This story started here.
"Hazel's father found out, almost a week ago, that his wife was having an affair with a guy who lives around the corner. The two men ran into each other in the local bar. Strong language was used. Fisticuffs ensued, accompanied by some racial invective. The boyfriend apparently has, as we used to say, a touch of the tarbrush. In any case, the authorities showed up and the combatants were detained overnight, mostly to give them time to sober up.
"It was on the next day, as far as we can determine, that young Tracy ran away. Based on the calls which were received by the local precinct, the loving parents were mostly concerned about the cash she took with her, which was somewhere around one hundred dollars.
"Then, last night, there was Round Two in the local bar, ending with hubby in the hospital, and wifey and the boyfriend in pretty bad shape as well. Today, she has spent most of her time at the local police station, bothering people and incoherently demanding that her daughters be found and returned to her. A couple of her brothers accompany her everywhere now.
"So, after all this, when I call up the local constabulary, with me all wide-eyed and innocent, and I start asking questions about these losers, suddenly I'm being greeted with suspicion. People think that I know everything, and they start demanding answers."
"What did you tell them?"
"I told them that Tracy had been killed in U-town. I wasn't going to get any information otherwise. I said I was cooperating with the U-town authorities on the investigation. I didn't mention Ron at all."
"Thank you for that."
"Frankly, Miss Sleet, I have no idea how you're raising that little terror, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't approve of it if I did know, but it's got to be better than what she got at home. And I assume you don't require any further proof that none of these people were responsible for the girl's death."
"I'll accept that as a working hypothesis."