The owner of one of the vans, fifty-six year old Henry Watson, had been interviewed by Constable Charlie Head. According to his statement, he lived alone and was asleep at the time Karen should have been walking past the building on her way home.
‘Pete, want to check and see if we know this Henry Watson?’
Peter keyed Henry Watson’s details into the database search engine, then sat back and waited while it trolled through the million or so individual records that made up the database.
‘Our Henry has a string of convictions for shoplifting.’ Peter read the details. ‘Get this, Inspector, he’s only ever been done for shoplifting lingerie, women’s underwear.’
‘Is his profile in the DNA database?’
‘I’d wouldn’t think so, shoplifting isn’t something we would have run DNA on.’
‘Run a check, just in case.’
Peter switched databases and ran a query on Henry Watson.
‘Get your gear, Mr James. Let’s go pay our friend a visit and collect a sample, just in case he’s decided to pursue other ways of nicking women’s underwear.’
‘When’s the post-mortem? Isn’t that about now?’ said Peter.
‘Shit! I’ve forgotten all about it. We’d better get down there, but bring your kit, we’ll go visit Henry after we’ve finished with Mike.’
Mike Jonas was waiting when they rushed into his office.
‘Wish all my visitors had as much energy as you two,’ said Mike.
‘Sorry, Mike. Lost track of time,’ said Carl.
‘Well, now that you’re here, shall we begin?’
Carl and Peter pulled on the obligatory gowns and gloves, and followed Mike into where Karen’s body waited for them on a stainless steel bench.
‘I’ve sent the semen sample for testing, Carl, but there’s something here I want to show you. Give me a hand will you, Mark?’
They waited while Mike and his assistant lifted the body and turned it, so that it was face down on the bench.
‘See these abrasions near her shoulder blades and on her buttocks?’
‘I’m not so sure this girl was raped on the soft sands of Morton, Carl. Hand me the magnifying glass, will you, Mark?’
Mike Jonas examined the abrasions on the buttocks of the body through the magnifying glass, and picked several fragments of material from one of them with his forceps.
‘I’ll need to get these analysed, Carl, but these fibres look like they’re from the sort of carpet used in cars.’
Mike examined the abrasions further up her back and extracted several more fibres. ‘These look the same. I’d say you’re looking for a vehicle with black carpeting, Carl.’
‘That cuts it down to a few million, Mike.’
‘Once we have a proper analysis, we might be able to narrow it down a bit more, if you’re lucky,’ said Mike.
‘What about that evening dress? Would it have left fibres behind on that sort of carpet?’ asked Peter.
‘This boy is catching on, Carl. You’d better not let the chief inspector find out or you’ll lose him,’ said Mike. ‘Yes, Detective, I’d say it would and if you get a chance to look for them, look for pubic hair matching this lot.’
to be continued…