The mystery has diminished. A WaPo spokesperson tells FishbowlDC that Sleuth columnist Mary Ann Akers plans to return to work next month after being on maternity leave since late September.

A WaPo spokesperson confirmed the news. No word on WaPo’s maternity leave policy. That information was not readily available and we were told that that information is not necessarily released to the public. When Akers returns she will have been gone approximately seven months. It’s not unusual for new moms to take off this much time, according to time off policies at other publications. It is clear, however, that six to seven months off would be a steep amount of time to be on paid leave.

We look forward to more sleuthing.