Blood Crumbs: Chapter 14Mature

    After giving Bishop the full non-update, I walked back to the conference room to find Gavin and Thaton scouring the VICAP hits. In front of each of them was a take out container with football-sized burritos in them. Gavin looked up and smiled with a mouthful of eggs motioning his fork to another container.

    “Liz got us breakfast burritos.”

    “Well, Thaton, that was down right hospitable of you,” I said sitting down and opening my container.

    “You know me.” She said distractedly as she turned to a new page. “I saw pointy-face walking out as I came in. Can’t mean good news.”

    “Yeah, as much as I might like to avoid Weston on this one, it looks like he’s going to be riding this case pretty hard.” I said with a shrug as I made an incision into my burrito. Steam wafted into the air from the cut as eggs, cheese, bacon, ham, and hash browns poured out of it. My mouth was already watering. “I hope you got more sleep than Gavin or I did, Thaton, we’re going to need some fresh eyes to stop spinning our wheels on this.”

    “You sleep?” Thaton said as she squinted at me trying to see something she had missed. “You look like the walking dead.”

    “Forgo the flattery. If you want to get in my good graces tell me you found something in your digging.”

    “Unfortunately I came up with more dead ends. Kathy and Steve are neck deep in debt and I don’t see them being able to hire out. Apparently the word had also gotten out that Ramirez was a snitch. After he was released no one wanted anything to do with him. I’m putting feelers out, but the guy didn’t have many friends. And without friends, he’s go no one willing to give us insight on his enemies. The canvas of the apartments hasn't turned up anything close to a witness.

    We spent the rest of breakfast in silence as we sifted through papers trying to think of where to go from here. I diligently worked through about three quarters of the burrito before my stomach felt as if it were going to explode. Gavin had barely touched half and Thaton gave us a disgusted look as she finished off the last of hers.

    “Next time, I’ll order for you guys off the kiddy menu.” She said as Gavin gathered up the garbage and tossed it.

    “Where the Hell did you store that?” I asked, dumbfounded.

    “I don’t store any of it. I’ve got a chipmunk-like metabolism. I eat whatever I feel like and it gets vaporized the moment it hits my intestinal tract. My body kicks ass.” She said matter-of-factly.

    “You got that right.” Gavin mumbled. Then stopped and thought about what he had just said. “I meant that it must kick ass to be able to eat whatever you want, not that you have a kick ass body.” He clarified as his cheeks turned a nice shade of red.

    Thaton lifted an eyebrow and I laughed.

    “Shit. I mean…not that you don’t necessarily have a nice looking body, I just, you’re like a sister or something.”

    “O man Gavin, just keep digging that hole.” I said as we watched him squirm.

    “Or you could change the subject and take the friggin’ shovel out of my hands.” He sighed and sat back. “Sorry Thaton; please don’t kill me.”

    “Am I interrupting something?” A voice came from the doorway.

    I looked over to see Jared standing at the doorway with a file in his hand. He was dressed nicely and his normal wind-blown hairstyle had been gelled down and combed tight against his skull. He looked very official.

    “Nothing important.” I said, “I take it you’ve got court today?”

    “Yeah, testifying in a hit and run. Figured I’d stop by and hand deliver these to you.” He said lifting the files.

    “What are those?”

    “AFIS hits from the apartment.” He said and all of us sat up.

    “Our killer left a print?”

    “Yeah, like you’re going to get that lucky on this one.” He said dropping the files in front of me. “Oil residue on the prints is a few weeks old at least on most of them, but I figured it might help if you knew who could’ve been in the apartment with him in the last few months.”

    It wasn’t much but right now I was struggling to find any leads I could. Beggars can’t be choosers.

    “Any of them the violent types?”

    “Most were collars for drug possessions, but there might have been one with an assault arrest or two on his rap sheet. Six in all.”

    “I’ll take three; Thaton, you take three.” I said, “Gavin get back in contact with the warden at Uspen and give him these names. I want to know if any of them had a sentence that coincided with Ramirez’s”

    They nodded and I looked up at Jared. “Thanks, any word on the tests from the blood spot?”

    “I called the lab and they assured me it was placed as a top priority so the DNA tests should come back soon. Around fourteen hours is what it takes from the moment they start the process. The instant I get a hold of it I’ll throw it in CODIS and cross our fingers for a hit. All in all, it could take a few more days, but when I know something, you’ll know something.”

    I thanked Jared again and had Gavin go make copies of the hits, then I decided to place a call to Canar’s office.

    “You must be psychic,” He said when I identified myself.

    “Jared’s down here. His presence reminded me that I hadn’t checked up with you either.” I said.

    “Well, I just found our needle.”

    “Our needle, as in the needle in the needle-stack?”

    “That would be the one. There was inflammation on the corneas and some other subtle indicators like a noticeably sweet smell on him. I ran with a hunch and bingo, tested positive for trichloromethane.” He said.

    I paused a beat. “It sounds familiar and I’m going to sound stupid when you tell me what that is.”

    “Trichloromethane is more commonly known as chloroform.”

    “But if he got chloroformed, wouldn’t his attacker had to have gotten close to him while he was still conscious.”

    “Well close but not as close as you might think. There are no fibers in the nasal cavities that I might find congruent with someone that had a rag pulled over his face. Given the eye irritation and that we found it saturated in his stomach contents, I would say it was sprayed in his face.”

    “That still doesn’t explain why he had no defensive wounds.” I said.

    “It might if he was intoxicated or on any sort of recreational drugs. Getting sprayed in the eyes would blind him and the moment you breathe chloroform things get pretty hazy. He’d be unconscious fairly quickly.

“So you’re sure about this?”

“As sure as I’m going to get; unless our guy was chloroforming himself recreationally. You can also make it official that a scalpel is congruent with the murder weapon used.”

I thanked Canar and hung up after the usual ‘keep me informed’ speech. Jared was standing over one of the VICAP hits.

“Can’t say serial offender didn’t cross my mind, either.” He said distractedly.

“Just a hunch,” I said.

“Anything to it?”

“Not that we could find.” I admitted.

“A serial killer in Sandy. Now that would be interesting.” He said thoughtfully.

“Interesting might be one word for it.”

“Yeah terrible and all that, but a unique experience I’m sure.”

“You give me the creeps sometimes.” I said as Thaton walked back in and handed me a file.

“He gives me the creeps all the time.” Thaton added, “But that’s mainly because you look a little like Herman from The Munsters and that guy scared the daylights out of me when I was a kid. I’ve got nothing against your world views.”

Jared laughed. “I liked Herman Munster, so I’ll take that as a compliment. And I grew up as a science geek Burton, I’m pretty used to people thinking I’m weird by now.”

“Well I’d love to stay and reminisce about crappy TV shows and haunting childhood memories, but you have a court date and we have a killer to catch.” I said gathering up my things.

A few minutes later, I was getting in my car with a fresh cup of coffee when my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and sighed. I could tell this day was going to be another in a long line of bad days.

“Hey Brian, what’s up?” I asked clicking the ‘Send’ button.

“Not much George. Pretty much just have this homicide that’s nipping at my ass.” Came Weston’s nasally voice. “I just talked to my guy Gary and I know the sound of a non-update when I hear it. You guys blowing me off?”

I rolled my eyes Trying to, but you’re making it difficult. I thought.

“No, of course not Brian. Unfortunately there’s just not much to update you on. To be frank here we’ve got a case that would’ve been set on the back burner in most other cities.” I said. “We’ve got a druggy and a snitch, a guy real low on the societal ladder here and it’s been like wading through a swamp to find anything on him.”

“What can I do?” He asked.

“Nothing at the moment. I know you want this guy and trust me, I want him too. I’ve got all my guys working their asses off to get him, but we just need time.”

“Alright. I’m trusting you on this.” He said, “Good luck.”

He hung up and I shook my head, good luck indeed. I rummaged around in my glove compartment and found my bottle of antacids.

We spent the next few days in a near fruitless search for the current whereabouts of our six felons. I finally tracked down two of them who were in the system. Both had been arrested and were down at Uspen, they had been there three and four weeks, respectively. The third man, Jimmy Harris, was a parolee who had disappeared. Even his parole officer didn’t remember him well. Turned out that he had put in a parole transfer and moved to California. I found his new PO and got confirmation that Jimmy hadn’t left California for any amount of time within the last three weeks. Neither Thaton nor Gavin had much luck from their inquiries either, and as the week winded down I still felt lost. I needed to clear my head.

I called Isaac and set dinner plans at a local steak house and told him to meet me there in thirty minutes. I just had to hope Canar or Jared would be able to shed some more light on things soon.

The End

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