Sheriff Porter 16
Osborn and I left the gym at 9 PM. We both were absolutely exhausted. She followed me to the pub for dinner. Juanita had made a giant taco salad from which she dished a bowl of stuff for each of us.
I had a dark beer and the salad, while Osborn had a bowl of the salad and a diet coke. “What’s up with the diet coke?” I asked.
“I’d like to have a body a little more like yours, than like mine,” she said.
“You have to be kidding. Didn’t you see how those guys looked at you? They looked at you like you were a bowl of crack cocaine,” I said.
“Yeah I noticed, but gang bangers are not my type, not even reformed ones,” she said.
“Who told you they had reformed. Those guys are the same ones you are going to meet out there while you are working. You better earn their respect, or one day you will have to fight them,” I said. “Damn this taco salad is good.
“You have me working out in a gym filled with gang bangers who hate cops?” she asked.
“Yeah, kind of elegant isn’t it?” I asked.
“You are out of your mind,” she said with a nervous laugh.
“Yeah but you will find it easier to go to that gym next time, than you would to walk into a crowd on a street corner. Then one day it will be as easy to walk into crowd on the street corner, as it is to walk into that gym,” I said.
“Jeremy could I have a draft please, make it a Michelob,” Osborn said. She didn’t look anything but angry. That she would get over I knew.
After dinner, and the one beer we headed out in different directions. I went home and cued up some porn on the computer. Yeah it was girl on girl porn, but I did not have any plans to mess with Osborn.
I slept okay but I set the clock for five. The days were getting longer so I planned to run early and hit the gym later. I called Osborn planning to leave a message, but to my surprise she was awake. “I’m headed out to run, if you can wake up enough come on over to the track,” I said.
“I’ll meet you there,” she answered.
I got to the field and noted her car but no Osborn. I took my water and towel over to the bleachers and left them beside hers. I waited and caught her as she came around. “How long you been running?” I asked.
“I should say two laps, but only one,” she said as she passed me. I ran to catch up and then continued on with her. I ran at my own speed and let her run at hers. Of course I got my five laps in running and even managed to walk one more before she completed five.
“When are we going to that stinky old gym?” she asked.
“Are you going to make your 7 AM start time?” I asked.
“I will have to hurry but I live close. I can shower even,” she informed me.
“Well I will have time for a quick shower and breakfast before I go in to work. I’ll bring you a biscuit if you swing by the station at 8:30,” I said.
“I took the shower and dressed in what had become my uniform. A green tee shirt baggy fatigue pants with lots of pockets and a utility jacket to hide the pistol and to give me even more pockets. It was a fairly cool uniform temperature wise. Of course I soaked the tee shirt within the first hour, but even that tended to help keep me cool.
I stopped by Hardee’s in the plaza. I ordered at the drive through in order to save a few minutes. I had three coffees and three bacon, egg and cheese biscuits all in one bag. Okay the coffee was in one of those hazardous carrying cartons. But it was all in the floor on the passenger side of the truck. I still hadn’t bothered to take the Sheriff’s car. If I needed to be official, I planned to just get a ride with someone around the station who had a marked car.
When I did arrive at the station, I went directly down to the basement lab. It was there that I unpacked the food and coffee. I also placed a call to let Mrs. West, explaining where I was. Osborn was already sitting with Wilson. Wilson was telling her all about his latest discovery.
“Okay why don’t you fill the Sheriff in before you fill in the junior detective?” I asked only half seriously upset.
“I found an online bank statement for Lucy Martinez. Her family might have been struggling but Lucy had a rather large bank account. So I followed the money,” he said.
“Of course you did, so where was she getting it?” I asked.
“That I’m afraid is for you to figure out Sheriff. I will tell you this, it is considerably more than she would be expected to make as a nanny,” he said.
“Let’s assume for the moment that she was an exceptional nanny,” I said. “And we will keep this quiet and on a need to know basis?”
“Yes sheriff,” they both agreed.
Money always threw a nasty twist into the mix. Where there was too much money, there was suspicious behavior. “Osborn, we need to find out where Lucy went the night she died. Any ideas?” I asked directly since she hadn’t volunteered any of her online discoveries.
“Not exactly, her Facebook account mentioned a place in Abbottsville,” Osborn suggested. “She was inviting people on her Facebook page to come to a club to see her. I have no idea what club, or if she was there that night. Just that she mentioned it a few other nights as well.”
“Well the person to ask is Ellie, but only if we can get her away from her dad,” I suggested.
“That would be illegal,” Osborn said.
“More like unprofessional. Now my two computer geeks, find out where Ellie hangs out,” I demanded. Then I left to man the office, issue some statements, and a few management decisions. One of those decisions was to fill an empty patrol slot.
“Yes Mrs. West,” I said into the phone.
“The University Hospital in Abbottsville calling,” she advised me.
“Thank you Mrs. West, please put them through,” I said.
“Doctor Greenberg calling,” a female voice said.
“So Doctor Greenberg are you the Pathologist, who did the autopsy on my Jane Doe,” I asked.
“Yes, I wanted to let you know she has a name,” the female voice said.
“Let me guess, Lucy Martinez?” I suggested.
“Lucinda Martinez, yes.” We matched her dental records.
“Which my people sent you. We were pretty sure about it, but needed a positive ID before we do a formal notification. So Doctor, what is the cause of death? The blunt force trauma caused by several blows to the head or strangulation?”
“The strangulation was the cause of death. The blows to the head were post mortem which is why there was no more blood. There still should have been more,” Greenberg said.
“Did you find fibers in the head wounds?” I asked going with Martin’s idea.
“Yes we found fibers, and we are returning them to you,” she said.
“She wore an over shirt that night. The killer wrapped her head in the shirt before he wrecked her face,” I said.
“Why?” she asked.
“When I find him, I’m going to ask that. Probably something crazy happened to him in his childhood,” I said. “Did you do a rape kit?”
“You really think a woman could have done this? Yes we did a rape kit there were traces of semen in her mouth,” Greenberg said.
“Hell at this point, I’m not ruling you out,” I said. “Thanks for the ID. Now I can go talk to the family and friends. It’s no longer a missing person, now it’s a homicide.”
It was after lunch when Eddie and I could finally get to see the Martinez family. “Mr. and Mrs. Martinez I hate to have to tell you but Lucinda was killed two nights ago. The same night she went missing,” I said. They both broke down. There is nothing worse than the death of a child, I thought.
“Who would do such a thing?” Mr. Martinez asked.
“I am trying to determine that now,” Eddie said. “I’m afraid I have more question for you both. They are not easy for me to ask and may not be easy for you to hear.”
“If it will help find her killer, then I will answer,” Mr. Martinez said. Then he looked at his wife and said, “We both will.”
“Sir could you tell us what Lucy did with her salary from her nanny work,” I asked.
“We tried to get her to keep it for her college but she insisted we use it to help pay the expenses here at home. I didn’t want to take it and I never told her father,” Mrs. Martinez said looking at her husband. He must have felt like crap at that point.
“Did either of you have any idea Lucy had a bank account with over five thousand dollars,” Eddie asked.
“What? That is not possible,” Mr. Martinez said.
“Eddie was about to argue with him, but I shook my head and he let it drop. Did Lucy stay out late often,” I asked.
“Only on the nights she went to the movies with Ellie,” Mrs. Martinez said.
“Did she ever spend the night with friends?” Eddie asked.
“She stayed with Ellie now and then, but she was the only one we allowed her to stay with. We never met any of her other friends from school,” the father said.
We left the house not knowing anymore than we did before. We had some verification that Lucy was up to something and that Ellie was either part of it and she was at least helping Lucy hide it.
“Time to talk to Ellie,” I suggested.
“You already tried and daddy had a confrontational reception. How about if I try it?” Eddie asked.
“You gonna be the bad cop?” I asked.
“I don’t think I made a bad cop seem believable. I’m much too sweet of a guy,” Eddie said.
“Can I at least go watch,” I asked.
“Okay but do not say a word,” he demanded.
We drove straight to her house. It was only shortly after school. If Ellie were there chances were she would be alone or maybe with her mom. We got lucky she was alone.
“Ellie you remember me?” I asked.
“Yes Sheriff,” she said.
“That’s right. I sorry to tell you this but your friend Lucy is dead.” I have to say if Ellie faked her surprise, she should go into acting.
“What happened?” She asked.
“She was murdered. I would like to make that sound less harsh, but it is a fact. Someone assaulted and strangled her,” Eddie said. “So Ellie we are going to need to know what is your part in all this?”
“Me, I have nothing to do with any of this,” she said. “Lucy came by now and then. We would go out together.”
“We know about the club in Abbottsville and the fake ID cards. You do have one as well?” Eddie said. “We will be checking with your friends.”
“A lot of us girls have one. One of the guys at school, like works in his parent’s print shop after school,” she said.
‘What is his charge, or does he take it out in trade?” Eddie asked.
“What do you mean?” Ellie asked.
“We know that Lucy and some others were having sex for money. So were you one of them?” Eddie asked.
“You can’t tell my dad, he will kill me,” Ellie said. “I mean I never did it for money, but Lucy and some of the others did.”
Edited by Walt