When you’re a teenager it’s easy to be led astray. What’s hard is getting out of a bad situation.
Mature or distressing themes and strong language. This story deals with issues that are, unfortunately, true to life for some teens.
In keeping with our policy of not running from real life issues, we are hosting Bad Boy Gone Good with this advisory.
The doorbell rang and Pete rushed to let the cops in. He figured that he needed to seem stressed and in a hurry to find out what happened to Doris.
“Mr. Peter Medrano? I’m Officer Chris Baxter and this is Officer Jake Walters. We’re here to investigate the report that Doris Oron-Medrano is either missing or has been attacked physically.”
“Yes, yes. Do you know where my wife Doris is? She was missing when I got home and the house is messed up. I think my stepson might have attacked her. He’s violent and he’s on some sort of drugs. There’s a big piece of the carpet that’s been cut out and our coffee table is gone and her car is in the garage but she isn’t here, anywhere.” He ran out of things to say.
“What is your stepson’s name?”
“Jado Oron. It’s Jaydon, but he goes by Jado. I think it’s a gang name.”
He noticed the cop was looking at the tat on his arm. ‘Fuck!’ he thought, ‘I shoulda worn a long sleeve shirt.’
“I oughta know,” he continued, “when I was his age I hung with the Norteños until I got straightened out by my granddad. Beat the shit out of me and I’ll tell you, I learned my lesson!”
“Well, we’d better take a look around. If he’s a violent drug addict and he’s hiding somewhere in the house or garage or the yard we don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Jake,” he said to his partner, “you better call in some support.”
“I’m on top of it. The backup’s on its way, Chris.”
“Good. When they get here let’s have them conduct a search of the property. Make sure they know the suspect might be dangerous.”
“Mr. Medrano, why don’t we sit in the dining room and I’ll get some more information from you.”
“Okay. I just want to know what happened to my wife. She’s missing!”
Pete sat down and Officer Baxter purposely sat across from him. “Well,” he said, pulling a card from his shirt pocket, “let’s get started by pointing out that you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do you can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”
“I know about this Marandize stuff. Why are you saying it to me? I haven’t done anything. I’m the one whose wife is missing.”
“I know, but now we have to do this with everyone we will interview, including your stepson. In this stage of our investigation we have to assume everyone is a suspect. As you know, this is standard police procedure. It’ll help you prove that you didn’t have anything to do with her disappearance.”
“Okay, I understand what it’s about. I don’t got nothin’ to hide.”
“In that case, I assume you’ll want me to record this interview. That way there can’t be any questions about exactly what questions I asked and exactly what answers you gave me.”
“Why do you wanta record my answers?”
“I want to record both my questions and your answers. It’s sort of like the officers in the field wearing those little cameras to prove what actually happened, not what the police say happened.”
“Yeah. I can see that. Can I get a copy of the recording? Uh… for my lawyer.”
“Absolutely. Just give us the name of the lawyer and we can send it right to them.”
“Or, we can email it directly to you. An MP3 file. Can I have your email address?”
“I don’t have email. I’m not into this technology stuff. How about just mailing it to me on a cassette tape. Here, at my house. You’ve got the address already.”
“We don’t have a way to record onto cassette tapes. How about on an audio CD? You have a CD player in your house, don’t you? Or in your car?”
“Yeah, that’ll work.”
“Okay. It’ll take about a week, but you’ll get a CD in the mail here at 149 Fleetwood Court. Is that okay?”
“Yeah, that’s good.”
“Thank you, Mr. Medrano. I’ve just turned on the recorder, so let’s get started. First, please tell me about your wife. What’s her full name?”
“Doris May Oron-Medrano.”
“Oron? That’s your stepson’s last name. He didn’t change it to Medrano when you married your wife?”
“No, he didn’t. Oron is her first husband’s last name. He died a few years ago, and Jado wanted to keep that Oron last name. I guess Jado was pissed ‘cause she decided to marry me. Doris and me just got married in Vegas. Had a wonderful honeymoon. Now she’s missing.” He rubbed his eyes to try to cause tears, but it didn’t work, so he just used his arm to wipe across his eyes.
“So she kept her former husband’s last name and just added your last name to it? Man, that sounds sort of bogus,” Officer Baxter said. “If I got married and the wife wanted to keep her former husband’s last name I’d tell her to forget it.” He watched Pete’s reaction to his comment, and waited for him to say something.
“Yeah, I argued about it with her. Her reason was that the kid wanted to keep his dad’s last name and Doris decided having both last names to make sure people would know she was the kid’s stepmother and I was her husband. I guess now it won’t make any difference.”
‘Oh, shit! I gotta keep my trap shut. What do I say now? I sure as fuck got myself in a corner. I gotta get out of this somehow.’ He thought about it for a few seconds.
“That little shit Jado Oron’s gonna go to jail ’cause he beat the shit out of Doris.”
“I’m curious, how do you know that Jado uh… ‘beat the shit out of’ Doris?”
‘Shit! Just like Doris said, I’ll never learn,’ Pete thought. “I don’t know. I just assumed’d it. That’s the kind of shit that fuckin’ Jado is likely to do.”
“Do you have a picture of Doris?”
“Gee, nothing from your wedding? Most of those wedding chapels in Vegas hit you up for pictures.”
“Nope. We didn’t want to pay those redic’lous prices.”
“Nothing from your honeymoon? Snapshots? Selfies?”
Pete just shook his head.
“Okay, then describe Doris for me. How tall is she?”
“I don’t know, maybe five-five, five-six.”
“How much does she weigh?”
“Damned if I know. She’s sort of medium. Not skinny, not fat.”
“What color is her hair?”
“She’s a blonde, real blonde, not one of them that’s out of a bottle.”
“When was the last time you saw her?”
“A week ago.”
“You said you were out of town. Where did you go?”
“I went to a truck parts auction in Sacramento.” Pete was very sure about the auction because he’d actually planned to go but his boss said he wouldn’t pay for the trip so he had to pass. But he told his boss he was going anyway, on his own time, even though he didn’t go.
“Now, let’s talk about Jaydon. I suppose you don’t have a picture of him, either.”
“I don’t, but Doris does. It’s in her bedroom. I can get it.”
“I’ll go with you.”
Pete led Office Baxter to Doris’s room and took the picture of Jado from the top of her dresser.
“Here it is. This is a couple of years old. He looks a lot older and meaner now.”
Officer Baxter looked around. “You said this was Doris’s room. Does that mean you had separate bedrooms?”
“Yup. She says I snore, so I gotta sleep in my own room.”
“Can I see your bedroom?”
“Okay, that’s it, right across the hall from Doris’s room.”
Officer Baxter looked around. When they came to the house for the welfare check Tuesday night and found Doris they did a search of the premises. The lamp they’d found was put back on the nightstand. The marijuana they’d found hidden in the base of the lamp was in the evidence locker at headquarters.
“So you sleep here every night?”
“Yup. Then I’d visit Doris before going to bed, if ya know what I mean.” Pete wiggled his eyebrows.
“Well, I’ve seen your room and Doris’s room. I’d like to see Jaydon’s room now. If you don’t mind.”
“Nah, no problem. His room’s at the end of the hall.”
Pete led Officer Baxter to Jado’s room. “This is it.”
“Why is there a big hole cut into the door?”
“Oh. Jado broke into the house and busted the hole in the door so he could get into his room. We’d locked him out ‘cause we didn’t want him stealing anything.”
“This hole isn’t what I’d call busted. It’s neatly cut and almost perfectly square. Anyway, what did he take?”
“Just his clothes and junk. Ya know, the computer and books and crap like that.”
“Where is Jado living now?”
“Damned if I know. And I don’t care. Prob’ly with some of his druggie friends.”
“You mentioned drugs. Do you use any drugs for recreational purposes, Mr. Medrano?”
“Nah. I’m not into that shit. I’ll have a few cold ones after work. Then Doris and I’ll go out to eat our dinner and maybe have a beer or two. Never enough to get drunk, of course.”
“So exactly when did you return home from Sacramento?”
“Lemme think. I drove back after the auction, so I got in real early Wednesday morning. I hit the sack and slept until around noon.”
“Where do you work?”
“Truck Service Center in Millbrae.”
“Have you returned to work since you got back from Sacramento?”
‘Uh oh!’ Pete thought. ‘I gotta think of a reason I’m not back at work.’
“I got pissed at Fred, he’s my boss, for not payin’ my way to the auction in Sacramento. I figured I’d go back to work when I want to. Prob’ly next week. Maybe Monday.”
“Say, did you buy anything at the auction?”
“Nah. I had to pay my way there and back, and gas is so fuckin’ expensive — uh, pardon my language — I bid on a couple things but didn’t get ‘em.”
“I guess the trip was a bust, then?”
“Nah. Gave me some time off and time away from the smell of grease.”
Officer Patricia Daniels motioned to Office Baxter that she wanted to speak to him.
“Mr. Medrano, would you remain here in the dining room? Officer Daniels wants to update me on what they’ve found.”
“Sure. Lemme know what you found, okay?”
The four San Bruno police officers who were at the house at 149 Fleetwood Court met in the garage so Pete couldn’t overhear them as they discussed what they’d found.
“It looks like Peter Medrano has been living here since we found Doris Oron-Medrano,” Office Daniels said. “Doris Oron-Medrano was attacked on Tuesday in the early morning. We have the statement from Mr. Robert Porter that he saw Peter Medrano drive away from this house around one a.m. Tuesday morning. We haven’t found anything that would show that Jaydon Oron has been here in several days.”
“Peter Medrano hasn’t mentioned that he attacked Jaydon Oron and physically threw him out of the house, a house that Jaydon Oron actually owns. He is a minor and the house is held in a trust in his name,” Officer Jake Walters said.
“Another thing he hasn’t mentioned is that he visited Doris Oron-Medrano in Bayside Memorial Hospital,” Officer Eric Cooper reported. “He registered using his driver’s license Thursday morning at 9:03 a.m. In addition, the charge nurse in the ICU remembers talking to him.”
“Mr. Porter made three calls to the San Bruno Police Department to report Peter Medrano present in this house,” Officer Baxter added.
“There was a Temporary Restraining Order generated by my department,” Officer Daniels said. “It was served on Peter Medrano with a keep-away from Jaydon Oron. I have pictures of the injuries Jaydon Oron received when Peter Medrano attacked him. Today we received a copy of a Permanent Restraining Order that extends the conditions of the Temporary Restraining Order until August 30, 2018, which is the date of Jaydon Oron’s twenty-first birthday.”
While the police officers were discussing the situation and what their next step should be, Pete sat in the dining room grinding his teeth in anger. “What the fuck are those stupid cops doing?” he mumbled to himself. “It’s taking them fuckin’ forever spending all their time searchin’ for Jado and he’s not even here. But they didn’t know that when they should of.”
His irritation was interrupted by the doorbell. “Prob’ly more cops. Maybe they’ll search the friggin’ attic while they’re at it.”
He went to the entry hall, turned on the porch light, and opened the front door. A real cute college-age girl stood there smiling.
“Are you Peter Medrano?” she asked sweetly.
“Sure am, cutie. What can I do for you?”
She had a stack of what looked like full-color advertising flyers. “I’m sorry to bother you so late in the evening, but I was down the street and saw your light was on. I have some really fascinating facts about traveling that won’t cost you one thin dime. You interested?” she asked.
“Maybe, if you’re gonna be going too.” Pete grinned at her and wiggled his eyebrows.
She blushed, and handed him a colorful envelope that had pictures of a beach with palm trees. He stepped back into the entry hall under the light and squinted so he could read what was printed on the envelope. It read, ‘Instructions Inside.’ When he looked up the girl was gone.
‘Where the hell’d she go?’ he wondered. He closed the door and took the envelope into the dining room. He sat down and ripped open the envelope and removed the contents. When he saw what it was he shouted, “Fucking shit asshole bitch process server brings me a Perm’nent Restraining Order. I’ll fuckin’ kill her!”
He rushed to the front door, flug it open, ran outside and down the steps, then stood in the middle of Fleetwood Drive, in the dark, looking for the girl. There was no girl and no cars other than the two police cars parked in front of the house.
There was nothing else but a dark empty street and an enraged Pete.
“Look, there’s Dad,” Greg said. They jogged to the car and got in.
Dave smiled. “Jay, the court approved the permanent restraining order against Peter Modrano. It’s not really permanent. It’s an extension of the temporary restraining order that was issued by the San Bruno Police Department. Because of the nature of your injuries the judge extended it until your twenty-first birthday. By then I’d expect that Pete will be in prison.”
“How does he find out about it?”
“It will be given to him by a process server. Of course, they have to find him first.”
“He’s gonna freak.”
“He can freak all he wants. If he comes within 300 feet of you or anyplace you would expect to be, like school or home, he’s subject to arrest for violation of the restraining order.”
“Do we get a copy?”
“Yes. Alan will give us copies when we see him on Monday. The court has also sent copies to the San Bruno Police Department, the office of the San Mateo County District Attorney, and the principal of Aston High School.”
“Will he know where Jay lives now?” Greg asked.
“No. For security because Jay is a minor, the current address is not listed in the court document. Instead it reads ‘any current residential address.’ You’re still protected because he can’t be within 300 feet of you.”
“I guess that’s okay,” Jay said. “I wouldn’t want him to find out where I’m living ’cause that’s where you and Mom and Greg are living too. I don’t want any of you to be in danger because of me.”
After lunch on Saturday Dave sat back and looked at Greg then at Jay. His action was so specific it was noticed by both of them.
“If you’ll remember, I promised that you’ll get a safe-sex refresher this weekend,” he said.
Just like when he made the announcement earlier, Greg and Jay shared an expression that could only be described as one of horror.
“Shall we move this meeting to my office where it will be more private and less embarrassing?”
“Yeah,” Greg said, “more private but sure as hell not less embarrassing.”
Beth, who was standing at the sink, suppressed a grin. “Greg, don’t swear.”
The three males got up and went into Dave’s office. As they entered, but before the door had been closed, Beth overheard Jay say, “And now we march into the hall of the inquisitors.”
She heard Greg laugh, which was silenced when the door was closed.
Dave picked up Jay after school.
“We’re scheduled to meet with Alan Quallier, our attorney, at four o’clock. He has the guardianship papers for you and me to sign. Then he will file them with the court. Then there will be a hearing where you have to approve of us to be your guardians. Doris would have had to approve of this change, but she’s in a coma at Bayside Memorial Hospital. Alan contacted the hospital and obtain a document stating that she is unable to provide a verbal or written statement for the court. Because Pete was never listed as your stepfather, he can’t file an objection to the guardianship.
“Alan also has copies of the restraining order against Pete for you and me.
“Finally, if you have any questions about the emancipation, Alan will be able to answer them.”
“I don’t have any interest in the emancipation,” Jay said. “Having you as my guardians is the best thing that could happen.”
“Thank you Jay. You’re also one of the best things that could happen to us. Greg needs a brother, and you make the ideal brother for him.”
Jay looked worried.
“Is there something wrong?” Dave asked as he pulled into the parking garage for his attorney’s building.
“Yeah, there is. You know that Greg and I are boyfriends. Does the guardian thing mean that since we’re brothers that we can’t be boyfriends any longer?”
“No. You can continue being boyfriends. Legally, the guardianship doesn’t make you and Greg brothers. Now, if we adopted you things become more complicated. We should ask Alan for his opinion about that.”
“Why would we need to ask for his opinion? You’re not adopting….” Jay stopped short and stared at Dave. “D…dave?” he stammered.
Dave pulled into an open spot and parked.
“To answer what I think your question is, Beth and I have discussed adopting you. But only if that’s what you want.”
Jay was stunned. “Adopt me? Really?”
Dave grinned. “Yes, really.”
“But you don’t know me. I could be a murderer or something.”
Dave laughed. “I don’t think so. What I’d like you to think about is whether it’s something you’d like.”
“Wow. Just… wow!”
“Well, we’re here. Let’s go see Alan and start the guardianship process. Then you can ask about being adopted and what that process would entail, and how legally it would affect your relationship with Greg.”
“Greg!” Jay exclaimed. “What’s Greg going to think about me being adopted?”
Dave grinned. “It was his idea.”
Jay laughed. “You’re having to tell me ‘Yes, really’ a lot, Dad.”
“I assume that you had a chance to read the guardianship material so you’re ready for our meeting today. He’ll have the guardianship papers ready to sign.”
“I did read them and I don’t have any questions. So, what’s the next step after I sign these papers?”
“They will be sent to the court to have a docket time set for a hearing. You, Beth, and I will be notified and will go to the hearing. Doris will be notified to be there, but because she’s in the ICU I don’t think she’ll be able to be there.
“Jay, please don’t tell anyone about the guardianship until it’s approved by the court. Oh, and there’s one other thing I should tell you. Even though it’s a remote possibility, Doris could fight the guardianship, either in person or through an attorney, and if that happened it could slow the process. In either case I think we could show that she should be removed because of her marriage to Pete and the way he abused you.”
“Since you mentioned Pete, I wonder where he’s hiding out. I also wonder what the San Bruno police are doing to find him and arrest him for what he did to Doris.”
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