Oliver Kent, the headmaster of HollyBrook School, was a tall man in his forties with a receeding hairline. He met James and Helen in reception and showed them to his office, gesturing them to two chairs before taking one himself.
"I can't tell you how sorry I am that such a thing has happened in HollyBrook School" he began in a low voice. "The school has always had a good reputation and I just can't believe any of the staff or the students would do such a thing." He held up his hands helplessly before lowering them. "Are you sure there is no way a stranger could have entered the premises?"
"Well we can't be certain" James replied cautiously. "There doesn't seem to be any CCTV evidence of it that's all, though I am sure the murderer would be just as careful to avoid being caught on it before he commited the crime as after."
"Except Mary Evron wasn't killed here" Helen reminded him.
"Yes of course". James paused for a moment ad then asked, "How well did you know Mary Evron Mr Kent?"
"Not well I'm afraid. She worked here part time as an educational psychologist. She was good at her work."
"Was she married or did she have a boyfriend?"
"She was definitely not married and no boyfriends that I am aware of. I understand she has, I mean had a younger sister."
"Thanks. Perhaps we can trace her. We need someone to formally identify her anyway."
Helen then asked "Will you make an announcement about Mary Evron's abduction and murder in assembly and ask anyone who knows anything to come forward and contact us? It's easier for us than having to question every single person in the school".
Oliver nodded. "Yes of course." He stood up and shook first James' hand and then Helen's. "I'm sorry I could not be of more help."
Once James and Helen were safely inside James's Nissan Sunny, Helen asked "What do you think of Mr Kent?"
"He seems like an ordinary, straightforward person. "
Mary's sister Verity came across as a very narcissistic woman and Helen and James were rather sorry for her husband and two children, given what they had to live with. However, since her sister had been murdered, they tried to be kind and understanding.
Verity was unable to add much to what they knew. Mary had no enemies that she knew of. She had never married, though she had had one or two boyfriends and had once been briefly engaged. None of this information seemed important to Helen or James though they decided to make a note of it anyway. It was very unlikely that an ex boyfriend or an ex fiancee would penetrate the school solely for the intention of murdering Mary in such an elaborate way. It was more likely to be someone in the school who had done this.
Verity's husband had nothing more to add to his wife's statement so they climbed into Helen's Ford Taurus and drove home. James' mobile vibrated on the way and he answered.
"Yes sir. Oh right. Thank you Sir".
Helen looked enquiringly at James.
"Eadric Stevens the Head Boy at the school got in contact. He says he saw Mary Evron the night she was kidnapped."