The house had seemed empty as he pulled up the drive – all was quiet. He knocked on the door, and Mrs. Jordan handed him the parcel. He didn’t notice it right away.
But as he went to load the package, something on the side of the box caught his eye. There, on the side, the scrawled words caused a sick wave of worry to wash over him like a wave.
An Easy Job
Charles Gordon was a navy veteran and he knew something wasn’t right when he saw it. His keen eye for detail had been honed in all his years of training to pick up on the subtler details that most men wouldn’t notice. Now at age 55, he was a UPS driver and he enjoyed his work and the gentle pace that came with it, driving from home to home making deliveries.
It was a far cry from when he had served in the Navy. Little did he know, all that was about to change.
He Knew Them, And They Knew Him
Charles had built quite a reputation in Missouri. His work took him across the county where he made many acquaintances on his travels. He prided himself on building a special relationship with all of his packages’ recipients – he knew their names and they knew his.
But the residents never knew just how lucky they were that the ex-U.S. Navy seal was looking out for them – until it was almost too late.
Not An Ordinary Pickup
When Charles received the call to fetch a package from a home in Franklin County, he didn’t understand just what he was getting himself into. He knew that house, and he knew the couple who lived there.
On the surface, Mr. and Mrs. Jordan seemed like a normal couple. Only, one day, their behavior struck him as a little… odd.
A Quiet Morning
It had started out as a quiet, cold morning for Charles. He hummed as he plotted his route and wound his way through Franklin County, picking up and delivering the parcels he had been assigned.
When he reached the Jordan residence, he pulled up into the drive like he always did and walked up the front steps. He had no idea that he was walking into a living nightmare.
Charles knocked on the door three times and waited the cursory five minutes before knocking again. Stomping his feet to keep warm, he glanced over his shoulder and saw Mr. Jordan’s pickup truck in the parking bay. “Hello?” he yelled, “UPS.”
Perhaps nobody was home after all. He scanned the porch for the parcel he was meant to be picking up. No package. He was just about to turn and leave when he heard the front door unlatch.
The door opened a crack and an eye appeared. “Mrs. Jordan? I’m here to collect a package,” Charles explained. The door widened and she stood there, smiling tightly. Then, Mr. Jordan stepped out from behind his wife and greeted Charles, tersely.
He held his wife close and ordered her to give the UPS driver the package. But as she did, something in her eyes told Charles that something just wasn’t right.
Trying To Tell Him Something
In the brief moment when Mrs. Jordan handed him the package, she mouthed something to him but he couldn’t quite catch it. She looked nervously at her husband to make sure he hadn’t seen, and then her eyes widened.
She was trying to tell him something. But why couldn’t she say it in front of her husband?
Charles took in her appearance as best he could before the door was hurriedly slammed shut again. All the clues were there.
Her hair was disheveled and she had dark rings under her tired eyes. And her eyes… they were pleading him to do something. She looked like a frightened animal. And the way that Mr. Jordan had held her close… There was just something he didn’t like about it.
Brushing It Off
He was concerned at first but tried to shrug the feeling of worry off. Maybe he was being paranoid. After all, what his clients did behind closed doors wasn’t any of his business.
Maybe the couple had had an argument. That must be it, he reasoned, before walking back to his truck. But when he put the parcel in the back, he saw what she had been trying to tell him all along.
“Call 911” was scrawled on the side of the box, on the side that she had carefully kept facing away from her husband as she handed it to him. His heart began to race and a metallic taste crept up his throat.
He glanced back at the house and saw Mr. Jordan watching him coldly from the window. He instinctively knew that he had to act like nothing was wrong – or it would all be over.
Pretending It Was Alright
Charles climbed into his seat slowly and deliberately, as if he was in no hurry to get away from that place. He felt Mr. Jordan’s eyes burning a hole in his back as he rolled away. It took all his self-control to resist the urge to speed out the driveway.
But when he rounded the corner and out of sight, he pulled out his phone and slammed the numbers in.
What’s Your Emergency?
He heard the reassuring voice on the other end of the line: “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” and explained everything… the parcel, Mr. Jordan’s behavior, and Mrs. Jordan’s frightened eyes.
The operator listened intently before sending out the sheriff’s deputies. But they had no idea what was really happening in that house
The team prepared for every eventuality. They weren’t sure if they were dealing with a robbery, or much worse. From the information Charles had given them, they assumed the couple was being held hostage. But they were all so very wrong.
Like a well-oiled machine, they mobilized and raced to the scene. Everyone knew that time was of the essence.
Swarming The House
In less than 10 minutes authorities were swarming the house on Willow Ford Road. Franklin County Sheriff’s Sgt. T.J. Wild led the operation. They stormed up the front steps and called. Mr. Jordan seemed like he had been taken by surprise.
But he refused to cooperate with the authorities, slamming the door in their faces. Now that they knew that what was going on had everything to do with Mr. Jordan, they weren’t about to take it lying down.
Sheriff’s Sgt. T.J. Wild checked Mr. Jordan’s records and discovered that he had been arrested before. They also feared that he had a weapon inside the house. Realizing that the situation may have escalated beyond their control, they decided to call backup.
They weren’t going to take any risks. They called for the SWAT team.
Mr. Jordan quickly realized that his best option was to surrender, which, thankfully for him, he did before the SWAT team arrived. Mrs. Jordan and her 3-year-old son were taken to a place of safety.
But it was only when officers took Mrs. Jordan’s statement that the truth about what had happened in that house came out.
Hailed A Hero
And thanks to Charles, Mrs. Jordan was released from a harrowing situation. “We are grateful this UPS driver with more than a decade of service followed protocol when he saw a customer in distress and contacted authorities after he saw her message to contact 9-1-1,” the company said in a statement.
“Our drivers are very familiar with their routes, and are trained to be aware of their surroundings and respond to requests for assistance.”
The Plan That Worked
According to Mrs. Jordan, her husband had snapped. He held her captive for 15 hours in the home they shared. When she tried to leave, he refused to let her. He threatened her and she had reason to believe that her life was in danger.
So she did the only thing she could think of – she wrote a note on the parcel for the UPS driver.
Saved The Day
James Jordan was promptly arrested and charged. He was held in Franklin County jail with bail set at $100,000. “The charges stemmed from actions that occurred in the home with the female victim prior to the arrival of the delivery service who noticed a message for help written on a package he was to pick up,” Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
If it weren’t for the quick-thinking UPS driver, the situation may have been a lot worse.