feel so cold and my heart gives a little flutter and then I feel some hard, pounding beats. I know a lot about health, but I do not understand what is happening inside my body. I just want to rest. I want to sleep and dream, but I'm angry and I want to cry. I don't have the strength, just a lame attempt, a whimper. I talk to Tom inside my head. I pray to God. I drift out above the blackberry bushes, away from the smells in my car, up to tops of the cedar trees.

"Come with me, Lady," I say inside my head. "Let's go for a ride."

But I can't find Lady. I don't know where she is.

"Tom?" I say in the silence of my mind. "Do you know where Lady is?"

Tom doesn't know where Lady is but, he says, "I love you." "Well, I love you too," I think I say. "So why don't you come and get me?"

But Tom doesn't answer. He will come, I think.

My gut twists and turns and I feel sick again, but it is not my stomach this time. I have to go to the bathroom! I start crying. I have always worked hard to keep my life clean and orderly and, here I am, sick in my pants. Locked in my seat, fully clothed, I have diarrhea. The fresh smell is horrible and I am in agony.

I drift away again. I see myself hovering over our property in Shelton, where we had built our house, a nice home on a double lot overlooking a beautiful bay. During construction, we had lived in an RV that had air conditioning. I liked that, though I am so cold right now, I do not understand why! The RV was small, but I was happy, being so close to Tom. We know that we can conquer any challenges. We can do anything!

Facing my situation in the car, I see and smell the same horror. I keep trying to pound on the window, claw at the clasp. I try them again and again. I do not care if I have tried them a thousand times. I do not care if they have failed a thousand times. I must keep trying, even if it is futile. What else am I going to do? All I can do is choose to erase everything that binds me. I can give in and let go, but I do not want to. I have dreams to live for, so failure is not an option. I must will myself to live.

After the detective left, Tom worked around the property. It was mindless labor that he needed to do, but he only did it to keep his tortured mind occupied for a little while. Tom also worked on flyers and tried to raise money for a reward. He knew that he needed to do all he could to add to the media stories every day, so that Tanya's disappearance would stay in front of the public—and so that the public would keep the pressure on the police.

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