Author: EHfan PM
Jacob and Rachel travel to Oregon to discover the cause of a rare blood disorder in three infants.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Friendship - Chapters: 3 - Words: 18,291 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 3 - Published: 05-20-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7007263
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This story is set just prior to Felix joining the team and prior to Medea. If you look at my other stories, it would fall between The Redeye and The Dress.
Disclaimer: I still say this is fair use, Steven Gallagher, WB, and Jerry Bruckheimer may disagree.
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Special Agent Rachel Young frowned over the file folder in her hand. Sure, she got it, sick babies were bad, but what did that have to do with them? Ok, they had some freaky disease she had never heard of, but still, according to the information they had been given by the Bureau, the cause of the disease was known.
The babies had some protein deficiency. What was the mystery? It wasn't like the other cases they had investigated. This was just a couple of sick babies. She looked over at the man in the seat beside her, Dr. Jacob Hood. He was absorbed in the print-outs they had received from the hospital. She spoke quietly, so as to not disturb the other passengers on their late night flight.
"Hood, what's so special about these babies?" She huffed in affectionate exasperation as the scientist failed to answer. As usual, once he became involved in a problem, the rest of the world ceased to exist. 'Talk about the ability to concentrate.' She shook his arm, called out his name again.
"Umm," Jacob blinked, slowing coming back to the here and now. "Did you say something Rachel?"
"What's so special about these babies," she repeated. "I mean, I get it, they're sick. But why did they call for you? It's not like you're a real doctor."
Jacob's lips twitched. "I don't know about that, that PhD in physics seemed pretty damn real to me." Rachel flushed in embarrassment and opened her mouth to explain but he overrode her. "I know what you mean. I'm not a medical doctor. But the problem here isn't medical."
"What do you mean, it's not medical?" She held up the folder, a puzzled look on her face. "According to my orders we're going to Crawford, Oregon 'cause they've got three babies with neonatal purpura whatever."
"Neonatal purpura fulminans. It's not the fact that they suffer from NPF that makes this a case for us. The real concern is that there have been four infants born in that hospital in a two month time span with severe congenital Protein S Deficiency."
"Four? My orders say three."
"The first infant born with the deficiency has already died."
Rachel's eyes widened at Hood's flat tone. 'Damn, this one is going to be bad.' She knew that Hood had a problem when there were deaths associated with their cases. She figured it reminded him of his wife.
Jacob turned in his seat to face her. "What you have to understand is that severe congenital Protein S Deficiency is rare. It's estimated that only 1 in 2000 people have the genetic defect that causes it. The odds of all eight of the parents being carriers of the defective gene in a town the size of Crawford is…"
"Really, really big." Rachel cut in. "So it didn't happen naturally. They need you to find out what caused the genetic mutation?"
"Umhm. The authorities have already ruled out the obvious, no buried toxic waste, no local industries contaminating the air or water, no environmental causes they can identify."
"What about the moms? Maybe they took some kind of drug, or maybe they ate or drank something that caused the protein deficiency."
"No, the women all shared the same obstetrician." Jacob flipped though his files. "Here's her report. According to her none of the women were prescribed or took anything other than the normal neonatal vitamins. And if there were problems with the food or water supply then you would expect more than four pregnancies to be affected."
Rachel raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Maybe they were taking the kind of drugs that aren't prescribed. Didn't their doctor think of that?"
"It's statistically unlikely. I mean, all four women would have had to take the same drug at the same stage of pregnancy."
"Yeah, but according to you, it's statistically unlikely that these babies would have this deficiency, but they do." She snorted. "I've read the files. Just because these women are all white and middle class doesn't mean that they're not drug users. I'll check that out first thing."
Jacob looked doubtful, but he readily agreed to Rachel's plan. Until he had more information, it would be foolish to rule out any avenue. He sat back and once again became absorbed in his files.
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It was early the next morning before they reached the hospital in Crawford. Jacob had wanted to head there as soon as they hit town. Rachel, however, had insisted that they check into a hotel and get a few hours rest. As she pointed out, the hospital administrator and the doctor who were responsible for their summons weren't expecting them until the next morning. Jacob agreed reluctantly, while he was eager to dive into the problem, he recognized that Rachel needed her sleepp.
On the way to the hospital, Jacob briefed Rachel on the people they would be meeting. "Our immediate appointment is with Dr. Thomson, the hospital administrator. It's a nuisance, but he insists on meeting with us. I've asked that Dr. Terry join us in that meeting. He's the pediatrician who's treating the infants with NPF. He's the one who insisted the hospital ask for my help."
Rachel scrunched up her nose. "Pediatrician? I thought it was an obstetrician who called."
"No." Jacob shook his head, flipping through the files. "Dr. Hadfield was the one who delivered the infants, but it was it was the pediatrician who detected the genetic defect." He frowned over the files. "It's a bit strange, considering what happened, but there's no mention of any genetic counseling in her report." He shrugged, "I'll have to talk to her also, dig into her files a little deeper."
They ran into the obstetrician immediately. They had barely entered the hospital when a tall woman, dressed in scrubs, her brown hair pulled up in an untidy knot on the top of her head approached them. Rachel, as her training dictated, stepped in front of Hood, blocking direct access.
"May I help you?"
The woman ran a glance over Rachel and, obviously dismissing her as of no importance, held out her hand to Jacob.
"Dr. Hood? I'm Dr. Lydia Hadfield. I'm the obstetrician who delivered the infants that developed NPF. I'm happy to meet you. When they told me you were coming, I looked up your work. Your contributions to genetic research are impressive."
"Ah, thank you..." Jacob took the woman's outstretched hand. "Please call me Jacob. I've read your report on each of the pregnancies, they were very through. At some point, would you mind going over your notes, your full files with me?"
"Not at all, Jacob." The woman smiled complacently. "And please call me Lydia. Would you care to join me for coffee? We could…"
Jacob began to answer, but Rachel cut in quickly. "Actually, we need to check in with Dr. Thomson and Dr. Terry. We'll catch up with you later."
Hadfield's mouth thinned at the mention of Dr. Terry. She once again addressed Jacob as if Rachel hadn't spoken. "Yes, Dr. Terry. I'm afraid that you've been called out unnecessarily. Terry over-reacted. As you'll see when we go over my notes, these were textbook pregnancies. These cases of NPF are unfortunate but hardly something that calls for the Special Science Advisor for the FBI."
Jacob eyes widened a bit. He wasn't surprised at Rachel's reaction. He knew that the woman's rudeness in not acknowledging her had put her back up. He was surprised at Dr. Hadfield's 'reaction. That she didn't seem to realize the rareness of the protein deficiency. He would have thought an obstetrician would be more knowledgeable regarding genetics.
"I'm sorry Lydia, but Rachel's right, the hospital administrator and Dr. Terry are expecting us. Plus there are a few lines of inquiry I'd like to get started immediately. But I do need to talk to you, review your files. If you'll be in the hospital for a while, perhaps I can have you paged once I've finished."
Hadfield smiled at him. "Actually, I'll be here for most of the day. I have a couple of patients in active labor. The nurses will find me for you. And I'll have my office messenger over the files."
With a nod, Jacob took his leave of the woman, Rachel walking stiffly by his side. As they approached the elevators Jacob looked down at her, his amusement evident in his face. "So, what do you think of Dr. Hadfield?"
"I don't think much of her manners. I may not be a hot shot biophysicist, but I'm not invisible." Rachel frowned, "I wonder what her problem is with Dr. Terry. She sure seemed ticked off at the mention of his name."
"She might think his calling us in is a criticism of her management of the pregnancies." Jacob shrugged. "He's the pediatrician for all of the infants; he's the one who identified the genetic defect, not her."
Dr. Terry turned out to be a young sandy-haired man. He had welcomed both of them warmly and got them out of the hospital admin's office gracefully when it became obvious that Thomson's only concern was if the hospital or its doctors could be held liable for the outbreak of NPF. Terry's kindness and concern for his patients was evident; Rachel liked him immediately.
Terry took them to the small conference room on the maternity floor that he had turned into an office for them. He provided Hood with the latest test results from the three surviving infants. "As you can see, all of them are responding well to the warfarin. I'm not sure how they'll fare long-term, but for now the drug is controlling the disease."
Jacob grunted in agreement as he reviewed the test results. "What alerted you to the NPF in the first place? I see that you tested for that immediately, what made you suspect the protein deficiency?"
Dr. Terry's face tightened. "It was the death of the first infant. His autopsy showed he died of a stroke."
"A stroke?" Rachel interrupted. "How could a baby have a stroke?"
Terry sighed. "The main problem with protein S deficiency is that your blood clots too easily. The first infant developed a blood clot in his brain, it triggered a stroke. An autopsy showed the deficiency. When the other infants began showing symptoms, I had them tested immediately. They all have the same deficiency."
"Which is being kept in check with medication." Hadfield had tracked them down and was leaning against the doorframe. "While it is uncommon for this defect to manifest itself in these infants, it's hardly a crime, a case for the FBI." She smiled at Jacob. "I'm afraid that you've been called out over a tempest in a teapot."
Jacob eyed the woman thoughtfully. "Well, Lydia, the cases I investigate don't always fall under the umbrella of criminal activities. Any scientific anomaly is enough to bring me into a case. And you have to admit; statistically speaking these cases of protein S deficiency are an anomaly."
The woman shrugged but before she could continue, Terry spoke up. "Dr. Hood, why don't you and Agent Young come with me to the NICU? I'm sure you'll want to check up on the babies yourself."
Jacob nodded his agreement but Rachel's brow creased. "NICU? What…"
She was interrupted by Hadfield heaving a large sigh and rolling her eyes. "It stands for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It's where we keep sick newborns."
Terry's eyes widened at the angry flush on Rachel's face. He hurried into speech. "I understand your confusion. Technically these babies aren't newborns but we don't really have the room or the need for a separate nursery for sick infants. It was just easier for them and their parents to isolate them in the NICU."
The foursome made their way to the NICU: Jacob, hands in pockets lost in thought as he contemplated the problem before him; Terry, worriedly glancing from Rachel to Hadfield; Rachel, shooting glares at Hadfield; and Hadfield, who was totally oblivious to the anger she had provoked in Agent Young.
Rachel forgot her annoyance when she caught sight of the babies in the NICU; they were covered in bruises. "Geez, Hood," she murmured. "What happened to them? They look like they were abused."
Hood shook his head. "It's a symptom of NPF. Those bruises are caused by blood clots."
"We didn't realize the significance in time to save the first baby," Terry put in, "but when the others started showing signs of bruising we tested them for the deficiency."
"But now that they've been properly diagnosed, they're fine." Hadfield said. "I honestly don't see why…"
"Fine my ass," snapped a woman with short red hair who had entered the NICU behind them. "My daughter is far from fine. She's going to have to be on medication for her entire life, is at risk for thrombosis, stoke, and may never be able to have children. I don't call that fine."
'Way to tell her off.' Rachel smirked at the look of discomfort on Hadfield' face.
"Uh, Barbara, I didn't mean to offend you. I meant your daughter is fine in the sense that her condition is no longer life-threatening. What are you doing here?"
Terry cut off the angry retort that was forming on the newcomer's lips. "Barbara, I'd like you to meet Dr. Hood and Agent Young, they're from the FBI. Dr. Hood is here to find out how this genetic mutation happened." He turned to Hood and pointed to one of the bassinets. "This is Barbara Danvers; she's the mother of this little girl."
The woman reached for her daughter and gently unsnapped the leads connecting her to the monitor. Careful not to tangle the IV line, she lifted her child from the bassinette. She turned to Hood. "I don't understand? Why is the FBI interested in my daughter? Do you think you can help her?"
Jacob stared at the woman for a heartbeat. His lips twitched as he searched for the right words. Rachel felt a small pang. Until he had answers, until he had solved the problem, she knew how difficult Hood found it to face the families of those involved in their cases.
"My name is Jacob Hood, and I'm the Special Science Advisor for the FBI." He nodded toward Rachel, "And this is my colleague, Speical Agent Young. I get involved in cases where there may be an abuse of science. It's statistically unlikely that what happened to your daughter and the other infants was a natural occurrence. Now, I won't be able to help, cure, your daughter, but I will try to find out why it happened and to prevent it from happening again."
"Happen again?" Barbara looked perplexed. "I thought Sarah and the others had a genetic defect; that it was just the luck of draw." She turned to Hadfield. "That's what you told us."
"That's my professional judgment." Hadfield replied. "What happened here is an unfortunate occurrence, nothing more, nothing less." She raised an eyebrow at Jacob. "I know Dr. Hood feels that this is statistically unlikely, but this condition isn't that well documented. There's nothing in your pregnancy or health history that would make this anything other an act of God."
"Well, let's just say I'm here to make sure that god didn't have any help," Jacob replied. He turned to Barbara. "I know that this is difficult for you, but are you up to answering a few questions? The sooner I can get started the sooner I can find some answers."
Before she could reply the baby in her arms began to whimper; her attention was immediately diverted. "I'm sorry," she murmured. "I'm here to feed Sarah. I need to concentrate on her right now; your questions will have to wait."
Holding her baby in one arm, Barbara wheeled the IV stand over to one of two rocking chairs in the corner of the NICU. She settled herself carefully and began unfastening her shirt.
Rachel gaped in surprise as she realized that the woman would be breastfeeding her baby. She shot a quick look at Hood. Anything remotely connected to sex seemed to embarrass him; she wondered how he would react to this. To her surprise, he didn't bat an eye.
Jacob was about to suggest to the woman that they give her some privacy when a woman with curly chestnut hair rushed into the room. "Hi, Barbie how's Sarah today? " Her gaze ran over the others in the room. "Hey Chuck." Her voice turned frosty. "Dr. Hadfield."
The newcomer kept up a line of chatter as she, in turn, carefully scooped up a baby from its bassinette. "I'm glad I was able to get here before Henry got fussy. Chuck, could you do me a favor? Could you wheel Abby's bassinette over here for me? I promised Claudia I'd provide lunch for her today."
Within a few minutes, the two women were settled, babies at their breasts. The newcomer, once she had assured herself that her son was feeding properly looked over at Jacob and Rachel. "So, who the hell are you two?"
Terry burst out laughing. "Direct as always Tracey. This is Dr. Hood, he's the one from the FBI I told you about. And this is his colleague, Agent Young." He turned to Jacob and Rachel. "This is Tracey Martel."
The woman looked at Jacob through narrowed eyes. "So you're the genius doctor who's going to figure out what happened here?"
"I don't know about the genius part, but yes, I do hope to discover what happened to your children. " Jacob smiled at the woman. "When you're done feeding your son, I'd like to ask you some questions, if you don't mind."
"I'd be glad to answer your questions, but they'll have to wait until tonight. I have to get back to work as soon as I'm done feeding Abby and Henry. I have a budget meeting with the mayor that can't be put off."
"Actually, I have to get back to work too." Barbara looked up apologetically. "Things will get backed up at the pharmacy if I'm away to long."
The two women exchanged glances. "Don't misunderstand, we want answers as much as anyone, but we're all trying to get our lives back to normal. And that means getting back to work."
"I understand," Jacob reassured them. "I was hoping to do an environmental scan as well as question you. When do you think we can arrange that?"
"You can look around my place right now, "Tracey offered. She shrugged at Jacob and Rachel's looks of surprise. "My husband, David, is a landscape gardener. Since it's raining, he'll be at home. He can show you around the place, answer your questions."
"You can go to my place now too," Barbara said. "My husband Jimmy is a cop. He's on the late shift so, he'll be home now."
"Let's see," Tracey mused. "Will can show you around his and Claudia's place. He's a mechanic, but he works out of their garage." Her face clouded over. "I guess you'll want to talk to, see Jill and Matt? Their son is the one who died." She sighed. "Matt's a contractor, so with the rain, he should be at home like David.
Jacob thanked the women for their information and as their attention was claimed by the babies he and the others left the room. Hadfield was paged and she took her leave of Jacob and Terry. She once again acted as if Rachel was non-existent.
Rachel, the dislike evident on her face, watched the woman stride down the hall. "What's up with her and the Martel woman?"
Terry answered carefully. "Tracey seems to feel that Dr. Hadfield wasn't as…helpful as she could have been when during and after their pregnancies. " He turned to Jacob. "So what now? Is there anything you need from me? That you'd like me to do for you?"
Jacob looked at the man thoughtfully. "No, the office you arranged for us will do nicely. Rachel and I will be out and about for most of the day. Now, it you'll excuse us, we'll be on our way."
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It was evening before Jacob and Rachel returned to the hospital. They had spent the day investigating the small town. Jacob took soil and water samples from each of the four properties they visited as well as the workplaces of the four women. While the local authorities had ruled out environmental hazards, He was determined to double-check everything. He had asked Rachel to arrange for a courier to take the samples to the Portland FBI field office for testing. At her look of surprise, he explained that he wanted to assure himself that there wasn't a chance of a local cover-up.
Rachel had conducted her own lines of inquiry. The women's professions hadn't been listed in any of the paperwork the Bureau had provided; she was intrigued to discover that not only was Barbara Danvers a pharmacist, but that Jill Siddons was a dentist. As she explained to Hood that meant that at least two of what she persisted in calling suspects had easy access to drugs.
She had reached out to her contacts in the Bureau to have complete criminal background checks run on each of the women and their husbands. She also requested that the Oregon State Department of Pharmacies check to see if they had been any reports of drug irregularities at Barbara Danvers' pharmacy or in the practice where Jill Siddons worked.
Jacob had been distressed by her last line of inquiry. Rachel had arranged a meeting with the local chief of police. At the meeting she asked him if there were "unofficial" reports on any of the couples involved. Unfiled complaints regarding drug or alcohol use? Maybe a warning rather than a DUI? Any spousal abuse complaints that hadn't made it into the system? Any rumors about the four couples that the locals may have been turning a blind eye to?
Jacob had opened his mouth to protest but he shut it when Rachel had raised an eyebrow at him. Over a late lunch, Rachel had explained her rationale to him. She had been surprised to find that all of the women involved were prominent in the small community. Aside from the pharmacist and the dentist, Tracey Martel was the town library director and Claudia Hogan was a lawyer and a budding politician.
"People like that, the local cops would try to cover up any scandals, handle things discreetly. They wouldn't want to cause any embarrassment."
Jacob nodded in understanding, but he wasn't surprised by the reception they received when they returned to the hospital. They had arranged to meet all four couples in the lounge outside the NICU. As they walked down the hallway an angry Tracey Martel and Jimmy Danvers confronted them.
"You god-damned bitch." Jimmy Danvers spat out. "How dare you come into my station and ask those questions about me? About all of us? Who in the hell do you think you are? If you weren't a woman, I beat the crap out of you. But," he pulled himself up to his full height. "I don't hit women, especially my wife."
"Damn straight." Tracey glared at Rachel. "We should sue you. How dare you go around implying that we're a bunch of alcoholic drug users? As if it's our fault our babies are sick?"
Rachel held up her hands defensively. "I'm sorry. I was only doing my job. You have to understand, we have to find out everything there is to know about you. Even if they're things you'd rather we not know."
Jacob hurried into speech. "I am truly sorry that we've distressed you; Mrs. Martel, Officer Danvers. But Rachel is correct; we do need to find out as much as we can about your backgrounds. Where you've been, what you've done. It could be crucial to determining what caused the genetic mutation that's affecting your children.
Jimmy slumped against the wall. "You're right. It's been hard and now…" He sighed. "It's not easy to be on the other side, being the one questioned."
Rachel nodded in understanding. Tracey continued to glare. "I still say we should sue."
"You don't have a case; she's asking those questions as part of a government investigation, not because she's nosy." A woman with her strawberry blonde hair pulled back in a chignon stood in the doorway to the lounge. "I'm Claudia Hogan. Could we get this started?"
Rachel preceded Hood into the room, glancing around and sizing up the occupants. Rachel was struck immediately by the difference in the way the couples were dressed. All of the women, with the exception of Jill Siddons, were dressed up. While Tracey and Barbara were not dressed as formally as Claudia in a suit and heels, they were dressed in what she would call a professional manner. And Jill was wearing scrubs, as you would expect of a medical professional just coming off a shift.
The men, on the other hand, were dressed in jeans and work shirts. They were lean and well-muscled but Rachel suspected that they never saw the inside of a gym. They were all obviously men who were used to physical labor, working with their hands.
One other difference also struck Rachel. Jill and Matt Siddons, the parents of the child who died, sat separately from the others, their arms wrapped around each other.
Rachel began to introduce herself and Hood to Claudia and Jill, the only ones they had not yet met. But when she turned to Hood, he was staring at the women with a look of surprise on his face.
"You all have red hair," he said abruptly.
Rachel and the others looked at him blankly.
"It's not that common." Jacob explained. "Statistically speaking, less than 6% of the population has red hair. Yet all four of you are redheads. In a town this size the odds of the four of you being having the same hair color are large. It's an anomaly, just like your children all having the same protein deficiency."
The four women exchanged glances and shrugged. "It runs in the family, I guess." Tracey said.
"You're related?" Jacob mentally reviewed the information he had be given. "There's nothing in the files about that."
"We're not closely related." Claudia replied. "We all have great-grandparents in common; I guess that makes us some kind of cousins." She looked at Hood sharply. "Does it matter? Does it have something to do with what happened to our babies?"
"I knew it!" Tracey exclaimed. "I told that arrogant bitch Hadfield that it might have something to do with our family history, but she said it couldn't since no one else had the deficiency. " The four couples looked at Hood expectantly.
"I'm not sure." Jacob said honestly. "It may be important, it may not. But I am surprised that neither Dr. Terry nor Dr. Hadfield thought to mention it to me."
"Chuck, Dr. Terry, may not know." Tracey replied. "He's not from around here. But Hadfield knows. I told her myself, asked if this mutation might be some kind of recessive gene or something." She flushed angrily at the memory. "She pretty much told me that I should stop trying to use Google to second guess a medical professional."
"Now Trace," Jill spoke softly, never moving from her husband's arms. "You know you just have a down on Dr. Hadfield." She elaborated, seeing Jacob and Rachel's look of inquiry. "Trace thought Dr. Hadfield didn't do enough to monitor our pregnancies, seeing as she said that she considered us all high-risk."
"High risk? Why would that be?" Jacob frowned in thought as he once again mentally reviewed what information he had been given. "I haven't had a chance to review Dr. Hadfield's full files, but according to her report, you're all perfectly healthy, the pregnancies were uneventful."
"We're old." Claudia said flatly. At Jacob and Rachel's looks of surprise, she elaborated. "We're all in our mid-30's. Jill is the youngest, 33 and I'm the oldest at 36." She shrugged. "The chances of things going wrong are greater at our age."
"Plus, in the past year, we've all had at least one miscarriage," Jill continued. Her eyes filled with tears. "I had two."
"You've all had miscarriages?" Jacob's eyes narrowed. "But none of you are protein S deficient? Are you sure? How through were the tests?"
"I know what you're thinking," Tracey answered. "But we've all had our blood tested. Like I said, none of us," she waved her hand to indicate not only the women but their husbands "have the deficiency."
"What do you mean," Rachel interrupted, "you know what he's thinking?"
Tracey looked at Rachel sadly. "The miscarriages. They're a symptom. Women with protein S deficiency have a hard time carrying a baby to term."
Rachel nodded slowly, remembering what Barbara had said earlier. 'That her daughter might never be able to have children.'
"Blood tests are all well and good," Jacob continued, "but didn't either Dr. Terry or Dr. Hadfield run a DNA panel on all of you?" He cocked his head. "If Dr. Hadfield considered your pregnancies high risk, I'm surprised that she didn't insist on a DNA panel when you miscarried, before you conceived again. Do some genetic counseling."
The women looked at each other and silently appointed Tracey their spokesman. "We all asked her about that, right after our miscarriages. But she said it wasn't needed. That we just needed to be closely monitored. We all had weekly visits with her, starting after our miscarriages until we got pregnant again."
Tracey blushed. "She was very through with her monitoring. Weekly blood tests, special nutritional counseling. She even gave us schedules as to when to have sex so as to maximize the chances of a successful conception and full-term pregnancy. But once we got pregnant, poof; all the extra attention was gone. She treated us like normal patients, not high risk. I always thought she should have been more concerned about the progress of our pregnancies. Maybe if she had…." She trailed off unhappily.
"These miscarriages? Were they the first any of you had? Have you had other, successful pregnancies?" Jacob spoke slowly, an idea forming in his mind.
Tracey shook her head. "No, none of us even thought of trying to have a baby until about 2 years ago. Even without Dr. Hadfield fancy sex schedule, none of us had any trouble getting pregnant." Her face fell. "Just staying pregnant."
Jacob sat lost in thought. He really needed to get his hands on Hadfield full records. He couldn't believe that no DNA tests had been done. After all, a miscarriage in a perfectly healthy woman might be an indication of a genetic abnormality in the fetus.
Coming to a decision Jacob began to rummage in his portable lab kit. He enlisted Jill Siddons' help in swabbing the cheeks of the women and their husbands. He asked Rachel to make two phone calls. One was to the field office in Portland to request another courier. He wanted the Bureau to run his tests. The other was to Hadfield. He needed her full files on each of the women, and he needed them now.