Research! Day 8

Monday
Called Calhoun County, no woman with the last name Abbott, first name starting with V has ever died in the county. Called Van Buren County. No woman with the last name Abbott, first name starting with V has ever died in the county.
The Kalamazoo Gazette crime reporter called me back. The homicide he recalled happened in 2009. Couldn’t find any thing about Abbott. He had hit a wall. He advised me to try the State of Michigan and to let him know what I find. The idea of this deceased woman’s wedding dress was sadly compelling to him as well.
Called the State of Michigan Vital Records. They can’t go back in the files and search without a full name and date of death. I think that they only have hard copies – nothing in databases. I am so spoiled by technology.
Went back to the cleaners to get pictures of the dress and any tags inside. Started thinking that I should be documenting this process with video. Yes, there was a David’s Bridal tag inside the dress with size and model information.
Called David’s Bridal in Portage, Michigan, unfortunately, right before closing, on the chance that they might have some record of a sale to V. Abbott, if it was even purchased at that location. I asked for a manager and when the staff member asked why, I told her. Could they tell me if a V. Abbott had purchased this dress model? I mean, how many size 14 ivory dresses in this model had they sold to women named Abbott? She immediately looked up Abbott in her customer database and said she found a number of customers whose first names started with V. She said she could not search by model number. Sounds like they might be willing to help.
I will talk to a store manager tomorrow.

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