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―OK, everybody, he is probably going to stop soon. When he does, and when he
appears to be clear of the hostage, take down the driver with whatever force you need,
although try and keep the driver alive if you can.‖
The black van pulled into the parking lot of the Charleston Marriott Hotel. The front
drive contained an overhead structure, blocking the aerial satellite view from above.
―Chance,‖ said Jensen to the driver of the lead FBI car. ―I have no eyes, what do you
―We are three cars behind them. He is getting out now. Baseball cap, jeans, white t-
shirt. Cannot see his face. About 5 foot, ten inches. It looks like he is valeting the van.
We will get him, boss.‖
The FBI operatives, wearing black outfits and Kevlar vests, dove out of the three
Ford Explorers and converged on the hotel. Ten FBI agents dashed into the hotel lobby.
Five other operatives ran down the ramp yelling at the valet driver to stop. They grabbed
the valet driver from the van, got him out of the car and searched the van. There was
nothing inside the van. One of the agents confirmed with the valet that only one man had
gotten out of the car.
The agents in the lobby found no one matching the driver‘s description.
―Sir, he is not in the lobby.‖
―Lock down that whole hotel! No one gets in or out!‖
The FBI agent asked the hotel agent at the front counter where the exits were for the
hotel. The agent explained where all the emergency doors were, and said you could also
leave by the doors downstairs. The FBI agent dashed down the stairs into another smaller
lobby on the Parking Level. A glass revolving door led out to a circular driveway and a
line of cabs.
―Sir, there is another driveway down here on the parking level so he might have
gotten out in a cab. My men have all the other exits secured and we will do a room by
room search in case he is still here. Do we have a physical description for this guy at
―Unfortunately, no.‖
―OK, we will look for the baseball cap, jeans, and white t-shirt. That doesn‘t exactly
narrow it down. Boss, didn‘t you say this guy had a hostage?‖
―Yes, we thought so.‖
―Well, only one guy got out of the car. And nobody is in the van. So where did the
hostage go?‖
Jensen thought about that. They had watched him the entire time from the café,
under the overpass, onto Highway 95, onto the ext ramp, through the streets of
Charleston, and then here to the hotel. Where could he have dumped the hostage?
―Christine, pull up the satellite images again from the beginning of the abduction.‖
Jensen looked at the tape. When the van got to the overpass, Jensen ordered her to
run the tape slowly.
―Look at that right there,‖ said Jensen.
―What am I looking at?‖ asked Christine.
―Look over the left wheel, do you see the dirt?‖
―OK, so there‘s some dirt.‖
Jensen instructed her to close in on a shot of the van taken after it left from
underneath the overpass.