Facing your past is never an easy task. It takes a certain kind of moxie to go back and attempt to complete unfinished business.
Our main character is returning to where he left his last case. To face the past he attempted to leave behind.
But, unknown to him, the path to resolution is paved with confrontat on.
————Part 4 Beg ns————–
He returned to the police station to fill the Chief in on the newfound information and the inevitable tie to his past.
He walked into the office and without asking for permission he sat in the chair in front of the desk and slumped a little.
“That’s a different look for you…..what’s on your mind?” The chief inquired.
He told him of the inscription on the stair and the resemblance to the girl he never found, and the revelation that the man responsible for the towns disappearances was also responsible for the one he neglected to solve.
“I am making a trip back to Massachusetts to try to tie up loose ends. My hope is the quest will give us new insight into the mind of the killer. If I know why he began, I will know what tools to use to stop him.” He stated
“You really think any new evidence can be found….it has been 5 years since you left there?” The chief asked.
“Maybe not new evidence but it will be new to me. I was on the edge of burnout when she disappeared and they came to me for help. I could have missed something….probably missed something. Besides there is no perfect crime. Time and reevaluation will always reveal mistakes.”
The chief looked at him concerned and asked, “I will keep the fires burning down here. Contact me if you come up with anything. Have a safe trip.”
The plane ride to Massachusetts was long enough to formulate a game plan. Before he left he contacted the cold case division and requested to see the files from the case. They were a bit timid about dealing with the guy who gave up on the case but after hearing of the possible ties to cases in Texas they opened up and were willing to allow him access.
Naturally he planned to visit the scene and walk the walk of missing. Reevaluate his previously written notes and reports and look at the videotapes from the surveillance cameras that were left from the case. He remembers watching them extensively while he was on the case. The actual abduction happened just out of camera range (naturally) but new evidence calls for new looks at old material.
He left the airport in the rental car with the GPS system set to take him to the apartment complex. Upon arrival he made a stop at the managers office to inform them why he was there. The complex had been added onto since then, but the building where the abduction has occurred has not been changed. The labeling system of that building had changed to accommodate the newer apartments from numbers to letters. The manager led him to the apartment the missing girl and her family used to live at to enable him to make his short journey. He looked at the door, it was labeled apartment “i”.
“Seriously?….the hits just keep on coming…” He thought and smirked.
“You ok, Mister?” The manager asked.
“Yeah, let’s get on with this.” He replied
He walked down to the end of the walkway and made his way down the stairs. On the bottom stair was a faded yet still legible “i”.
He took a snapshot of the faded evidence, thanked the manager and headed over to the police station to look at the old videotapes.
Upon arriving at the station, he met up with a few of the officers who were in the old case. They chit chatted about the new direction it was taking and offered any help if needed. He then proceeded to the video room to look over the surveillance footage.
The footage dated back 3 weeks before the disappearance. The reason being, there was always a chance while staking out the complex the perp may have mistakenly been caught on camera. As each person passed through the footage he rechecked his notes to be sure they had been interviewed. The first 4 days of footage showed nothing out of the ordinary the second time around. It was on the fifth day that he saw something that caught his
A maintenance man of some sort walked into the frame with a tool box and a replacement board for the stairs. He was wearing a large flat brimmed hat that shielded his face from the camera. He went about his work by taking out the bottom stair board and replacing it with another one. Same style, same color. He finished his work, stood up and walked away casually. With a few clicks of a button, he zoomed in on the replacement board. A freshly marked “i” was clearly visible.
“There’s my guy!” He said aloud. He looked at his notes. He had not interviewed this potential suspect, but the note said he was a contractor called in to do some work while their regular maintenance man was out having surgery. He called the number on the report and set up an interview. He printed out a still picture of the brimmed hat wearing man to take with him.
He met the contractor at the job site he was working on.
“You said you wanted to talk to me about some repairs I did at an apartment complex over 5 years ago?”
The man looked at him strangely, looked at his still photo and replied, “Yeah, I do but I don’t think you did the work. I can’t see the guys face in this picture but he outweighs you by at least 100 lbs. I’m investigating a case involving a missing girl from that complex….who did the work?”
The man grew a little pale and impatient and then said, ” Look man, I lied to the cops when they interviewed me a long time ago. I didn’t do the work. Another contractor paid me $1000 to walk away and I let him do the work. He said he owed them a favor. It was only a 2-300 dollar job. I needed the money so I let him have it. Shit…an extra 700 and all I had to do was walk away? Who wouldn’t have. I didn’t then and I don’t now know anything about no missing girl. I did that guy a favor by letting him have that job and he did me a favor by paying me. No harm no foul.”
“You remember what he looks like?”
“All I can say is that his cash was green. That’s the only description I got.”
“Thanks, go back to work. I will be in touch if I need anything else.”
He headed back to the airport with new information in hand. Before he boarded the plane he placed a call to the Chief.
“I’ve got a bead on our suspect. Let’s meet when I get back and I will give you the details and we can figure out how to proceed.”he told the chief.
“I got a lead too. You know where that old warehouse is on Canyon Road outside of town.” The chief asked
“Yes I do.”
“Meet me there about 3pm tomorrow.”
“Will do. See you there.”
He reached the abandoned warehouse about 10 minutes to 3. The chief’s car was not there yet. He figured he beat him there. Instead of waiting, he decided to take a look around.
The side door on the warehouse was slightly ajar. He pushed it open with his foot, scanned around the dimly lit inside of the structure and then walked in.
Just as he passed through the open door, it was slammed shut and he was struck near his kidneys with the electric shock from a stun gun.
His body shook violently from the blast. He lost his balance and fell to the ground, bouncing his head off the floor and passed out.
He awoke some time later but couldn’t move his arms or legs. That was probably due to he fact he was tied to a chair.
He shook his head to clear his vision and looked up. He winced from the pain in his head and had a baffled look on his face when across from him, sat the chief of police, smiling ear to ear, with a tazer in one hand and a confession awaiting a signature in the other.