12 Days After Husband Disappears, Wife Makes a Chilling Discovery in Her Basement

Relationships often change and fluctuate over time. Love is very strong, but even the most powerful connections can be challenged by the everyday difficulties of being married.

Darlene and Gerald Hines had been married for twenty years, but their most recent argument put everything they once knew at risk. Gerald suddenly disappeared and their perfect life fell apart. Twelve days after he went missing, Darlene found something unsettling that was going to completely alter her life.

Meet Darlene Hines

Darlene Hines believed that everything in her life, up until now, was absolutely perfect. She knew exactly how she wanted her life to look at every stage while growing up in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Darlene imagined herself deeply in love, living in a house she had purchased with her kind husband, and fully committed to her career by the time she reached forty. As the important event approached, she had almost completed everything on her list.

Cookie Cutter Life

When Darlene was 21 years old, she married her high school sweetheart, Gerald, in a simple wedding in their backyard. Only their closest family members were present. Their 20th wedding anniversary was coming up soon, and the couple was extremely happy.

Darlene was doing well in her job as a middle school principal, and Gerald had found success with his auto repair shop in Hilton, Maplewood. Although they were happy, it would soon become evident that not everything was as perfect as it appeared.

Best of Friends

Being married for nineteen years is a big accomplishment for any couple. Gerald and Darlene sometimes had arguments, but they still felt deeply in love and believed that communication was important in their relationship.

The Hines were married and also considered themselves to be each other’s best friends. They would share everything with each other and sit on their couch to talk about their day at the end of most days. However, Darlene was unaware that Gerald was not being completely honest with his wife.

Small Cracks

As they started getting ready to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, Darlene noticed that they were having arguments more often than usual. Tensions were increased and Darlene noticed that these disagreements were often about the same thing.

12 Days After Husband Disappears, Wife Makes a Chilling Discovery in Her Basement

Gerald used to be very open about his thoughts and feelings, but recently he has become more secretive. Darlene has a feeling that he is keeping something from her, even though he insists that everything is fine whenever she asks. Something was definitely wrong.

Tensions Are High

After Darlene and Gerald finished work for the day, they would come home and have dinner together. However, their casual conversations often turned into heated arguments, usually about money.

Darlene wanted to talk to Gerald about his day or his plans. She also mentioned that their 20th anniversary was coming up, hoping that he would be just as excited as she was. Instead, Gerald became completely silent. He replied using only one-word answers and sometimes would leave the table to go sit in their bedroom. Darlene couldn’t stop thinking about what she had done incorrectly.

No Grudges Before Bed

Darlene always believed in staying positive and had a personal philosophy of never going to bed angry or holding a grudge. Whenever they had an argument, she always made a point to have a calm discussion with Gerald before going to bed, in order to resolve any issues.

She believed it was effective because they went for months without arguing. Gerald kept mentioning that he had something special planned to celebrate their love, but he didn’t share any details. Darlene felt nervous because she didn’t know what he meant. Did he start to doubt his decision after all these years?

Third Party

Darlene and Gerald made a decision a long time ago that they were not ready to have children. They preferred to have a life with just the two of them because they enjoyed it that way. Both of them came from small families. The only family member they had in Maplewood was Gerald’s brother, Simon.

Gerald and Simon were around the same age and spent a lot of time together. But lately, when Gerald and Darlene have arguments, Gerald would get really upset and leave the house. Darlene knows that he probably goes to Simon’s place to calm down. She didn’t realise that things would be different this time.

Big One

After a very busy week for the Hines family, both Darlene and Gerald returned home feeling upset. Darlene asked Gerald how his day was, and he replied with a simple “Fine”, which didn’t provide much information.

She started to confront him about being secretive and calmly explained that it made her uncomfortable when her husband seemed to be keeping things from her. Both of them became increasingly upset and angry. But this time, something went too far, and Gerald got really angry and left the house quickly, slamming the front door.

Shouting Match

Darlene was crying a lot while sitting at the dinner table. She was aware that Gerald was likely at Simon’s place again. She believed it was a good idea for them to spend some time apart after their intense argument.

Usually, Gerald would go back to bed before Darlene fell asleep and they would have a short conversation to make up. When Darlene woke up the next morning and realised that Gerald wasn’t in bed with her, she understood that something was not right.

No Return

Gerald was supposed to start working later than his wife, and he always bragged about being able to sleep an extra half hour in the mornings. That’s how Darlene knew that Gerald didn’t just get into bed after she fell asleep and woke up early. Actually, he hadn’t returned at all.

12 Days After Husband Disappears, Wife Makes a Chilling Discovery in Her Basement

During her usual morning rush to work, Darlene was feeling very emotional and angry at Gerald because of an argument they had. She didn’t even care that he didn’t come back. She knew that he was most likely at his brother’s place, so she continued with her day and attempted to stop thinking about it.

24 Hours Later

However, after a full 24 hours had gone by without Gerald contacting her through a call or text, Darlene’s anger decreased. She was starting to feel worried now. She cooked dinner for herself and then anxiously sent text messages and made phone calls to her husband while sitting at the table.

She didn’t receive any phone calls and no one responded to her text messages. Darlene started to panic after the tenth call went to voicemail. Did Gerald suddenly leave?

Not Like the Other Times

Darlene started to consider what could have happened. She was very accustomed to him leaving angrily, but he would typically return within a few hours and everything would be fine the next day.

She tried to calm herself down by telling herself that Gerald was most likely staying at Simon’s house to cool off and that they would reconcile soon. Darlene sent a text to Simon to make sure her husband had gone to the place they had argued about. However, Simon’s reply made her feel very scared.

Confusion on the Phone

He replied with a confused expression, saying “??”. And Darlene immediately called him. “Hello Simon, how are you?” “I’m starting to get worried about Gerald,” she said, and Simon could hear the nervousness in her voice over the phone.

She asked Simon if he had seen Gerald since they argued, but his reply only made her more confused. According to her brother-in-law, Gerald visited last night and seemed upset, but he didn’t stay for very long. “He said he was coming back home, but did he actually return?” Simon asked, starting to speak with the same panicked tone as Darlene.

Reported Missing

Where could Gerald be if he didn’t stay over with Simon and didn’t come home after leaving his place? Darlene realised that the only thing she could do was to call the police and inform them that her husband was missing.

She couldn’t believe that Gerald would intentionally do something like this—things were becoming very serious. They quickly went to the Hines house and collected information about where Gerald was last seen and the details surrounding his disappearance. Darlene was having a hard time believing that this was happening, and things were only getting weirder.

Police Involvement

Gerald did not come home and did not respond to any of Darlene’s calls or text messages for another day. She spent the entire day working with the police, letting them search her home for information and reach out to Gerald’s friends to see if anyone had any knowledge of his whereabouts.

12 Days After Husband Disappears, Wife Makes a Chilling Discovery in Her Basement

He usually doesn’t stay quiet and vanish, so it was unusual for him to do so. However, even though Darlene was cooperating, the questions they asked her made her think that they believed she was not telling them everything. However, when she admitted that they had been arguing more than usual, Darlene suddenly appeared more guilty than she had expected.

Making Accusations

Darlene’s attempts to explain the situation ended up making her appear suspicious or involved in something bad. She told the police that she and Gerald were happily married and she would never want to do anything to harm him.

Her progress was halted by the question that followed. “Mrs. Hines, why did you take a long time to tell us that your husband is missing?” the officer asked. Darlene was completely speechless. She wasn’t sure about the answer to the question, but she didn’t like the direction their thinking was taking.

Enough is Enough

Darlene said that Gerald’s disappearance was very unusual for him, and she was so shocked that she didn’t know what to do. However, even after searching the house again, reviewing surveillance footage from nearby businesses and his auto shop, and interviewing his colleagues, nobody could figure out what happened.

The police slowed down their investigation because they couldn’t find any evidence of Gerald. Darlene’s guilt grew stronger every day. She couldn’t sleep at night because she felt really bad about the argument they had and she really wanted her husband to come back so they could fix things. After two weeks of feeling worried and unsure, she decided to take control of the situation herself.

One Spot Left

There is something inside. Darlene informed her that there would be additional information in the house that she hadn’t initially anticipated. Now that she was no longer angry, she was overwhelmed with sadness and concern. She searched the house thoroughly, going through furniture and determined to find a clue.

For the past 10 years, Darlene had always made sure to stay away from the basement of their house. She found something strange and unsettling about it, and since she was afraid of the dark, she decided to let Gerald handle it. The police went down to search, but Darlene didn’t go with them. She had searched everywhere else, and this was the only place remaining for her to search.

Into the Darkness

Darlene took the torch on her phone and went down into the basement. She knew that the light in the basement was not working. She removed the dust from old boxes that were there when they moved in, and discovered old photo albums and appliances that they knew they would never use.

Darlene was almost ready to lose hope when she tripped on a loose floorboard. The object flipped up, and when she shone her torch, she saw what appeared to be a small set of stairs underneath. Darlene was in disbelief. She raised the floorboard next to it, but her light wasn’t bright enough to see the bottom of the staircase. Feeling excited and full of energy, she bravely entered a situation she was not familiar with.

Horrifying Discovery

Darlene noticed that the air was getting colder as she walked down the stairs with nervousness. She didn’t know how deep it was or what she would encounter. Just two seconds ago, she didn’t even know there was anything in her basement!

12 Days After Husband Disappears, Wife Makes a Chilling Discovery in Her Basement

She arrived at the bottom and found a door. She hesitantly pushed it open. Over there, behind the door, was a small bed that looked like it was made in a hurry. It was in a place that seemed like a bunker, with walls made of concrete and a ceiling that was not very high. Why didn’t she know this existed, and why was there a bed? She felt a chill down her spine when she thought about the possibility of someone secretly living under her house.

Broken Silence

As Darlene’s mind filled with fear, she heard a crackling sound followed by what seemed like a voice. “No, it can’t be—what is this place?” she said out loud. “You finally found me,” whispered the man’s voice. She was certain that she heard a sound similar to Gerald’s voice, but it was too quiet and she couldn’t determine its source.

Darlene started to feel very worried. “Who’s there? Please reveal yourself,” she responded timidly. However, when she used her torch, she realised that the voice was not coming from an actual person in the unfamiliar bunker. Instead, it was coming from a recording device placed on the floor beneath the bed.

Lightbulb Moment

Darlene quickly returned to the kitchen to gather her thoughts. It didn’t take her long to figure out what the strange recording was referring to. She was more excited about finding something related to Gerald than worried about having a concrete bunker under her basement for all these years.

She couldn’t stop thinking about the “stars and rooftops” comment. At that exact moment, she remembered the day she and Gerald moved into their first flat as newlyweds. They sat on the roof of their new building and looked at the stars. Without hesitating, she quickly got into the car and began driving.

Back to Their Spot

Darlene was overwhelmed by her emotions in the past few weeks and started crying while she was driving. She drove for thirty minutes, feeling very emotional, until she arrived at the apartment building that held a lot of significance for her. She then went up to the rooftop, a place she was familiar with.

As she had anticipated, there was a makeshift hut with a couch, a mini fridge, lights, and blankets. She approached cautiously and saw Gerald sitting on the couch, with his head in his hands.

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