Lt. Reyes walked downstairs to the Medical Examiner’s Lab instead of taking the elevator. He needed the exercise to work the blood back into his backside after all the heavy report and file reading of the morning. Not even that coffee in the Detective’s Squad Room could clear his head today. He read most of the preliminary reports but nothing Earth shattering was uncovered. Reading boring and uninteresting reports was a good way to ease into the new work-week, but he either wanted to close this case today before it got on his nerves or find some reason to carry on and see it through. His natural inquisitiveness drove him forward, but he had to have some reason. In his mind, there was really no such thing as a closed case, but there is always a limit at the point of diminishing returns. The Captain saw no merit to pursuing further at all. He’s the boss.
At this point, the Evidence Lab had revived the memory chip in the dead man’s cell phone and made a list of all the contacts, frequently called numbers from the cell phone company, e-mail accounts and even things he searched-for on the Internet using his smart phone. The other cell phone found in his car was a back-up, still current, but hardly used. The contacts list on both phones was nearly identical, but is still being checked-out. Hopefully, somebody on those lists was the next of kin. Nothing found, so far, really seemed odd or out of place for an ordinary, law-abiding citizen.
The Captain made it perfectly clear, this morning, that he wanted everything wrapped-up by 5:00 pm today, so that the proper Sheriff’s Department representatives could notify the man’s next of kin, presumably back east - once determination was made who and where they were - and to make arrangements for the transfer the body, his vehicles and his possessions. Whoever got the man’s shotgun and robbed his safe might just get a pass if their fingerprints and records weren’t already in the justice system.
The lieutenant pushed open the double stainless steel doors that led down the hallway to the M.E.’s Lab. It just seemed like the right time to check-in. He pushed through the second set on the right only to find Deputy Tabaño talking with Dr. Bob. “Haaay, .. what is this Tabaño? Are you playing detective now?”
“Oh, Hiya there L-T. Just having a PB & J with Dr. Bob here on my lunch break. Maybe someday, I can get a real job in the detectives squad with free coffee and everything. My wife says we could sure use that big raise.”
“Well, since you’re already here, I might as well tell you both that the Captain wants this thing closed today by five o’clock. None of the preliminary reports indicate any crimes worthy of further investigation or expenditure of department resources. That’s it. Wrap-up your reports and put them in my IN box.”
Dr. Bob finally got in a word, “Do you even want MY report, Lieutenant?”
Flippantly, Reyes answered, “Sure, Doc, but I think we already know what it will say. ‘Death by snake bite’, right?”
Dr. Bob raised a single eyebrow, “Oh, you’ve read it already then? Does it really say that?”
Just then, the cell phone in Lt. Reyes suit coat pocket sounds-off. Reyes takes the call. After a few seconds, he looks up at Dr. Bob, “Sorry, I’ll have to get back to you Doc.”
>>>> Chapter 8 >>