Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mothers & Sons, XI

The librarian led Servi to the stacks of Rome’s most illustrious daily newspaper.  Left to himself, he rifled through the loose chronology of papers, until he found the date when the boy disappeared. 

Servi read in the dim light that Cosmo Ricchetti had disappeared from his flat on August 3rd, 1987, sometime between .  He was napping in his room, and when his mother came to retrieve him, the boy was simply gone. A rear door to the flat was open, but there was no sign of a forced entry.  Then the search began.  Servi followed the stories in the papers through the days and weeks which followed.  Suspects in little Cosmo’s disappearance were rounded up and then released.  There were sightings of him all over Rome, Florence, Milan, Palermo, London and Paris. 

There were rumors he had been sold as a sex slave in Tunisia by a cartel of pedophiles.  But nothing came of all this speculation and rumor.  After two months, there were few stories.  After six, Servi could not find a single mention of the little boy.  Then he found in the Sunday magazine section of the paper a story, five years following Cosmo Ricchetti’s vanishing act, entitled What Happened to Cosmo Ricchetti?  It was a summing up of the case.  There were full color pictures of the Richetti’s plush apartment.  Sylvia Richetti explained that she continued to keep Cosmo’s room as it was the day he disappeared, in the hope that one day he would return.  The mother and father remained in their old apartment, despite the pain of remembrances, because little Cosmo knew his address and phone number.  

The Richettis held hope that one day the phone would ring and it would be Cosmo on the other end.   Servi looked at a picture of the boy which the police had aged five years.  There was a resemblance to Paulo Sacredotti, but in the dim light, Servi could not be sure.  He was about to tear out the photo, when the librarian walked into the carrel and told him the library was closing for lunch

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