‘This could get messy’, Kit thought as he listened to the potential client sitting in his office.

‘First he separates from his wife, then he gets together with another girl, then the girl says she’s pregnant but it’s not his, she’s been cheating on him. And she disappears. Then he gets back together with his wife. Now he wants to find out if the child is really his or not. All the while trying to not let his wife find out.’ Kit’s mind ran through the potential pitfalls.

All Kit Bradley stories are adapted from real P.I. cases, to show you the many ways a private investigator can help. Some details have been changed to protect privacy.

The client said he just wants to make sure that if it is his child, it’s being looked after. Sounds genuine enough, but is he telling the truth? Or is he just trying to make sure that nothing gets back to his wife? But if he was worried about that, surely he would be happy that he’s had no contact, and wouldn’t go looking.

Like any case, Kit didn’t know the full motives of the client, but his job is to find the truth. Not to make a judgement. So after getting as much information as possible, the client left and Kit got to work.

Not a huge amount to go on, just some names and details about how they met. Potential associates. Some employment details. A lot of these investigations start online. Going through various databases, social media platforms, other online sources. Just to get a solid lead to follow up on.

A hit, pretty quickly too. An address in another part of the country. After making sure he’s checked all other sources, Kit gets on the phone to another private investigator in that part of the country. When it comes to nationwide investigations, having a good network of associates is key.

The other P.I. says he’ll do a door knock the following day. Kit briefs him on what he’s looking for. Any evidence of the woman living there, and of a child roughly one year old. Unknown gender.

The next day Kit gets a call. “I couldn’t see the woman or a child, but there were lots of kids toys around the place. And another lady answered the door. She was the same ethnicity of the woman in question, and said she did live with some friends in the house” It sounded promising to Kit. The best lead was actually the name of one of the occupants. Kit hadn’t found that before.

Kit widened his search to include that name. A lot more social media posts from them. There could be something there, or it could be a wild goose chase. Social media can be an absolute goldmine for an investigator, but it takes a meticulous and ordered process. Going through everything methodically to ensure nothing is missed.

Plenty of photos of friends and associates. And then bingo, a collection of photos from a couple of weeks ago. They showed the woman he was looking for, her baby, and her new partner. All very happy.

One look at the photos told Kit everything he needed to know. The baby looked exactly like the woman’s new partner. The one she said she’d been with, while still going out with the client. There was absolutely no question about it. The baby was not the clients. The looks, the colouring, and that very particular nose that carried through from the father to the baby.

Kit reported it up and sent everything through to the client, including the photos. Within minutes he had a reply. A very relieved client who decided immediately that the baby couldn’t be his. No need for a paternity test there.

All loose ends were tied up and everyone was happy. Especially Kit, it could have been a lot more complicated.

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