I sat down again, because I wasn’t doing anything useful by standing there. I completely understood why Jim didn’t know whether to take Todd at his word. I wasn’t sure I believed him either. If Todd honestly didn’t believe Jim was doing anything wrong, he should have been putting more effort into finding out who was doing it.
They finished going through Jim’s phone, and Todd made a few notes in his notebook. “Okay. I can’t promise you won’t be asked to bring it down to the station, but I’ll tell them I checked it thoroughly and didn’t see any reason to believe you’ve been using it for anything besides texting and calling Delia and Man-Shik. They should back off, but like I said, no promises.”
“Thanks.” Jim put the phone facedown on the table. “Can you guys maybe work on finding out who actually is sending those messages, if you really don’t think it’s me? Because every time you show up or call, I’m more sure you think I did it.”
“I know. It isn’t something I can help.” Todd reached toward Jim but didn’t touch him. “We have the IP address from Facebook. Now we’re tracking which provider it’s from, and then we have to have the provider tell us whose IP it is. I am on your side. We need other people to give us some ideas of who else to talk to.”
I suddenly remembered what Jae had said earlier. If Jim heard about it, maybe it would make him feel a little better. “Hey, Todd, are you the one who talked to my dad this morning?”
“About what?” Todd wrinkled his forehead. “I didn’t come in until about an hour ago.”
“That’s when he called.” Dad must have talked to one of the other officers. “Jae said she heard Shara and some of her other friends talking. Shara said she didn’t care if Jim was actually watching her. She only reported it because she’s trying to get Jim in trouble.”
“First I’ve heard about it. Hang on.” Todd yanked his phone off his belt and made a call. “Kent? Todd. Did you catch a call from the Parks earlier? Something about their daughter?”
He held up a hand and listened. “That’s it. Are you following up on it? You’d better say yes.”
He listened again. I leaned back and tried not to look at Jim. I should have told him right away about Shara’s lie. He was probably angry now, even more than he had been. I would have been in his situation. It was one small piece of hope, and I hadn’t even remembered to say a word about it.
“Good,” Todd said. “Thanks for filling me in. I’m with Jim now, so I’m going to let him know what’s going on. If he needs to come to the station, call me. I’ll have to bring him.”
He put the phone back on his belt and gave us a smile that looked scarier than any frown Mom could have managed. “They talked to Jae-Shik and your dad, Man-Shik. Kent’s on his way to talk to Shara, and Casey’s going to talk to one of the other girls Jae said heard what Shara said.”
“She lied?” Jim’s voice cracked. “I mean, I know she did, but she admitted it?”
“Jae didn’t want to say anything,” I said slowly. “She’s afraid of losing her friends. But she thinks you’re her friend too, and she knew it wasn’t right for Shara to lie about you.”
“You didn’t say anything when you got here.” He narrowed his eyes. “Why didn’t you?”
“I don’t know.” No question he was angry. I’d seen him close to losing his temper before, and it usually didn’t worry me, but I’d never been the target.