Two weeks into the investigation, Carl sat in his office struggling with his cravings for a cigarette. Chewing nicotine gum just didn’t seem to have the same effect as stopping for a cigarette and taking a few moments to think. It was too easy to simply pop a piece of gum into his mouth and keep on doing whatever it was he was doing.
If it wasn’t for the visits to University Hospital to see Wally, Carl knew he’d probably give in to his cravings. It was thinking of Wally, coupled with the fact that Peter was always around acting like a guardian angel or watchdog, that helped him resist the temptation every time it surfaced.
He turned his attention back to his notes. This was one of the most baffling cases he had worked on. The killer had been sloppy enough to leave his DNA all over the girl, and hadn’t made much of an effort to hide the blood stained tee-shirt, but he had covered all of his other tracks. The most frustrating aspect of the case for Carl was, despite having enough of the killer’s DNA to clone him, the killer was still invisible to him.
Carl chewed his gum and stared at his notes, wondering how a killer could stalk a young couple with sufficient intensity to know where they’d be, so that he could ambush them, take out the boy and drag off the girl, without them, or anybody else for that matter, becoming aware of him. The other question that bothered him was the one that haunted all detectives: why?
He and Peter had scrutinised the hundreds of statements Uniform had taken, and the transcripts of the hundreds of calls received by the Crime Stoppers hotline, since the night Melissa Keating had been raped and murdered. They had nothing to go on. All of the leads they had followed had taken them nowhere.
Carl knew it often took months, if not years, to solve some crimes, and that in some cases, the ones they referred to as cold cases, it often required a technology breakthrough, like DNA profiling, to crack the mystery.
God, I’ve already got his DNA profile in the database, thought Carl, I hope I don’t have to wait for dumb luck to get this guy.
From experience, Carl knew that sexual predators usually attacked girls on their own. This killer certainly hadn’t done that. It occurred to him that it was almost as if the killer had set out to show Darren that he could take his girlfriend from him at anytime, and do whatever he wanted with her. Maybe Melissa wasn’t the target after all, he thought, and that prompted another question. What if the target was actually Darren?
Carl went to find Peter and found him staring at the monitor on his desk.
‘Pete, we might be looking in the wrong place.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Maybe the attack was meant as a message for Darren,’ said Carl.
‘Well, that would have been wasted, wouldn’t it?’
‘Not if the killer hadn’t intended to kill him.’
‘You think he only wanted to knock him out so he could take the girl?’
‘It’s a possibility,’ said Carl. ‘Do a full background check on Darren Jackson. Let’s see if he’s upset anybody.’
to be continued…