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In the Spotlight|

A woman of mystery By Steven Hoffman Staff Writer

T

here is a one dollar bill on Eileen Law’s desk. Each morning, when the private investigator arrives at her Kennett Square office, she sees the dollar bill and she thinks about Toni Lee Sharpless, the nurse and mother who disappeared without a trace on Aug. 23, 2009. That’s not to suggest that Eileen needs a reminder to think about Sharpless, of course. This case, like so many others before it, has become much more than a work assignment for the private investigator whose illustrious, 35-year career has included so many missing persons cases, investigations of kidnapped children, and searches for biological families. Ask her about what she likes most about her work, and Eileen doesn’t hesitate—it is being able to help others when they need it. She likes being able to set things right, no matter how much of a challenge that is. “People who prey on the innocent,” she pauses. “I will not stand for that. “I believe in justice. I always go after justice.” Eileen is motivated to try to find Sharpless because there is a daughter who has now grown up missing her mother. Sharpless’ mother is missing her daughter and wants and deserves answers. For Eileen, the business of private investigating has always been about helping someone else. If she can play a role in solving the mystery of the Toni Sharpless disappearance, just as she has solved so many others, she will return that dollar on her desk to the Sharpless family. Solving this mystery, indeed her entire career, has been built not on money, but on trying to give people peace of mind. Mystery writer Sue Grafton could have written an entire A to Z mystery series based on the cases that Eileen has worked as the president of CIA, Inc. of Kennett Square. The “CIA” stands for Confidential Investigation Agency, and for

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Kennett Square Life | Summer/Fall 2019 | www.chestercounty.com

the most part much of Eileen’s work has been accomplished very quietly. She is respected by her peers, and anyone who meets her leaves amazed by her stories and her dazzling personality. How she became such an accomplished woman of mystery is quite a story. *** When Eileen was growing up outside West Chester, she was one of 10 children in a very strict Catholic family. “I’m very thankful for the upbringing that I had,” she said, explaining that she had a lot of discipline in her life. During her childhood, Eileen was friends with “Theresa,” a girl from school who was herself a woman of mystery. “Theresa” didn’t know who her biological parents were, and through the friendship Law realized what a huge difference that could make in a person’s life. It was something she would always keep in her mind later on in life when her private investigation work involved helping someone find a biological parent. Gaining an understanding about the importance of being able to help someone in that situation also may have nudged Eileen in the direction of her career choice. On the day after her high school graduation, Eileen’s father took her to the Chester County Courthouse to test for a job. She was hired as the secretary in the office of the Continued on Page 10

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Kennett Square Life Summer/Fall 2019  

Kennett Square Life Summer/Fall 2019