Carl and Peter retraced their steps along the beach and made their way to the Morton Sands Surf Life Saving clubhouse, where the last of the beach party goers were still being interviewed by Uniform.
As he entered the brightly lit clubhouse, Carl glanced at his watch. It was almost one o’clock, Saturday morning.
Sergeant Kevin Ryan, the officer in charge of the first responders, relieved to see an Inspector from Major Crime, approached Carl as soon as he and Peter entered the clubhouse.
‘Evening, Kev. What can you tell me?’
‘Not much that will help you, I’m afraid, Inspector. Regular Friday night fundraiser. Mostly regulars. Nearly all locals. No-one saw anyone behaving suspiciously.’
‘Did anyone see Melissa and her boyfriend leave?’
‘The boy’s brother. Said they left around nine forty-five. Apparently the lad had to be at work at six in the morning.’
That meant less than four hours had passed since Melissa Keating, and her boyfriend, had left the clubhouse to walk home along the beach and up the path through the dunes. Carl wondered how many times they had done that over the summer, and what had gone wrong this time.
‘Who found the lad that was bashed?’
‘His brother, on his way home. Said he left here at ten for the same reason. The boys work for their father.’
‘Do we have an address for the girl’s parents?’
‘Sheriff Street; number seven. Community liaison is with them.’
‘What about the brother? Where can I find him?’
‘He’s with his parents at the hospital. I gather the lad is not expected to make it, Inspector.’
‘Not another of those fatal single punches?’
‘I don’t think so, Inspector. Charlie reckoned the boy’s skull had been smashed in. Said he was covered in blood.’
Carl turned to Peter. ‘Your car is closest.’
‘This doesn’t sound like your normal run-of-the-mill rapist, does it?’ said Peter, as they walked towards where they had parked their cars.
‘What’s a normal rapist, Pete? They’re all sick bastards as far as I’m concerned. No young girl deserves to be killed simply because some dickhead wants to fuck her.’
‘I’ve never wanted to kill any girl I’ve fucked,’ said Peter, pressing the remote to open the car.
‘Not every girl wants to be fucked, Pete. I guess you’ve been lucky, so far.’
They climbed into the car and shut the doors.
‘I hear your luck has run out again.’
‘When it comes to women, Pete, I think my luck might have run out years ago.’
It took them less than two minutes to drive to Sheriff Street. The police car parked in front of the house made it easy to find number seven.
to be continued…