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Story Title: Jane Doe
Call it gut instinct if you like. I have been a police officer for twenty years. I have seen many dreadful things and this young female body, although not in any way mutilated was one of them.
How did she get here for a start? She was wearing high heel boots, not the type of footwear one would expect to find in the middle of the bush. she was well dressed and she had on what women would call the full make-up.
She had been found, lying beside the dam, not in it. The young farmhand came across her this morning at six am while he was out mustering cattle. He had taken his horse for a well earned drink and there she was, he is still in shock.
My first job of course is to find out who she is.
"Inconvenience you did she Smithy?" I could barely contain my irritation.
Smithy made an unpleasant snorting sound in response, then spat a substantial wad of god knows what into the mud. "Looks like just some hooker, anyway..." he muttered.
Repressing an overwhelming desire to knock Smithy's head clean off his shoulders, I made my way back to where the farmhand still sat slumped miserably in the tall grass, his head in his hands. Something told me he would not be of much use to us.
"Well Graham can you tell me how you found her"
"I was taking my horse for a drink and there she was, I had my mobile with me and I called my boss, I didn't know what else to do. Did I do something wrong?"
"No laddie you did fine" I said. I could see I wasn't going to get much more from him so I left him sitting there and went back to look at the girl again. She didn't look like a hooker to me she looked classy,smart clothes, nails done. I couldn't move her because we were still waiting for the forensic crew to turn up.
I turned to my partner and couldn't believe what he was doing.
"We're sposed to knock off in ten minutes" Smithy whined.
I glared at him with a look designed to enlighten him in no uncertain terms as to what might occur if he did not shift his sorry shape into gear. Smithy muttered something unintelligible - like most of his conversation - and ambled up the slope to the car.
I turned my eyes back to the girl. "Don't worry, darlin'" I said, quietly, so no-one else would hear. "We'll find out who did this."
I scanned the scene, starting from the area immediately surrounding the body. It seemed clean. There was nothing... nothing to indicate how she might have met her untimely end.
"Hey come here Smithy, take a look at this" My partner stopped scratching his crutch and ambled towards me. He looked down and said
" What is it?"
"It's a tie pin" I said and then asked him if he had a bag in his pocket to put it in
" A what?" He said. He asked me how I knew what is was and I had to explain to him how people used to dress in days gone bye. He is a real dumb arse how he ever got into the police forse I will never know.
Anyway he picked it up and put it in a bag explaining to me that it was a complete waste of time because it had probably been there years
By this time forensics had arrived and I stepped aside to allow them to do their work. I filled the team in on my own observations, then returned to the car where Smithy was already ensconced, awaiting the trip back to the station where he could clock out and go home.
I got behind the wheel. I tried my best not to look at Smithy. Something about the way the buttons in his shirt strained to restrain his hefty girth when he sat down made me slightly nauseous.
As did the fact that at this very moment, at seven-thirty a.m. and having just observed a dead body, Smithy was happily tucking into a king-sized Mars Bar.
Ignoring Smithy I decided to concentrate my thoughts on the case in hand. First we had to establish who this woman was and secondly we had to try and work out how she got there and how she died.
It wasnt going to be easy, we had nothing to work on and it looked as if we were going to have to wait for the toxigoligy reports to come back. The only thing we had thus far was the tie pind and I wasn,t even sure if that was part of the crime scene.
As we pulled into the yard at the station one of my men came running towards the car yelling at me, Igot out and asked him what was up. He said there was a man on the phone up in the office who wanted to speak to me about his girlfriend, he wouldn't speak to anyone else.
It appears she had gone missing and this guy had heard on the radio that we had found a womans body.
I was filled in on all this information as I climbed the stairs to my office, Maybe this was the break I had been waiting for.
"Are you the one who saw the body?" The voice on the other end of the line was panicked.
"One moment please - who am I speaking with?"
"What does she look like?"
"Sir, I need you to identify yourself."
"Blonde, shoulder length hair, attractive?"
Actually, yes... I thought. I said "Sir, I need you to calm down, tell me who you are, and what reason you have to think that you are acquainted with the deceased."
"Oh God" - he was sobbing now - "Julie..."
"Sir - "
"We argued... she wanted... I told her to leave... I didn't mean it..."
This was getting us nowhere. Fast.
"Sir! Your name please!"
"Rogers. Lou Rogers." More sobbing
"Yes, anytime please come please tell me it's not her" Yet more sobbing, I managed to get the address from him and told Smithy to move his arse and get into the car! He moaned all the way there saying it was time he was off, Dam him we had a body and a possible murder on our hands and all he could do was complain, where the hell do they find these people?
When we arrived at the flat where Mr rogers lived we knocked on the dorr and a very distrought man answered, he did really look upset, I honestly hoped this woman wasn't his girlfriend, poor man looked as if he had had no sleep at all.
He took us through to the sitting room which was emaculate. He asked us to sit down then once more broke down in tears. I had to ask him questions and wasn't looking forward to the ordeal.
"When did you see your girlfriend last" I asked him
"Last night, we had a row and I was very angry with her
This produced a fresh flood of tears. "She... she wanted to move in... here... with me."
As he spoke I looked around the room. It was very tastefully furnished. The stuff looked pretty expensive. Our Mr Rogers did not appear to be short a few bob. My eyes lighted on a silver frame containing a professional black and white portrait of Rogers with an attractive middle aged woman. Not our girl. Relieved, I pointed to the photo.
"That your girlfriend?" I asked.
"That? Oh - no, that's Patricia. My wife."
"Your - ? Oh. I see." Of course, it couldn't be that simple, could it?
"And where is your wife now?" I asked.
"At our house in the city."
Smithy snorted. I shot him the death stare.
"Yes she did but she thought we were separated" he explained.
"Do you have a photograph of her ?" I enquired.
"No I'm not stupid" he said "why would I carry a photo of her?"
Smithy snorted yet again. I was getting fed up with him. I really must ask my boss to give me another partner. I made a note to myself.
"Would you come and identify the body sir?" I thought I was pushing my luck but we had to try.
"If I must" he said
"Do you know if she had any family or friends. Can you tell us something about her?"
"So you do think it's her?" He started wailing again. To tell the truth I was getting jack shit of this man, what a moron.
"What do you need to know?"
I sighed. "Anything you can tell us Sir. Let's start with her full name."
The man appeared stumped. "Her - full - ?"
"Her name, Sir. What is it?"
He looked from me to Smithy and back again. I noticed beads of sweat forming on his top lip. For a moment he greatly resembled a deer in the headlights. As he hesitated I looked him over. Snappy dresser, very smart. Immaculate, like the apartment. And then I saw it.
"That's a fine tie pin you're wearing, Sir" I said.
"Oh, thankyou..." he answered, somewhat distractedly.
"Very nice" I added. "Classy. Don't see them too often these days." I watched him intently.
"Where were you last night sir when you saw your girlfriend?"
"I was here, she came round for dinner and we had the fight, she ran out about 10pm."
"What did you do after that? " I asked hin.
" Well first I had to ring my wife, but she wasn't at home and by the time I reached her on her mobile about ten minutes had passed. By that time I thought it was too late to follow so I went to bed. I thought she would have calmed down by morning and we could talk again then."
" You had a row with your girlfriend, then rang your wife!"
"Yes, I know it must seem strange but that's what I did"
I thought this was very strange, what the hell was going on? Smithy was moving round the room and looked at me as if even he thought there was a rabbit off!
"What makes you think this could be your girlfriend then" I asked him
"Yes. So she's going on about how we should both flee the country together and I tell her I can't. You see...I still love my wife. I can't just run off with some hooker. So then she gets really mad with me. She asks me whether I still love her and I tell her yes. But then she storms off out the house."
"Where is this place she worked at?"
"Eveldale drive. By the strip club there."
I sighed. "Should I bother to ask...?"
"Eveldale Drive? Eveldale Drive?! That's in bloody Wordham!" Smithy was bent over the door, grunting as he tried to pull out the seat belt. I reached over him- God, he was obese- and pulled on the handle. He fell forwards a little and turned around to glare at me. "If I wanted to spend any time in Wordham I'd have become a dealer myself! Probably get more than these pisspot wages..."