Friday, September 19, 2008
ARTICLE #4) Tom Gorman on when parents learn their missing daughter was a Vegas call girl
Friday, April 21, 2006
Tom Gorman on when parents learn their missing daughter was a Vegas call girl
Las Vegas Sun by Tom Gorman
Link to story: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2006/apr/21/tom-gorman-on-when-parents-learn-their-missing-dau/
Las Vegas call girls are not likely to tell their moms and dads what they do for a living. It would break too many hearts.
Jessie Foster's parents learned the hard way, from a private eye. He was hired after Jessie disappeared from a North Las Vegas home with all of her belongings.
And now they are numbed by fear that she is in danger, or is dead.
Jessie left her Canadian home nearly a year ago, around the time of her 21st birthday, for what her parents thought would just be a whirlwind tour of the states. She ended up in Las Vegas. With her good looks and casual conversation, she turned eyes and easily made friends here.
In short order she moved in with a fellow named Peter Todd, a 39-year-old Jamaican national who lives in a half-million-dollar tract home in a swank North Las Vegas neighborhood. A neighbor said Peter has driven home some fancy cars - a Jaguar, a Land Rover, a BMW.
Jessie told her parents - Glendene Grant and Dwight Foster, who have been divorced for years - that Peter was a trust-fund baby. He had enough money to take care of her so she wouldn't have to work, she said.
Jessie used to call her father every week, and her mom even more often. She text-messaged her big sister almost daily.
The last time they saw Jessie was over Christmas, when she went home to visit her dad in Calgary, and her mom in Kamloops. She sounded happy and looked good. They asked her to think twice about returning to Las Vegas, but she wouldn't be stopped.
In late March, Jessie's phone calls stopped. Her parents called the fellow she had been living with, Peter. He said he last saw Jessie on April 3. Next thing he knew, he said, she was gone and so was all of her stuff.
She hasn't used her cell phone or her credit cards since late March. Her bank accounts haven't been touched.
Jessie's mom filed a missing persons report with North Las Vegas police on April 9. And for the past two weeks her parents have waited for news, filled with growing dread.
In the absence of any signs of foul play, police don't spend too much time looking for adults just because they haven't recently talked to their families. But the cops did talk to Peter Todd.
Peter told an investigator that Jessie was a prostitute, according to the missing persons report. A local private eye, Mike Kirkman, had learned the same information, and told the parents. They were heartsick.
Police talked to Peter again this week.
I called Peter on Thursday. He was coy, and sounded a lot more concerned about his own skin than Jessie's.
"I have no idea where she is and I told police that," Peter told me. "She always leaves. Yeah, I'm worried, but now I'm worried more for me. I had an interview with the cops yesterday, as a 'witness.' What am I a witness to? I've got this investigator calling, making it sound like I had something to do with it, or that I'm going to be in trouble."
I asked Peter what he knew about Jessie's lifestyle and how she made money. She couldn't get a legitimate job, he said, because she doesn't have a Social Security number.
Peter said that by examining all the action on Jessie's cell phone, it should be obvious what Jessie did for a living. But he wouldn't elaborate.
I asked bluntly, was she a prostitute? "If she was, that was her business," he said. "Her dad asked me that and I told him, man to man, that I don't know, and that's not something I'll discuss with anybody's parents."
Could he explain Jessie's disappearance? No, he said, except that she's left before. She has other friends. She went to San Francisco once, without warning. He conceded that she would always call him after a few days and that this time, there's been no contact.
"It's spooky as hell and it makes me kind of nervous, her not being in contact with anybody," Peter said. "Either something happened to her, or she has just cut everybody off."
When asked what he did for a living, Peter did not mention a trust fund. He said he fixes, sells and races junk cars.
I told Peter that I had a photograph of him with Jessie, and would he mind if we published it because it might help trigger someone's memory. Don't you dare put my picture in the paper, Peter said.
"I got caught hookin' up with the wrong chick," Peter said. "With all the friggin' women in Las Vegas that I've hooked up with, I never ran into no kind of (stuff) like this before."
In Kamloops, Jessie's mother, Glendene, spends her days trying to piece together clues: whom Jessie has traveled with, whom she talked about in her phone calls home, whom she didn't get along with, fights and arguments with other women.
She struggled to reconcile that her daughter was a hooker. "At first, I thought she just had a rich boyfriend. I was sucked right into that story.
"But she wasn't a streetwalker," she said. "She was a top-level prostitute. She worked out of an escort service."
"Maybe she met a customer who did something to her - but wouldn't her stuff still be at home?" she said. "But if she decided to leave Peter, she'd have called us by now. Something is wrong."
Dwight Foster seems to be coping less well with his daughter's disappearance. He works for the province of Alberta as a workplace safety inspector, but he hasn't been to work this month.
"I feel like someone has reached in and taken my heart and left me a zombie. I've got nothing left but anger. I have considered the fact that I'll never see my girl again."
Please take a good look at Jessie's picture. Have you seen her?