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The police stop calling.
About three weeks after he finds out about Hanna, Otis is at Publix stocking produce. He hears something over the PA that makes him stop what he's doing.
It's a Carole King song, not his usual thing. But the lyrics make him freeze:
Travelin' around sure gets me down and lonely
Nothin' else to do but close my mind
I sure hope the road don't come to own me
There's so many dreams I've yet to find
It was as if Hanna was talking to him. That was the type of stuff she always was saying. After he gets home from work, he downloads "So Far Away." He listens to it again and again. Then, he begins to write her back. Over the next several weeks, he writes a chorus:
Even though you're gone
You're still in me
and some verses:
If I can turn back the hands of time,
I'd scoop her up
Before the tragedies,
Before the killing,
Before the O.C.
And way before you disappeared.
He records the song as part of an album he's cutting at a studio in Fayetteville.
He calls the track "For Hanna."
To hear Otis' song, visit www.myspace.com/otissong
Researching this story
Creative Loafing News Editor Mara Shalhoup interviewed friends and relatives of Hanna Montessori, as well as child welfare and law enforcement officials, to report this story. Shalhoup did additional reporting in Maine and Southern California.
The Georgia Open Records Act was used to obtain more than 300 pages of documents from the state Division of Family and Children Services. Additional documents were obtained through records requests to the Cobb County and Los Angeles police departments.
The interviews and documents were used to reconstruct conversations and events.
For more details on sourcing, click here.
News intern Alejandro Leal contributed reporting to this story.
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