Crimes of the Fay, Chapter 26

I told Chief Mazarine, “We just got to the station. If you give us the coordinates for the crime scene, we can head there right away.”

As Sandra started the car back up and prepared to take off, Chief Mazarine informed us, “Actually, you can just walk there. We had a triple homicide in front of the station!” Sandra and I gazed at each other in disbelief. I truly believed that he got that wrong because everything seemed so normal on the way here, but after a while though, we noticed red and blue lights flashing by the main road, and we slowly began hearing the voices of police officers trying to keep a gathering crowd under control. As soon as reality clicked for us, Sandra shut off her vehicle and we ran to investigate.

The moment I saw three bodies laying on the sidewalk in front of our station, my gut wrenched into a tight little knot! No one likes to see police tape around their workplace, but knowing that three people’s life came to an end right by the entrance was completely disconcerting! It felt especially baffling that a building full of detectives hadn’t seen a thing, and I’m sure most of them were now wrapt in guilt since they couldn’t do anything about that now! Some of them may not have risen to that level of empathy since all three victims were Fay Folks! One lime green male and one bright orange man laid on one side of the staircase while a purple female rested on the side closest to us. I could see the forensic team arriving, which made me wonder, “How did Chief Mazarine know it was our killer if forensics hasn’t analyzed it yet?”

“That’s why!” With horror, Sandra pointed above our station’s front door. I gasped when I saw a message that read: “Stop protecting sinners!” The killer hadn’t made an actual sign this time, he had written directly on the sandy-colored bricks using the blood that oozed out of all three victims! As Sandra went to meet the forensics team, she nervously joked, “At least he used blood this time!”

“Yeah, I guess that’s…” I didn’t finish my sentence, and I froze in my tracks. Something caught my eye about the female victim, and I had to take a closer look to confirm it. As I knelt beside her, I knew I recognized her- it was Jasmine! My heart writhed just knowing that Aidan had a connection to another grisly murder, and this poor woman obviously trusted him! Seeing her hunched on her side with her hands clutching her chest just pained me! Everything about her appearance suggested she died in agony, and I bitterly hoped that Aidan had nothing to do with this monstrous act!

I took one last piteous glance at her before I got up to rejoin Sandra, or at least that’s what I intended to do. All of a sudden, I felt something grab on to my jacket! I turned around to see Jasmine clutching my clothes, and she gave a slow, raspy breath! I urgently, “Call rescue! Call rescue!”

Everyone rushed over to witness this for themselves, and as I turned her over, Sandra paged for medics to come. I put my hands on the burst artery, and while the bleeding stopped, I still worried about how much blood she already lost. As I kept pressure on the wound on her arm, I noticed she kept her other arm on her chest. She appeared to be holding something that had shattered, and I couldn’t imagine why she had held on to something with such jagged edges at a time like this! I chose to put that worry to the side and shifted my focus on renewing her fighting spirit. “Hang in there! We’re gonna get you to the hospital, and once we close the wound and get you a transfusion, you’ll-.”

“I… tried…” she barely croaked out.

“Don’t talk!” I advised. “Focus on breathing.”

She ignored my guidance and seemed determined to tell me something. “He… wanted… this! I… saved… it… for… you…”

Very shakily, she tried handing me the object she had been holding onto so tightly- a cellphone! I couldn’t lift my hands to take it or else her artery would gush again, but luckily Sandra had seen this and used her wand to float it to the forensic investigators for examination. I assured Jasmine, “You did good! Now try to keep breathing!”

“Hiking… garbage… can…” She gave a faint exhale as the other two bodies were suddenly suspended in the air and surrounded by light. We all watched as the two Fays’ bodies plummeted down towards the Earth before they disappeared! “So… smelly…” Jasmine weakly said.

“Try to relax!” I suggested as I heard the sirens of the ambulance blaring towards this direction. “Help will get her e soon! Hang on!”

Barely audible, she whispered, “I tried!”

She grew more and more limp, and I urged her to stay with me, but as the paramedics arrived, I knew she had died! I didn’t want it to be true, but when the light surrounded her, I knew she had definitely passed! I stepped back as her body hovered for a few seconds, but instead of falling as the men had, she flew upwards before she disappeared! “At least she went to Heaven!” I sniffed.

The forensics team used their wands to collect the blood that had gotten onto my skin and clothes, and while they did this, Sandra asked me, “What did she say to you?”

“She tried,” I echoed her words. “She kept saying that. I guess she fought her attacker.” I sniffled a little, and then I added, “She also mentioned hiking, a garbage can, and something smelly. I’m guessing that’s where she found the cellphone.”

“Of course!” A light bulb went off in Sandra’s head as she made the connection. “The bathroom where we found Giada’s body had a really foul smell, and her cellphone went missing, so obviously the killer disposed of it along the nearby trail.”

I agreed with her, “That makes sense! And she sold random items for a living, so naturally, if she saw something like that in the trash, she’d grab it.” My insides suddenly felt very hollow. If Aidan had been the killer, and he knew that Jasmine had found this piece of evidence, he would have a motive to commit this heinous action!

Sandra clearly figured out what I was thinking, so she proposed, “Before we talk to her employer, let’s take a look at the security cam footage and see who this guy really is!”

As I vacantly stared at the cellphone that may or may not have belonged to one of our victims, I mumbled, “Yeah, let’s go find out who…” Once again, I couldn’t finish my sentence. As much as I maintained that Aidan did it, a part of me thought that something would come along to prove me wrong. Thinking that Aidan may have actually committed this crime broke me! As we headed into the station, a lump rose up in my throat. I despised this crime, but I loved spending time with Aidan! He brought a little fun in my life when I needed it most, and I got a lot of comfort from gaining a new ally. I needed to solve this case, but I didn’t want to lose what I had with Aidan!

As we stood in the audio lab waiting for the footage to get to the part of the feed where our murder took place, my heart pounded wildly, and I wildly prayed that Aidan’s identity wouldn’t be recognizable! Not that I wanted him to continue to get away with it, but I just really didn’t want to arrest someone I felt so attracted to! I considered briefly that Aidan had nothing to do with any of these deaths, and I truly didn’t want to get proven right for once, but my fears about this couldn’t get shaken! We slowed down the video as it came to the correct point, and I held my breath as we watched…

Jasmine tried to enter the station, but she got accosted by the two male victims. They tried to intimidate her into not going inside, and after exchanging a few heated words, she managed to shake them off. All of a sudden, a medium-sized man with a hoodie covering his face came into the camera’s range! The three Fays looked frightened as the man took out his wand and aimed it at the recorder. The screen turned into snow, and the forensic analyst in the room relayed to us, “He broke our equipment, so that’s all we have unfortunately.”

“Can you go back to where we saw the suspect?” Sandra requested. The forensic analyst complied, and then Sandra directed, “Freeze it right there.” We studied the hooded figure’s visage, and Sandra concluded, “This matches the description we got from Giada.” In a low voice, she expressed to me, “Don’t worry, it can’t be Aidan! He’s a little shorter and thinner than that man.”

“That could be anyone!” I knew she meant to comfort me, and while I did feel some reassurance that I didn’t readily recognize him on this tape, I still didn’t feel totally convinced of his innocence. Oh sure, it relieved me that I didn’t have to arrest him right now, but I didn’t see anything that made me think that I never would! “I’ve seen cases where people tweaked minor things about their appearance to try to throw us off their trail. One time, I caught a woman wearing a pregnancy belly to steal beer, and it took us a while to catch her ’cause she’d always take off her disguise when we left the area. It could be the same with… this guy.”

Sandra questioned, “Are you saying that you think our suspect is wearing a fat suit to keep us from identifying him?”

She sounded really skeptical, but I believed my theory had merit. “I dunno, maybe. All I’m saying is we can’t rule anybody out based on this footage. We need more solid evidence!”

“I’ll analyze the video to see if your suspect shows signs of altering his image in any way,” the forensic analyst volunteered.

“Thank you!” Sandra replied to him. “If you could decipher any of the victims’ conversation too, I’d appreciate it.”

The forensic analyst responded, “I’ll see what I could do.”

Sandra turned back to me and queried, “Should we go see if they were able to do anything with that cellphone?”

“Maybe…” I considered this notion. “We can also call Giada in to see if she can identify it with what’s left of it. Or maybe we should search the trail to see which trash can Jasmine found the phone in so we can retrace-.”

“You’re not doing any of that right now.” Chief Mazarine abruptly showed up by us. “Aidan Maddox is in one of the interrogation rooms. He says he has something to tell you…”

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