"Torture is the worst kind of pain... all you can do is wait."

- The Hunger Games


After a grueling two days of re-interviewing witnesses and re-canvassing Yosemite Park, the BAU were no closer to finding their UnSub. All they knew for sure was that the two men currently sitting in jail for the triple homicides were not guilty of this particular crime. However, until the BAU had an actual suspect in custody for these homicides, the District Attorney refused to release the stepbrothers.

Also, through DNA testing, it was confirmed that Joy Arrington was indeed the headless body that was found in the creek.

The deep-dive into each victim's background provided negative results for Fabray. She could find no connection between the first 3 victims and the most recent one, Miss Arrington. The only thing connecting all four women was the location of where their bodies were found and similar causes of death.

The whole team was basically running on fumes, working non-stop since arriving in California. Endless cups of coffee and 30-minute power naps (around-the-clock) in the breakroom of the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office were the only breaks the team allowed themselves as they continued to go over the case files with a fine-toothed comb.

"What's on your mind, San?" Brittany ponders, seeing the pensive look on her girlfriend's face.

"We've gotta be missing something," Santana replies as she hastily massages her temple. "I don't know… maybe the exhaustion is finally setting in. I just have a gut feeling that there's a clue in here, somewhere… we're just not seeing it."

"Well, if there is, then this has gotta be the worst game of Where's Waldo I've ever played," Puckerman chimes in, tossing the pages of witness statements (that he's gone over for the nth time) onto the oversized round table they were sitting at.

"Hmm… I never took you as a Where's Waldo kind of guy," Dr. Abrams comments as he continues to quickly re-read through his copy of witness statements. "If anything, I bet money you'd find Carmen San Diego in a heartbeat."

"That is a true statement," Hudson agrees enthusiastically.

"Oh snap, did Artie just make a joke?!" Fabray questions, peeking up from her laptop, raising a perfectly arched eyebrow. Seeing the tiny smirk grace the young doctor's lips, the tech goddess gave him a nod of approval.

For a few seconds, the team relaxed and enjoyed a quick laugh.

"Well, that gave me a burst of energy," Santana says to the group. "Let's go through this stuff again. Who are we looking for?"

"Considering that all of the victims are white females, ages ranging from 16-45, more than likely we're looking for a white male in his late-30s to mid-40s," Hudson starts off.

"This guy is strong, like real brute strength strong, to be able to nearly decapitate one victim and successfully decapitate another with one blow," Brittany chimes in.

"Agreed. The UnSub would have to be physically fit, approximately 6'2" to 6'6" and at least 250 pounds or more," Dr. Abrams deduces.

"Although he's a bigger guy in stature, the UnSub doesn't look threatening. He's easy to approach, probably even handsome or average-looking at best," Puck joins in.

"Although he was able to physically overpower the victims, he's disorganized," Santana states. "He may have fantasized about the gruesome acts of violence that he committed, but choosing his victims was completely random; the struggle at each primary crime scene proves that."

"He's a blue collar guy. His job requires an extensive use of his hands," Artie steps in, adding his thoughts. "Perhaps construction or plumbing? Maybe even an electrician or—"

"A handy man?" Santana suggests as the cogs inside her head begin to turn. As she scrambles for the abandoned file in front of her and frantically flips through the pages, Santana directs a request towards the other blonde in her life. "Q, can you—"

"Cross-reference the preliminary profile against our list of witnesses and persons of interest?" The cyber queen of Quantico knowingly says, cutting the Latina off. Without breaking stride, Quinn continues to furiously type away on her laptop. "You're lucky that you're sexy AF, otherwise I would take offense to your inquiry."

As the majority of the agents in the room tried their best to contain their amusement, Santana just playfully shakes her head and mouths "sorry" to her girlfriend.

Attempting to hide her grin behind her coffee cup, Brittany quietly mumbles out, "she's not wrong."

Choosing to keep her face neutral and not think about Brittany's comment, Santana re-focuses on the task at hand.

"Wasn't there a handyman from the Cedar Lodge that was interviewed?" Santana implores.

"Uh, yeah…" Noah responds as he flips through his files to produce a name. "Casey Maynard. His background check came back clean. Nothing noteworthy."

"Casey Maynard… why does that name sound familiar?" Artie ponders aloud.

"I don't have a Casey Maynard on any of the lists the local Feds provided," Quinn quizzically states as she continues to type at a high rate of speed while cycling through the multiple open windows on her computer. "I have a Carey Maynard."

As the tech goddess makes the correction to said name, a light bulb goes off.

"And voilà… an accurate background check on the handy man," Quinn announces triumphantly. "He's been popped a few times for Minor in Possession and Public Intoxication, but nothing violent."

"He matches the physical description of our UnSub," Finn comments, observing the stats from Mr. Maynard's driver's license that Quinn had displayed on the projector screen.

"42 year old white male. 6'5" and approximately 250 lbs," Brittany adds on. "He's moderately attractive; definitely doesn't look threatening."

"Family life?"

"Parents are still alive. He's the oldest of 5," Quinn responds. "Oh no… his younger brother passed away recently. Car wreck."

"Michael Maynard!" Dr. Abrams exclaims.

"Yeah, how'd you know?"

"His name was all over the news years ago. He was abducted in 1991 by a child molester. He was 7 at the time and held captive for 7 years," Artie explains. "When his kidnapper took another little boy, Michael and the boy escaped and hitchhiked over 80 miles to the police station. They were returned safely to their families and the man who abducted them was arrested. It's an incredible story."

"Artie, how do you know this stuff?" Puckerman questions. "I mean, were you even alive when this all happened?"

"No, not when he was kidnapped. I remember seeing Michael's reunion with his family though." Artie explains. "They even made a two-part mini series out of it."

"Q, how long ago did Michael pass away?" Brittany questions.

"6 months ago," Fabray almost immediately replies.

"Around the same time the first 3 victims were murdered," Finn states.

Noah strokes his chin thoughtfully as all of the jagged puzzle pieces of this case start to form a clearer picture.

"Casey was only 11 when his brother was kidnapped. I can only imagine the amount of pain and anguish he must've felt. He probably even felt guilty, being unable to protect his little brother," Puckerman begins.

"All of the years his brother was missing, I'm sure his family was just in agony, wondering if they would ever see Michael again," Brittany tags in. "And then, 7 years later, Michael is finally home and the family is overjoyed. His parents probably focused on him to the point of suffocation, never daring to let Michael out of their sight again."

"Meanwhile, his other siblings fell to the background. Especially being the eldest, Casey probably received the least amount of attention," Santana adds. "His level of guilt and resentment would've been palpable, but he needed to keep his inner demons at bay."

"Regardless of his inner turmoil, Casey was just happy to have his brother back. He could continue with whatever façade he was living with as long as Michael was okay," Puckerman jumps back in. "But then, Michael was taken away again, permanently… and it all became too much for Casey."

"He finally snapped and chose to act on the fantasies that had been eating away at him for years," Santana definitively states.

"Michael's death was his trigger," Fabray solemnly acknowledges, receiving a collective group of head nods.

"I think we have our UnSub," Hudson concurs.

As soon as the words left his mouth, their fearless leader entered the room.

"We have a lead," Schue begins, getting right to the point. "In the days leading up to Miss Arrington's disappearance, a witness observed an International Scout in the area."

"What the hell is an International Scout?" Puck ponders aloud.

"It's an off-road SUV that was made from 1961-1980. It was supposed to be a competitor for the Jeep," Dr. Abrams rattles off without looking up from his tablet.

In unison, all of his colleagues look at the young genius for a moment before returning their full attention back to their boss.

"Specifically, the day before her disappearance, that same vehicle was seen near Miss Arrington's house," Will continues on.

"Is this witness credible?" Brittany inquires.

"Yeah… and why didn't they come forward beforehand?" Finn questions.

"Before Miss Arrington's mother reported her missing, the witness was on the red-eye to New York for business," Schuester dutifully explains. "His name is Wade Hawkins and he's a neighbor. It wasn't until he arrived home an hour ago did he hear the news about Joy."

"Alibi checks out?" Santana asks.

Before Will can reply, Fabray cuts in, having been typing away furiously on her keyboard since hearing the words "New York" and "Wade Hawkins".

"Yup! I can confirm that Mr. Hawkins was on the 6:00 AM American Airlines flight from Fresno Yosemite International to LaGuardia three days ago and touched down back in Cali at approximately 12:07 PM today," Quinn informs the group.

"Given the wonderful traffic here, it probably took him a good two to three hours to get home so the timing tracks," Brittany thoughtfully states.

"And guess who owns a 1969 baby blue International Scout?" Fabray smugly adds in, just for good measure.

"Casey Maynard," Santana firmly states.

"Bingo!"

Schue regards his younger colleagues, patiently waiting for one of them to fill in the blanks that he had apparently missed while he was gathering pertinent information from Mr. Hawkins.

"We strongly believe that Casey Maynard is our UnSub. He fits the profile, drives the type of vehicle we're looking for…" Noah explains, "… and he just so happens to be the handyman at the Cedar Lodge, the location where our first three victims were abducted from."

"Very well. I'll go update the local authorities and get a BOLO out for his vehicle and his person," Schuester advises, going full boss-mode. "Santana, Puckerman, and Abrams… head to Maynard's last known residence. Brittany and Hudson, you're with me; we're going to the Cedar Lodge."

"Addresses and blueprints have already been sent to your phones," Fabray informs them.

With a curt nod, Schuester exits the room while the other agents prepare to gear up.


Several hours later, both teams returned to the precinct, exhausted and empty-handed.

After having negative contact with the UnSub at his home and work place, the teams split up once again to divide and concur. While Artie and the local police searched Maynard's house for any potential evidence and/or clues that would lead them to his current whereabouts, the rest of the team tracked down Maynard's remaining family in the area to interview (in hopes of acquiring his location).

Unfortunately, they had no luck. Casey Maynard was a ghost.

Seeing that there was nothing more that they could do tonight, Schue dismissed the agents and sent them back to their hotel to hopefully reset and get some much needed rest.

With Maynard's name and photo out there circulating, surely someone was bound to spot him and give the BAU the break they needed.


After getting a good night's rest, the team reported back to the precinct at 9 sharp, ready to dive back into search. Unfortunately, overnight had provided no new updates or sightings of their UnSub.

Needing some liquid crack to help jumpstart the long day ahead of them, Santana volunteers to go get the team some real coffee; not whatever sludge that they were trying to pass as coffee in the breakroom.

20 minutes later, the Latina returns with the goods.

"Don't all get up at once," Santana sarcastically states as she tries to balance all of the coffee beverages in her hands.

Puckerman quickly rises from his seat and offers the Latina his assistance.

"My bad, partner. I thought B was helping you."

"What are you talkin' about?" Santana skeptically inquires as she sets the drink tray down on the table.

"Blondie literally just left to go help you out after she got your text," Noah clarifies.

"She wasn't outside. I would've seen her," Santana slowly states as her mind begins to go into overdrive.

"Maybe she stopped by the restroom first?" Artie suggests.

"Yeah, maybe... I'm gonna go check," Santana says as she hastily moves towards the door. "Puck, can you—"

"Call her phone?" Noah knowingly questions, cutting his partner off. "Already on it."

With a quick nod, Santana disappears from sight with a specific destination in mind.

As Puck listens to the phone ringing on the end of the line, he tells Finn and Artie to do a quick sweep of the precinct. Following his command, the two agents leave the room and begin their search.

"C'mon B, pick up!" Puckerman says exasperatedly, now calling the blonde agent for the third time.

"She's not in the ladies' room," Santana says worriedly.

"She's not answering her phone either," Noah says regrettably, throwing his cell phone onto the table.

"Hey guys, I've checked the break room and all of the conference rooms. No dice," Hudson reports.

Just then, Agent Schuester enters the room.

"According to the latest search by locals, the last two possible locations given to us by Maynard's family were a dead end..." Schue begins to say until he looks up and observes the distressed looks on his team's faces. "What's wrong?"

"We can't find Brittany," Santana replies, trying her best to remain stoic and level-headed.

"I just saw her a few minutes ago, heading outside. I presumed to help you with the drinks," Will responds.

"I'm gonna try her phone again," Santana announces.

"I tracked her phone," Quinn says with a confused look. "It says it's still here."

As Santana impatiently waits for her girlfriend to pick up the phone, she hears ringing coming from somewhere in the background. As the ringing gets louder, Santana turns towards the door with a relieved smile on her face. However, her hopes are quickly dashed when her eyes land on a frightened-looking young doctor.

"I f-f-found her phone," Artie stutters out, shakily handing the phone to the Latina.

Upon taking possession of the cell phone, Santana notices the cracked screen.

"Where did you find this?"

"In the parking lot..." Dr. Abrams responds. "This is bad, isn't it?"

Seeing the fiery, determined look in his partner's eyes, Noah knew the team was preparing for battle.

"Yeah, it's really bad..." Santana begins to say, "... for the asshole that decided to fuck with this team."


Author's note:

Hey everyone!

For those of you still out there, thank you so much for sticking with me and still reading my stories (despite my long absences). You guys are the real MVP! Sorry to leave you with a cliffhanger, but I'll make it up to you… I promise. As a side note, if anyone is interested, I drew inspiration for this case from the real-life Yosemite Killer, Cary Stayner.

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe out there. Until next time…

- K