John Putnam's Journal
May 31, 2003
Day 6 - Saturday, May 31st - The weekend was here. That was pretty unbelievable. Everyone was getting anxious for Laura to come up. Everyone, I think, had ways of convincing themselves that each day they woke up was going to be the day. I on the other hand had convinced myself that it would be over 3 weeks based on a similar story the wardens shared about a boy drowning on Lake Travis and coming up in some 27 days or so. Everyday I woke up I toiled with the notion that she would not come up for a while and what if she is stuck on something and may never come up. It was a real thing to consider that we may never get her body. What would that be like? More sick feelings.
Eventually, several more of Phil's friends showed up. We met them at Chili's and headed over to the lake house to see mom and dad. We had to spend time getting them caught up on the events at hand. It was an emotional time for mom and dad. Audrey, for the first time, really fell apart. She was crying uncontrollably and you could see what happens to a person after 5 days of holding it in.
I can't remember exactly what we ended up doing after that, but we eventually ended up back at Chili's for dinner. Everyone attended dinner that night. Mom, dad, Justin, Justin's mother, and the rest of the group. We sat there for a couple of hours. The restaurant was crowded. Once we were finished, everyone that was staying at the lake house left and we made our way to the outside patio bar area. Justin and his dad eventually came back.
While we were at the bar, something pretty remarkable happened. A young man approached me and asked if I was part of the family of the girl who was missing on Lake LBJ. I told him who I was and he offered up his sympathies. It was nice. Up to this point, I was not having any success in gathering what people would say to me and somehow feeling good about it. Everyone wants to say something nice to soothe your pain, but it is just difficult. This young man, however, had something to say. Within minutes and very casually, this fellow told me how I had been feeling up to this point, how I felt at that exact moment and even how I felt like I was going to feel later on. He told me how people were treating us and how that felt. Things we could expect as we continue through this ordeal and what like might be like way on down the road. This guy was saying it all. It just flowed out of him. Come to find out, he was only about 2 weeks older than Laura. His father had killed himself in front of him when he was about 13 years old and he was very wise in that respect for his age. We told him about Laura and what kind of person she was. It was hard to leave him, he was very pleasant to talk to.
After we left Chili's, we all went back to the hotel. Phil and all his friends stayed up talking for a while in one of the hotel rooms. Audrey and I went to bed. We were going to be leaving the next morning to go back to Fort Worth. I was ready to get out of there for a while anyway.