Welcome back to the continuing saga that is poorly titled (for now) "A Murder Story" although an earlier suggestion is really growing on me. This is the sixth part of the second day of this winding and twisting crime saga. I was writing this as part of NaNoWriMo -- sadly I didn't crack the 50,000 word mark but the writing continues...
If this is your first visit here, please feel free to go back and read the story from the beginning.
“Alright, alright.” Miranda sighed. “I know what I need to do but this one is tough, I loved her like a sister and the piece of shit that did this is gonna fucking pay.” Miranda’s tone went from one of sorrow to vengeance in one short sentence.
Danny had never seen this side of Miranda. He knew that she was still upset but a vengeful cop with a loaded weapon is a bad mix. Danny’s mind raced with the possibilities of what a revenge-seeking Miranda Grove might be capable of. He quickly shook his head from side to side, trying to unimagine what he had just envisioned, and got back to reality and the tasks at hand -- collecting evidence, questioning those who might know something about Becky Pinkowski and solving this murder.
“Dammit Miranda, go have some coffee or something because we can’t very well have a pissed off cop interviewing neighbors. Get your shit together or, like I said earlier, Perkins is gonna catch on and have you behind a desk faster than you can blink.”
“Fine,” Miranda huffed, “I’ll be back in five minutes. I just need... I just need to cool off for a bit.”
“Okay,” Danny replied as he began to walk toward the townhome’s front door, “Come find me when you’re ready.”
Before Danny entered the home, he turned to see what Miranda was doing and where she was headed. Realizing that she must have walked away in quite a huff, he saw her sitting in the driver’s seat of the Durango. He could see that she was sobbing heavily as she repeatedly punched the vehicle’s leather-wrapped steering wheel. This was definitely out of character for the normally calm and almost methodical officer but he wrote it off as her being rightfully emotional after seeing one of her closest friends dead.
Danny again turned and entered the home’s front door.
Approaching Officer Marcus Meyer who had been next door interviewing Ms. Pinkowski’s neighbors, Danny began speaking in a rather gruff tone “Meyer,” he motioned for him to come closer, “what have you heard from the neighbors?”
“Well,” Officer Meyer began, “I spoke to Taylor Briggs who lives to the left of Ms. Pinkowski’s home and he said that he was awakened by what he described as a blood-curdling scream followed by a loud thud against the shared wall between the townhome units around 2:20 AM.” Marcus Meyer paused as he flipped the page of his note pad. “He said that he wasn’t sure if he had dreamt it or if it was real then he heard another scream and was pretty sure it had come from next door. That’s when he stepped out of his front door to check next door and see if Ms. Pinkowski was alright. He noticed that the door was ajar, knocked a few times, yelled inside asking if she was home and if everything was alright, paused while he waited for any sort of response and then slowly pushed the door open and saw blood on the floor and then saw the victim pinned to the bathroom door. That’s when he ran back to his place and called 911. The time of that call was 2:29 AM.” Officer Meyer flipped his note pad closed and looked at Kline.
“Excellent work Marcus.” Danny said before turning to glance back towards the street where Miranda was still sitting in the Durango. “What’s the word from the neighbor on the other side of Ms. Pinkowski’s townhome?”
“Well,” Marcus began, “we haven’t had any luck getting an answer there yet but we’ll keep trying.”
“So,” Kline said as he exhaled heavily, “we’ve got a fairly decent timeframe of the murder and there was definitely a struggle but did the neighbor see anyone in the neighborhood that seemed out of place?”
Officer Meyer began shaking his head from side to side, “No, Mr. Briggs noticed nothing or nobody that seemed out of place.”
“Hell,” Lead Investigator Kline said as he dug his heel into the grass as the sun began to rise, “it’s probably a good fucking thing that the neighbor didn’t go inside to check things out. For all we know the killer could have been hiding behind the kitchen counter waiting to pop out and slash anyone’s throat who he saw. Did the neighbor, um, Briggs, stay inside his townhome after calling 911, did he wait outside? Where was this guy at from 2:29 AM until the first officer arrived here at...” Kline trailed off.
“At 2:37 AM.” Marcus Meyer finished the sentence which Kline had begun. “Cornwell was on duty in this part of town. She was the first on the scene.”
Lead Investigator Danny Kline began to walk away and turned towards Officer Meyer, “Marcus, let’s meet up in five minutes. Track down Cornwell and let’s make sure we’re all on the same page here.”
“You got it, sir.”
Kline motioned toward the street for his partner Miranda Grove to join him.
Be sure to check back for the ongoing second chapter of this intriguing murder mystery!