Logline: After the disappearance of a Minnesota teenage boy, Bryce, his parents and girlfriend search their hearts for why he might have left. Did he commit suicide? Did he run away to be a ski bum in Deer Valley, Utah? Did his drinking result in his death? Bryce is missing and three are missing Bryce.
Bryce jackson's parents' house near
afton mn - 10
miles east of the Twin Cities
The phone rings.
tammy jackson, 40's, attractive, bryce's mother, is
worker in downtown st. paul
Tammy answers the phone with smiles and enthusiasm,
Hello, this is Tammy.
Tammy listens and then says,
Let me see if he is here. He might have left for work at the
Tammy walks with the portable phone to Bryce's bedroom. She
opens the door and looks in,
That is strange. He did not sleep in his bed last night. I
just assumed that he was in his room, but there's no sign that he slept here
last night. His bed is the same as he left it yesterday. He would have called
me if he were staying somewhere else. Did you talk with him last night?
jordan wilson, 17, very pretty, bryce's girlfriend
Yes, we talked and argued. I was calling now to make sure
that he was
OK. He was really upset after I told him that I wanted to break up. Did you see
him go out?
No, Jerry and I were downtown at the Ordway until almost 10
and out for drinks afterward until after midnight.
What should we do? Should we look for him? Call around? Call
the Alps to see if he is there?
I'll drive over to the office at the Alps and look for him.
I'll have him call you on my cell when I find him. His cell is on the
kitchen table, along with his wallet and car keys. That is a little weird. He
usually takes his cell to work.
Don't worry. I'm sure he is fine.
I am trying not to panic, but I am worried. I'll call you as
soon as I know anything.
Tammy drives about a mile to the office at Afton Alps Ski
Area in a blinding snow storm. She parks as close to the office as possible and
runs while holding her coat closed and hood over her head.
afton aps ski area management office
Tammy bursts into the door, but has to wait for a person who
with the cashier at the counter. Tammy is out of breath and agitated. Finally,
she gets the attention of another person in the office.
Can you tell me if Bryce Jackson came in to work today?
Brittany, in her early 40's, is managing the office and
sitting at her desk
Are you Bryce's .... ?
Brittany pauses like she does not want to offend Tammy and
assume that she is old enough to be Bryce's mother. Tammy looks young enough to
be Bryce's sister. So, Brittany pauses to let Tammy fill in the nature of her
relationship with Bryce.
Mother. My name is Tammy.
I am concerned. Bryce has called in before when he could not
make it, but he did not show up today and did not call in beforehand. A few
others did not make it in either because of the heavy snow - it's well over a
now. I thought we could count on Bryce since he could walk here from home
nearby. We put someone else in his place in the rotation for instructors. It
is not a big
deal. We can easily move people around to cover everything. I was just thinking
of calling his cell phone to ask him if he forgot that he was on today.
I am concerned too. We haven't been able to figure out where
he was since 8 o'clock last night.
Don't worry. I'm sure he will turn up soon. Maybe he is
stranded somewhere in this storm.
Maybe you're right, He might have gone out with friends and
they were stuck somewhere together. The snow was coming down pretty heavy last
night. We were inside in downtown St. Paul and didn't realize how bad it was
until we went outside
and saw that there was at least 8 inches of new snow on the ground. It was
treacherous driving home from downtown. We were exhausted emotionally and
physically when we finally got home after midnight. We just fell into bed and
didn't think of looking in his room to see if Bryce was there. I'll make sure
he calls you when he gets back.
Thanks. And don't worry. He is a good kid. We really like him
here. He's an awesome skier. He's always talking about jumping into the skiing
big time in Utah, maybe at Deer Valley. He would make a good instructor there.
Yeah, we haven't encouraged that a whole lot. His dad wants
him to go to college, and I am hoping for him to do something compassionate
with his life. His dreams are more along the lines of ski bum - at least that's
how his dad and I see it.
I know what you mean. My kids don't have big dreams. They
just want a laptop, a smart phone and a car. Whatever it takes to make enough
have these things is all they seem to want.
Thanks for talking and for your kind comments about Bryce. He
really likes working here and skiing. His dad suggested that we buy a house
near here when he realized how much skiing meant to Bryce. We have not
regretted it. For the last few years, working here as well as skiing, mountain
biking and golfing has been a big part of Bryce's life and ours too.
I don't get to see a lot of him because he seldom comes into
the office, but I have heard a lot of good things from those who work with him
in the ski school and ski with him.
I hope you don't mind my asking, but I have one question that
you might be able to answer. Have you had any issues with him drinking on the
job? Scotch keeps disappearing from the liquor cabinet around the time that he
leaves for work.
Well, it was a while ago, maybe a year, but we wrestled with
whether to involve his parents in a discussion about his bringing a flask to
work one day and drinking Scotch while he was on duty on the lift. He didn't
drink much, but we have a zero-tolerance policy for employees on duty -
especially under-drinking-age employees. After
being confronted, he apologized and agreed never to do that again. We put him
on probation, and he never violated the anti-alcohol rule again. Well, we
never caught him violating it again. However, I did hear from a couple of the
guys he hangs out with when skiing. They said that he carried a flask whenever
he was skiing and took periodic swigs from it when he was not working.
Thanks, I appreciate your sticking with him. This job means
so much to him.
Have Bryce call me as soon as you find him. If he has a good
excuse like being stuck somewhere by this bad weather, we can give him his
usual schedule, but he might have to take some time
off if he does not have a good reason for missing work or if alcohol was
involved. I am sure that you would want us to confront that drinking issue.
Yes, absolutely. He needs to learn that bad behaviors have
bad consequences. I'll have him call you. He will probably do it himself
without me telling him. Thanks again.
Thanks, Tammy. I'm sure he will turn up soon. Don't worry.
Tammy leaves the office and gets in her car, drives up the
hill out of Afton Alps and to her house on the St. Croix Trail, a half mile
north of the entrance to Afton Alps.
A she drives, she recalls.
two years ago - ski school at afton alps
Tammy watches as Bryce teaches ten middle-school children the
fundamentals of skiing. She admires his patience. Bryce is enjoying his work
with the kids. They worship him.
As Bryce finishes up and the kids ski away, Tammy says,
Bryce, you are a miracle worker with those kids.
Thanks, Mom. I get such a kick out of their enthusiasm.
He puts his arm around his mom and they walk into the chalet
and sit to talk over hot chocolate.
Tammy and Jerry's house near afton alps
Tammy fights the blowing and drifting snow in her driveway
with her SUV. She rushes from the car and into the house. With her house phone
Tammy calls her husband, Jerry, on his cell phone at work.
jerry jackson, bryce's father, 40's, handsome, is a
high school english teacher and ski coach
Tammy starts to cry and says in a slow and pained voice,
Jerry, I can't find Bryce. He didn't sleep in his bed last
night. Why didn't we check to see if he were there when we came home? He
didn't show up for work today at the Alps. Jordan and he argued on the phone
last night, and that is the last anyone knows about him. What should I do?
I will be done here soon. The teacher's meeting will be over
by noon. I will come home and we can try to figure out where he might be. Try
not to worry. He has
always been pretty independent. There are lots of reasons to just sit tight and
him to return.
OK, you are probably right. I will just chill out and wait.
an hour later at the jackson's house
Jerry comes into the house, shaking off snow
and throwing his clothes into a closet by the door.
OK, do you have any phone numbers for some of his friends?
Yes, I have his cell phone with his numbers for friends. I
hadn't thought about that. Let's call them and ask if they know anything.
Tammy calls one after another friends and asks if they know
anything. Jerry pours stiff drinks for both of them while Tammy is talking in
I guess we know that he is not at any of his closest friends,
crashing from too much to drink last night. That was my first concern. The
Scotch took another big hit last night. It was a good idea to mark the levels
with tiny marks so we could tell if he were drinking from it. At least we know
that he did not drive his car while drinking.
He could still be trapped by this weather somewhere. Eighteen
inches since 5 pm last night is a lot of snow! Maybe he is in a ditch with a
friend in a car ... or helping someone else who is trapped by the storm.
Jerry, what if he is not just delayed by the storm, or
recovering from drinking or pouting about Jordan. She told me that she told him
that she wanted to break up. Some kids commit suicide over stuff like
that. Or, what if he
has run away to Utah to be a ski bum like he has been dreaming about?
Tammy, let's keep the worst-case scenarios to a minimum right
now. Take another drink and chill out a little. Everything's gonna be fine.
OK, OK ... I'm fine.
She grabs the glass and twirls the ice and takes a big gulp
and makes a face from the burning as the Scotch slides down her throat.
That did enter my mind - Utah, but he left his cell phone and
and car. He didn't take his favorite ski outfits or coat. If he were running
away, surely he would have taken some of that stuff. If he intended to leave,
he would have taken his stuff and maybe even left a note.
Maybe not. If he didn't want anyone to find him, he would
have abandoned his cell phone. Police could have tracked him by his cell phone.
He would have left his wallet and assumed a new name, He wouldn't have taken
his credit cards. Police could have tracked his movements by his using a credit
card. He wouldn't have taken his favorite clothes, because we could have
described them to police. There wasn't any cash in his wallet.
He kept his cash in his top drawer. I already looked and
there was none there. Maybe you are right.
Where would he go if he ran away?
I thought of Deer Valley. He talked a lot recently about our
trip there last year, He often said that his dream was to work at Deer Valley
as a ski instructor so that he could ski there almost every day. He wanted to
ski all the great
slopes in the Park City, Utah, area. He imagined that he could ski Deer Valley
every day, except his day off when he could ski other resorts.
Do you think that he would run away and go there?
Maybe. I have been a little hard on him lately
about college. Every time he would get that far-off dreamy look in his eye and
talk about skiing as a way of life, I talked about him getting a college
first. Every time he talked about his fantasy of skiing virgin deep powder
off-course at Deer Valley, I asked why he did not want to go to college. When
he said that extreme skiing off cliffs of powder was his idea of higher
education, I suggested that he should ski for a college team on scholarship
that could give
him an education as well. He said that he didn't want to compete in icy slalom
events. He just wanted to ski powder and feel the freedom of skiing off-course.
Off-course is really dangerous, right? There are avalanches
off-course. People get lost in the wilderness when they leave the groomed and
patrolled areas. Do you really think that is possible? That he went to Park
I guess I wouldn't jump to that conclusion yet, but if he
doesn't show up in a couple days, maybe we should consider that possibility.
Jerry gives her a look and motions for her to calm down and
take another drink.
next day at the jackson's house
Snow is falling. Jerry finishes clearing the driveway with a
snowblower. The sky is dark and foreboding. The sun is falling around 5 pm.
Jerry puts the snowblower away and comes into the house. He says to Tammy,
That's a losing battle. By the time I finish it is time to
Jerry looks more closely at Tammy and realizes that she is
very drunk. He says,
OK, I guess we better call the police and report Bryce as
Tammy bursts into tears and cries,
Jerry, I can't talk to them, obviously.
It's alright. Don't make yourself sick. I'll make you some
coffee. You better drink lots of water to avoid a hangover.
Jerry goes into his home office and sits at his desk to call
the Washington County Sheriff's office. After dialing, he says,
Missing Persons, please.
After a pause, Jerry says,
My name is Jerry Jackson. My son, Bryce, has been missing for
more than twenty-four hours. He is 17. The last person to speak with him said
that he was here at home at 8 pm on Saturday night.
After a pause, Jerry says,
OK, I'll go to the web site and fill out a form and give you
all the details. Will you be investigating?
After a pause, Jerry says,
OK, how soon can we expect the FBI investigator to arrive?
After a pause, Jerry says,
next morning at the jackson's house
Jordan sits on the couch with Tammy and Jerry and two
investigators from the FBI.
What do you think from your interviews so far?
Jack winsted - fbi missing persons
- 50's and businesslike but trying hard to appear compassionate and
Here is what we know so far. Bryce was here around 8 pm and
talking on the phone with Jordan. They argued about Bryce saying that he did
not want to make too many commitments in his life so that he could be free to
follow his passion for skiing powder in Utah, He said to Jordan,
'Nobody understands how much skiing powder means to me. Everybody seems to
think that I am just crazy for wanting to make recreational skiing a big part
of my life,'
Then Jordan shouted, 'Bryce, you're slurring your words. You've been drinking
again! I am through with your drinking and with you.' Bryce slammed the phone
down. Nobody heard from him after that. He left just about everything here -
phone, his wallet and credit card, driver's license, any identity and his car.
He left everything that we could use to trace his movements. I might say that
it was just coincidental that he left these things, or maybe even that he just
went out for a walk without any intention of running away. However, we have one
clue that leads us to think that he went somewhere for the purpose of skiing.
expensive and finely tuned skis are missing.
What? I didn't even think about that. He often kept his skis
in a locker at the Alps.
After interviewing his supervisor, we checked his locker and
his skis weren't there.
I drove him to it. I could have been more patient and
understanding. However, I lost it when I realized that he had been drinking
heavily again. We have argued about it several times. I gave him an ultimatum,
stop drinking or I walk. He was headed for self-destruction or murder charges -
drinking and getting behind the wheel. I thought he would want to be with me
enough to stop drinking. I wanted to save his life, but now I worry that he
might have taken his life.
Let's not go there - at least not yet. I really think we
should search Park
City and Deer Valley for him. A few weeks ago Bryce told me that my dreams for
him were not his dreams. He had his own dreams. They didn't involve four years
in college or paying off loans for the next ten years. They didn't require
sitting behind a desk or standing up in front of kids who could care less. His
dreams were about appreciating the incredible beauty of nature on the
mountains of Utah skiing.
Working was only a means to be able to ski. His paid work could be
helping others enjoy skiing too. Just when I should have been listening, I was
talking - again - about my visions for his life. I want to take it back. I want
another chance to say, 'Wow, Bryce, what a beautiful dream! I hope you can
fulfill it. Whatever I can do to help it to happen, just let me know.' No, I
walked out in frustration that he would not be fulfilling my dreams for him -
for him doing what
I had failed to do. I was disappointed that he would be denying me the
opportunity to live vicariously through him. If he ran away to pursue his
dreams, it is my fault. If he felt that he had to cut ties with us to make it
happen, then I am guilty of pushing him to it.
I kept telling him
that he was so selfish to have this dream. I repeatedly told him that he owed
it to God to give back something. I told him that his life would mean nothing
if he did not commit his life to caring for people who were less fortunate, who
needed help just to get by. I tried to push my mission on him. It was not his
mission. I also hoped for him to do things that I felt that I
had not accomplished in social work. My own frustration with the system and my
feeling of powerlessness before overwhelming need led me to push Bryce toward
succeeding where I had failed.
Don't be too hard on yourselves. Every parent tries to steer
a better course for their kids, especially when the parent thinks that the kid
headed in the wrong direction. If he ran and tried to cover his tracks, it will
probably be temporary. When he reaches dreamland and gets what he wanted,
he will phone home to gloat and celebrate his independence. Or, if it turns out
to be a bust, he will phone home for money. They always do one or the other. We
have started a missing-person search in our Park City branch. There have been a
few avalanches off-course at Deer Valley and at the Canyons. No one has been
reported as missing, but if he went alone and told no one it would not be
surprising for him to have been caught up in an avalanche without anyone
reporting him missing. We checked all the recent applications for employment at
Deer Valley. Nothing suggests that he has arrived there and applied for a job
in a fictitious name.
Maybe he is still on his way there. Human Resources at Deer Valley has been
alerted to watch for him. They have his photo.
Thanks, Jack. It sounds like you're on top of the issues
involved here. I really appreciate your working on this.
It's my job, Jerry. Call or email me with anything you think
may help us to find Bryce. I really appreciate your candor. Most parents take
no responsibility and don't admit to anything that could have driven
their kids away. They just keep saying over and over again, 'I just don't know
why he would run away from such a wonderful place where we give him free room
and board.' In reality, they rode the kid so hard and put him down so much that
he had no choice but to change his identity and move to New York or San
Francisco to avoid killing them.
jackson's bedroom as they try to
Jerry lays his head on the pillow and says to Tammy,
I have so many regrets. Perhaps I wanted Bryce to live out my
life and just do a better job of it than I have done. So many times I looked at
him as the chance for me to live my life over again and get it right the next
time around. He looks so much like me. I imagined him to be me at a younger age
- my second chance. Telling him how to live his life was like telling myself to
get it right the next time around. I am beginning to realize that he is not me.
He is not my second chance to get it right. I have to let go and let him be
whoever he chooses to become. I only hope that it is not too late for letting
him pursue his own dreams.
Maybe he is not even alive. I just can't imagine that he would not let us know
that he is OK if he is OK. Perhaps I just have to wait until he is ready to
phone home. I feel like I am being justly punished for not respecting his
decisions, for not letting go, for not giving him the space he needs and
Jerry, I feel a lot of guilt too for driving him away by my
demands for perfection from him. It was a shock to me when a colleague
confronted me about my demanding perfection from her and not being friendly,
compassionate or understanding of her difficult life and unique talents. She
told me that 'Tammy' is a name that means perfection and that I deserved it not
so much for being perfect as for demanding it of others while having faults
that I could not see in myself.
Ouch, that's a low blow.
Yes, I didn't take it well.
Where do you think Bryce is now? Heaven? Deer Valley?
I am convinced that he is alive and well. He will give us
another chance. Imagine that he is doing exactly what he wants to do and is
loving the freedom. When he feels that the time is right, he will let us back
into his life. For now, we just have to wait patiently. Imagine that Bryce has
found the peace that he could not find here with yours and my expectations of
OK, you're right. We keep bringing each other back to being
rational and not so emotional. Thanks. We will find him. It will all
work out eventually.
Jordan is talking on her cell phone with a girl friend,
Bryce's parents and
the FBI are currently focused on Park City and Deer Valley. I guess I wouldn't
surprised if he showed up there. However, Bryce and I were so passionately
connected. I can't imagine that he would just leave me without fighting for me.
When I threatened to leave him the first few times if he did not stop drinking,
it was just a bluff to make him stop. It didn't work. I've been told since by
friends in Al-Ateen that making threats only makes it worse. My threats
only resulted in him trying to hide it from me. You can't make somebody stop
Jan, Jordan's best friend
Jordan's best friend, Jan, on the phone asks,
What made you explode on the phone with him?
He was talking about Utah and skiing powder, teaching skiing
and living there with me. He was enjoying dreaming about it aloud, when
I realized that he was slurring his words. He had been drinking heavily. Our
battle with his drinking had been escalating for months. I asked him if he had
been drinking when he
was talking like he was ready to run away to Utah. He denied it, but I knew
that he was drunk. I told him that I would not
tolerate it any longer and that I was really through with him this time. He
hung up. That was the last I heard from him. I am worried that he has taken his
life, and I feel responsible.
Don't go there! His drinking was his own illness. You didn't
cause it. If he took his life, that was his decision. You wouldn't be
responsible. No one would fault you for leaving an alcoholic. You haven't done
anything wrong to deserve guilt.
Then there's my anger. I am so angry because he is such a
great guy without the drinking. It just makes him into a monster - a real
Jekyll and Hyde show. We could be so great together without the booze. I am so
angry that he does not love me enough to quit drinking. I feel so unlovable. I
feel like I am not worth enough that he would stop drinking to keep me in his
life. I am angry that drinking has taken away my Prince Charming.
Would you be so angry at him if he had cancer and was dying?
What are you getting at here?
Just this. Alcoholism is an illness that Bryce could not
control. This illness causes people to sell their mother for a drink. So, you
shouldn't feel so bad about yourself as if you are not worthy to be loved. You
did the right thing in refusing to tolerate his drinking and ending your
relationship. It was the self-respecting thing to do.
I hope so, but I don't know how I could live with myself if
he has committed suicide. I am really missing Bryce. It might help if I just
knew that he were alive.
You can't make a person stop drinking and you can't make a
person not want to commit suicide if they are suffering from an illness.
Depression is an illness that often makes people dwell on ending their
emotional pain by suicide. It has very little to do with whether you were nice
to them or not.
Where did you learn all this?
My cousin committed suicide. We struggled with all the
feelings you are having now. He suffered from depression, used drugs and
alcohol to try to cope. He blamed everyone else for his unhappiness and they
all felt tremendously guilty when he finally took his life. My aunt and I
talked a lot about it after her son took his life.
Well, thanks. I am sure I will need more of your insights. I
have to go to bed. I am exhausted.
No problem. Get some sleep. It makes everything look easier
after you sleep. Goodnight.
Thanks again. Goodnight.
Both hang up. Jordan turns off the light and dreams of the
Prince Charming that Bryce was when he was not drinking.
a dream recalling an event 8 months ago -
sailing a boat on the St. Croix
Jordan sits next to Bryce at the tiller of a 27-foot sailboat
on the St. Croix River. It is a beautiful, sunny summer day with other
sailboats and cabin cruisers on the river. They sail, hold each other close and
Jordan, I can't imagine life without you. Will you spend the
rest of your life with me?
We're too young for marriage, so I assume that you are not
Right. I just want you to know how much you mean to me.
In that case, yes, I do want to spend the rest of my life
Jordan kisses Bryce slowly and for a long moment until Bryce
finally has to peek to avoid colliding with another sailboat. A nearby boat of
four guys honks their horn loud in appreciation of the kiss.
TAMMY AND JERRY'S HOUSE -
sitting in front of the fireplace late at night
Tammy says to Jerry,
I wonder if Bryce ran way from my pressuring him to do
something compassionate with his life. When he talked about his dreams of
skiing powder, I kept pushing him to explain what he wanted to do for people,
what he should give back to the world instead of just taking. He looked at me
like I was speaking a foreign language. He would just ask, 'Do you think that I
would be so self-centered that I would not care for people? I could teach
others how to ski, how to have fun with their family, how to experience the
magical and mystical power of skiing. What's the moral difference between
helping street people to survive and helping folks how to find happiness
through skiing?' I always saw a difference, but he didn't. Now I wish
that I had appreciated his viewpoint as valid. I can only hope for another
chance to let him know that it is his life to live and not mine. I am missing
Bryce so much.
Yeah, me too. We will find him. We will get another chance.
a year ago - jackson home
Bryce and Tammy are kissing and cuddling on the couch by the
fireplace when Jerry and Tammy walk in the door in their winter coats. They
quietly enter and put their coats in the closet by the door. Suddenly they
realize that Bryce and Tammy are necking by the fireplace. Tammy says,
As you were, Lovebirds! We will go upstairs to our room and
you can have the fireplace to yourselves.
fbi office in st. paul
You asked us to come in to discuss your leads? Do you have
any hope for us?
There was an avalanche in the Canyons near Park City
yesterday. They pulled out two skiers from beneath the snow. Neither has been
identified yet. One sounds like it could be Bryce, but I am skeptical. They are
sending me photos by email in a few minutes. I just want you to look at them to
be sure they are not your son.
Jerry, I can't bear to look. Could you look first. If you're
sure that it is not Bryce, I won't even look. If you're not sure and need me to
look, I'll do it. But I hope that I don't have to.
Jack turns his flat-screen toward Jerry,
What do you think?
No, that is NOT Bryce.
Tammy bursts into tears of relief.
Thanks, Jack. I know you'll find him soon.
Stay positive. We'll find him.
Jerry and Tammy walk out of the office and down the hall.
Jerry puts his arm around Tammy and says,
I miss him so much too. I was thinking about our trip to Deer
Valley and how much he enjoyed it.
two years ago - DEER VALLEY SKI AREA NEAR
PARK CITY, UTAH
Bryce and Jerry stand at the top of the highest slope and
look out of over the awesome scenery. It is a a clear and sunny day and one can
see for thirty or more miles in every direction.
Dad, this is Heaven! Have you ever seen such
No, Bryce, it doesn't get any better.
Bryce pushes off and yells,
Race you to the bottom!
Jerry takes off and follows Bryce. They ski down the hill
amidst incredible scenery, dangerous dropoffs and other attractive-looking
afton alps management office
Brittany is on the phone talking with Tammy,
Tammy, this I Brittany. How are you holding up?
Not well. I can't sleep. I can't stop imagining the worst.
Did you have some specific reason to call?
Yes, I have a clue. Yesterday we had a meeting with all the
lift operators. I asked if anyone had any information that might be helpful in
explaining what happened to Bryce? Barry said that he was operating a lift in
the most remote area on Saturday night when Bryce greeted him round 9 pm as he
sat down on the chair lift. He noticed that Bryce's speech was slurred a little
and that he smelled of alcohol. He never saw Bryce again that night.
Tammy gets excited,
Really, this is the first evidence we have that Bryce did not
leave for Utah immediately after hanging up on Jordan. Maybe this means that he
did not go to Utah after all. It doesn't sound like an immediate suicide
Tammy starts to laugh uncontrollably, and blurts out,
Bryce's love life crashes and he doesn't commit suicide. He
After almost hysterical laughter that dissolves in tears of
relief, Tammy says,
Did you get anything else from the other
No, that was all anyone knew. Nobody else saw him that night.
Thanks for your call, Brittany. This is the most reason we
have had to hope for his return. I just know that he is alive somewhere.
Yes, Tammy, I think so too. I am sure that you will find him
Tammy calls Jerry at the school,
Jerry, a lift operator saw Bryce skiing on Saturday night
after his argument with Jordan. He did NOT leave immediately for Utah.
Really? That is good news. Have you told the FBI yet?
No, I haven't. Could you call them, please? I start crying
every time I talk to them.
No problem. I will call them. Honey, we are going to find him
alive. Don't worry.
Yes, I think so more than ever now.
a year ago - afton inn
Tammy, Jerry, Bryce and Jordan are having dinner in an
elegant and historic inn in Afton. Bryce says,
Thanks for this birthday dinner. Sure beats fast food!
Bryce excuses himself and goes to the restroom. He pulls out
a flask and takes a long drink from it. He returns to the table.
Tammy is on her third Martini. She is a little out of control
and emotional because of the alcohol. She says,
I don't mean to embarrass you, Bryce, but we are celebrating
the day you were born. I remember how we cried when you were safe and healthy.
You were headed in the wrong direction, so they had to turn you before you
could be born. That seemed to set the tome for your early life. You often
headed in the wrong direction. We turned you around many times. We always want
the best for you, Bryce.
Bryce is feeling the Scotch. It makes him sarcastic and
insensitive. He says,
Thanks, Mom. Now that I am seventeen, I get to make my own
Jordan puts her hand on Bryce's arm and whispers,
Let it go, Bryce.
We are only trying to help you make good decisions to have
the best life possible.
I am sure you mean well, but it's time to let go, cut the
cord. Maybe it's not too late to have another baby. You could fulfill your
mothering instincts with a new little one and let me go.
OK, Bryce. Let's not make a scene here. We can discuss this
Jerry jumps in to keep the mood light after it starts to get
a little ugly,
Who's ready for dessert?
tv station = wcco in the Twin Cities
Tammy and Jerry are being interviewed by WCCO TV. The
Do you have reason to believe that your son, Bryce, is alive
Yes, he was seen on the ski slopes at Afton Alps in the East
Metro area of the Twin Cities on the night that he disappeared. While the early
search was focused in Park City Utah, where we thought that Bryce may have run
to fulfill his dreams of being a ski instructor, we are now focused on the Twin
Cities. He may be hiding out while he gets his head together. Bryce is 17, 6
feet tall and weighs 180 pounds. His
picture is being shown to viewers. There it is. The FBI has searched all the
hospital records with no new leads. We are asking the public if they have seen
this man. Bryce, if you are watching this, we just want to let you know that it
is your life and we will let you make your own choices. We want you to know
that we love
you and that you are always welcome home. Please come home, if only long enough
to let us know that you are alright. We love you, Bryce!
two days later at the afton alps
Brittany is talking on the phone to Jack, the FBI agent,
Hi, Jack, how are you?
Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Cut to the chase. Do you have anything
new for me?
We found one of Bryce's skis in a deep drift on a closed
slope. Bryce wanted to ski off-course in Utah. This is the closest we have to
an off-course area where powder would be attractive to him. The area is not
groomed and would have been deep with powder that night with a couple feet of
new and drifting snow. I could imagine Bryce skiing there and then cutting back
toward the chair lift. Before we start digging in the area where the ski was
found, I wanted to let you know.
Thanks, Brittany. I will have a crew there in the morning
tomorrow. Could you rope off a wide area near and around there to keep
curiosity seekers away? Close any chairs that would take people close enough to
see us recovering a body. Don't let anyone know about this if you can avoid it.
I suppose higher management should know, but not any employees who don't need
to know. Above all, say nothing to the press. If anyone from the press asks,
send them to me. Got it?
Got it, Jack. Will you be telling Tammy and Jerry? Will they
Yes, I will tell them. If they want to be there, I will let
them do that.
JERRY AND TAMMY'S house
Jack knocks on the door with an assistant. Tammy answers the
Come in, Jack. What's up?
Jerry and Tammy sit down with the two FBI agents. A neighbor
pours coffee for all of them.
We have a break that may or may not be good news. It depends
on what we find next. One of Bryce's skis was found on a closed slope at Afton
Alps. It was deep under drifted snow that accumulated on Saturday night's
storm. This means that it is very unlikely that Bryce left his skis here and
ran away to Utah. That is, unless he deliberately left his skis at Afton to
everyone off the trail. That is possible. However, the worst-case scenario is
this: Bryce was drinking heavily that night. Perhaps he fell and was badly hurt
unconscious. Perhaps he died of hypothermia. His ski was found in an area that
not lighted that night, an area that was not groomed, an area where no one
would have seen his body. So, here's my question for you. Do you want to be
present when I send a
search crew in to dig up the snow in the area in search of his body or more
Yes, I want to be there.
I know that you want answers as quickly as possible. However,
we have to do this carefully to preserve any evidence. You have to wait for us.
There are officers on the site right now, keeping anyone from touching anything
until we can get the trained investigative crew and the tools on the site. When
we start, you can watch from a distance with binoculars, if you wish. Is
that your wish?
Yes. Tammy, do you want to be there?
OK, 7 am on Thursday. I will pick you up.
OK, thanks, Jack.
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