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.They found patterns left by the men’s pants, sleeves, knees and hair, but not a single usable handprint.Prints left by hands, yes, but nothing with a sufficient amount of discernible ridges.The hands had been too wet with blood, and the marks were just smears left by slippery flesh.Shoe prints, however, were clearer.A few belonged to Darryl, mostly from the toe area as he struggled to right himself and push off the increasingly bloody floor.He wore Nikes, and the circle over the ball of the sole made the pattern easy to recognize.The other set, obviously the killer’s, had a plain zigzag pattern and continued right out the door.Some were Theresa’s, right next to where the body had been.There were a few pieces of something with a heavy tread next to the largest pool, which hadn’t completely dried by the time the medics had arrived to confirm Theresa’s initial diagnosis.Jen tried to wager a buck that those prints belonged to the EMT, but Theresa didn’t take sucker bets no matter how small.They also checked the sinks, the autopsy room, and the tiny first-floor lavatory, but if the killer had cleaned his hands he had cleaned the basins just as well.Theresa made a copy of the palm print from the gurney for Jen.The nineteen-inch, black and white monitor continued to beam images of the rear loading-dock as cops stalked back and forth, smoked, chatted and turned up their collars.The April temperature hovered around a mild fifty degrees, but it always felt colder in the small hours.The unmolested camera and monitor bothered Theresa.Either an extremely unobservant killer had somehow made entry, murdered Darryl and kidnapped Justin without noticing or caring that the camera might be able to record, or the killer had been someone who worked at or was sufficiently familiar with the ME’s and knew it wouldn’t record.The idea of this someone kidnapping a strapping young man like Justin seemed ridiculous, but then the same someone had been strong enough to crush Darryl.And that one-word warning: Confess.This person wanted something.They didn’t get it from Darryl, so maybe they took Justin with a plan to force the agency to hand it over as ransom.A strange plan, but killers often do very strange things for very strange reasons.After finishing with the floor, Theresa had stood around with Jen in that nerve-wracking, soul-sucking indecision that always comes when deciding to let a crime scene go.Had they missed anything? Should they collect one more bloodstain? Take one more photograph? Fingerprint the tops of the file cabinets? The instant they ‘cleared’ the scene, Stone intended to call in the county HazMat team and have the room sterilized.All HazMat really needed to do was mop the floor with some bleach, but Stone wasn’t going to ask the janitor to handle it.Appearances often to the contrary, he really did have a heart.But finally Jen admitted that she had done all that could reasonably be expected and took her dozens of samples and hundreds of photos back to CPD in time for Theresa to attend the autopsy.Theresa had changed into another pair of pants that she kept in the closet for emergencies and given her beat-up BDUs to Jen as evidence, on the extremely slim chance the pool of blood next to Darryl’s body might belong to someone else.Now, tugging at the waistband – how long had these khakis been hanging in that closet? – she went to the autopsy suite.She didn’t particularly want to see Darryl gutted like a deer, but cops still monitored the front and back doors, and she feared that if she left, she might not be allowed back in.As long as Theresa utilized the classic technique of looking busy, no one bothered her.Now little Dr Banachek pulled the sheet off Darryl without further ado, and Theresa saw more of her ex-co-worker than she had ever wanted to.‘This is terrible,’ Dr Banachek clucked, shaking strands of gray loose from his comb-over.The other pathologist, Dr Harris, said: ‘It sure is.I have more seniority than Reese.How come I’m not home in bed and he’s here instead?’Theresa tried not to roll her eyes.The first words Harris spoke to her on her first day at the ME’s office had been to complain about the fit of his lab coat, and every word since had kept to a similar vein.A dozen years later he still had no other form of conversation.Tall, skinny, with a grayish pallor to his skin, his cheeks had begun to sink as if the eternal negativity was eating him up from the inside out.He went on: ‘You know why? I’ll tell you why.Because I had the courtesy to answer my phone! Why couldn’t they get an actual diener to work as diener? Why not Causer?’‘The county’s trying to show a little compassion,’ Theresa explained, unnecessarily.Harris knew perfectly well why he had been pressed into service.He just didn’t care.‘Because they were friends? As if.The last friend Causer had came with a screw cap.And he was the wrong color to make Johnson feel warm and fuzzy.Causer could have made the incision while eating a muffin.’As fed up as she felt toward the general boorishness of Harris, Causer and the dead Johnson, Theresa couldn’t help a quick, slightly hysterical giggle at the image of Mitchell Causer plunging a scalpel into Darryl’s chest while holding a breakfast pastry in his other hand, a plastic apron over his flannel shirt with a beer gut barely held in check by a scratched WWF belt buckle.She choked it off as the other doctor spoke.‘Looks like some bruising starting over the abdomen.Someone slugged him in more than just the head.’ Banachek hesitated, holding the scalpel over the dead man’s chest, still trying to comprehend the depth of their collective violation.‘How could anyone be killed here? And who’d want to kill Darryl?’‘Besides his wife?’ Theresa couldn’t help saying.‘His comments about her always sounded so – violent.’Harris said, ‘Nah.She crashed the Christmas party here once, and I’m pretty sure that if he had ever hit her, she’d have flattened him.And she wouldn’t have waited until he was at work to do it.Face it, it was Justin.’‘No,’ Banachek said, dragging the scalpel from Darryl’s shoulder to groin.‘No,’ Theresa said.‘Justin hardly seemed like some hair-trigger maniac to me.’‘How would you know?’ Harris fixed her with a suspicious gaze, ready to verbally pounce if she had been secretly dating one of the deskmen, and not because it would have been interracial or cougar-like or against county policy.He would care only that a piece of gossip existed without his knowledge.Despite that, it was a valid question [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]