Sheriff Porter 15
Wilson said, “When I told my wife why we hadn’t Identified the girl she asked if I had found her wallet. No girl would be caught dead going out at night without at least a clutch bag, according to my wife. So I got to thinking, if she was killed here, then her bag might be somewhere around here. If so where was it? I checked all the other buildings and there it was. Well it was near some disturbed dust in this little building, but under an old desk. It was late at night and dark as the Sheriff’s soul in here that night. I should have gone over it sooner, but there has been so many things to do.”
“Okay Wilson, whose wallet was it?” I asked.
“The name on the ID is Mary Beth Martin,” he said. “According to the ID she is 18 a student at the State University at Abbottsville.”
“So it isn’t Lucy?” I asked.
“I never said that, The student ID is a fake. Somebody went to a just a little effort to make it. This ID is for someone on a door somewhere to cover his ass, not to really weed anyone out,” Wilson explained.
“Okay, so is it Lucy?” I asked.
“Sure looks like her to me. I compared the pictures and they look about the same. They didn’t even use the aging programs on her picture. I guess if they did it wouldn’t look as much like her,” Wilson said.
“Did you tell Simpson?” I asked.
“No, I was going to after I told you,” Wilson said.
“I’ll tell him. First of all how do you see it unfolding now,” I asked.
“There are some tire tracks. I made pictures and got them ready to send to the SBI super computer. He takes or forces her to go into this building. I’m not really sure which it was. Something happens to spook her. She runs off leaving the purse. He chases her into the main building. She is trying to hide.
“I’m not sure what he did to her there first, but in the end he hit her with an aluminum baseball bat. He hit her more than once. We are probably going to find out from the pathologist that he beat her with his hands first then put the cloth over her face and killed her,” Wilson guessed.
“Not much hard evidence but that sounds like a pretty good working theory. It beats she walked in with him carrying a bat. He beats her senseless then gets the bat out of his car trunk. So you found the bat,” I asked.
“Yes, but it might not help much. It looks like one of those bats that has been around some, but it was wiped clean,” Wilson said.
“Now that makes no sense. He took the time to wipe it clean, but he didn’t put it back in the trunk of his car. Unless he knew something about forensics,” I said.
“You could be right Sheriff. If he knew that he could never get all the trace evidence off the bat. It would have been better to get rid of it after he wiped it clean. Then if we search his car there is nothing to tie him to her,” Wilson suggested.
“Since it could be anyone’s bat, it is going to be hard to trace to any one person. Tell me Wilson how is Simpson doing with all this,” I asked.
“He is asking the right questions and listening to me. Something the last detective didn’t always do,” he said.
I nodded my approval and walked back to my truck. I was struck with the memory of my first real whodunit ever. It was a young girl in this very same area. It wasn’t a party this time, but it was still a young girl’s murder that got me started.
I dialed Eddie’s cell. “Eddie let’s meet somewhere for coffee. We need to talk,” I said.
“Okay Sheriff, how about the Cafe on the Square?” he suggested. I would have countered with the Brit’s pub, but I didn’t want anyone to think we were drinking in the middle of the day.
When I got to the cafe, Eddie was already seated with a cup of coffee. “So what can I do for you Chief?” Eddie asked.
“Wilson managed to get us a preliminary ID. Looks like it is Lucy Martinez,” I said.
“Yeah, I was pretty sure that it was,” Eddie said.
“Yeah me to,” I agreed. “So lets combine information and speculation.”
“Well, I have been checking on the plant first of all. It seems the people around here know you can go there and not be hassled by the deputies. The deputies only respond to complaints up there. It is too damn large an area filled with deserted manufacturing building in that area. It we patrolled them all we wouldn’t have time to do anything else.”
“So what happens up there?” I asked.
“Well seems they sell some weed up there, and there is also some bartering,” Simpson said.
“Are you trying to tell me they trade blow jobs for weed?” I asked with a smile.
“Or for money,” he said.
“The guys don’t normally go there to meet women or sell pot. It usually starts somewhere else and ends up there. That’s what I hear anyway,” Simpson informed me.
“So are you thinking Lucy was a pot head or a hooker?” I asked.
“Maybe both, she was painted up like a hooker,” Simpson said. “Since Wilson said she could have been killed there, it could have been a dissatisfied client.”
“Or a drug deal gone bad. You know neither one explains that fake ID,” I said. “Drug dealers don’t ask for ID and for the pervert trade the younger the better.”
“Unless she is using it to get into college bars, but that don’t make no sense either. College boys are buying weed, not selling it usually. There is no money to be made on blow jobs what with those college girls giving them away for a beer or two.”
“Well aren’t you the sexist pig though?” I asked with a laugh.
“Just the truth,” Simpson said. “So what have you found out?”
“Well she has strict parents who seem to hate being American, but need the money. How much Lucy felt that she needed I have no idea. I know she has a friend Elle whose parents are awfully protective. Now that we have a preliminary ID, it is time to rattle their cage.”
“So who is going to tell the parents?” Eddie asked.
“Well we can’t come down hard on anyone, unless we tell the parents she is dead,” I said.
“Yeah,” Eddie agreed.
“Try to get the Pathologist in Abbottsville to ID that body somehow. We need to get on with this investigation,” I suggested.
“I’ll call as soon as I get back to the office. I guess I could drive it down or email the dental xrays, since the dentist has a digital file for me to pick up,” Eddie said.
“What the fuck were you waiting for?” I asked.
“I have to ask Osborn to show me how,” Eddie admitted.
“Well I think I know how, but I would feel better if Osborn did it as well,” I said.
“You know that once we give her a years experience, the SBI is going to recruit her,” Eddie said.
“Yeah, but maybe we can do something to convince her not to go. Morris is a real piece of work. She can probably do more than we could to convince her not to move,” I said.
“Morris will not be back to County Seat though. After the bullshit search warrant she is through here,” he said.
“Too bad, we all need a villain and she was a good one,” I suggested.
“Funny, I rather like her,” he said.
“Oh was she putting out for you? I can’t think of any other reason to like her,” I explained.
“She was only after you. I never even knew why,” Eddie said.
“Truth is I have no idea why she is so combative with me,” I said. “Well it doesn’t matter we are off her radar for now.
We had shared information and decided to do nothing until the next day. Since that decision was made so early in the day and the days were getting longer again, I decided to run at the softball field.
I put in a call to Osborn. “I’m going to run in a half hour, if you show up you can tag along. Then I went home to change. I stayed in touch with the office till five and the dispatcher had orders to call me only if anything unusual happened. With everyone understanding I was in contact by cell phone, I took off from the bleachers.
I was already one lap into the run when Osborn showed up. She took off running ahead of me since I was still in the first lap. I sure hoped I didn’t look that girlie when I ran. She looked like what she was a slightly chubby female running maybe for the first time in her life. It was almost seven when we finished running. I got my five laps in and she got three. Only two of which she ran all the way, but she didn’t quit when she ran out of steam she stayed with it.
We sat on the bleachers drinking my water. “Tell me something Osborn, do you have balls?” I asked.
“What, do you mean literally like in baseballs,” she asked.
“Not literally, figuratively. Can you stand up to a gang banger and spit in his eye,” I asked.
“Not unless I have a gun on him,” she said honestly.
“Would you like to be able to do that?” I asked.
I will give her this, she thought about it before she said, “Yeah, I would.”
“Good then follow me when I leave here,” I said standing up to leave.
I drove straight to the Gym I had been thrown out of earlier. “Hey is the old man in,” I asked one of the regulars.
“Yeah hold on where you are. Don’t fucking move,” he said.
“Whatever,” I said only because I knew that pissed everybody off. Osborn got a lot of looks from the guys. For one thing she had boobs, so there was no question she was a woman. She also had a broad ass, which these guys all loved for some reason.
The old man came out with the knit toboggan covering his gray hair, so he looked younger. “Well if it ain’t the new Sheriff. So Sheriff, you come to make sure I got all my licenses in order?”
“That depends on whether you are gonna let my people train here or not?” I said with a serious look.
“You standin’ there threaten to shut me down, if I don’t train a bunch of cops?” he asked angrily.
Now we both knew that it was for the benefit of his other customers. Like he had no choice when he knew he damn sure did. “You call it what you want, I can have the county health inspector out here in this moldy old gym tomorrow. So do we work out or not?”
“You gonna pay the price, just like all the rest of these guys?” he said. “Ain’t no cop discounts here.”
“Of course we are, anything else might look like a bribe,” I said smiling. “It still fifty a month and you give us advice.”
“In advance,” he said.
I reached in my pants and pulled a Benjamin out. “One month for both of us.” Then I turned to Osborn. “Time to see what you got.”
We worked the bags for another hour. When we finished I was weak in the knees, but Osborn was staggering. “Suck it up Ozzie, you got to fight or die,” I said swinging the heavy bag at her again.
Edited by Walt