Four days after Wally’s death, Mike Jonas called Carl with the DNA results for Henry Watson.
‘We’ve got a partial match between the profiles of the rapist and Henry Watson, Carl. Your rapist is Watson’s son.’
Carl called Chief Inspector Rankin, who authorised a media appeal to seek public support in the search for the illusive Barry Watson, who hadn’t been seen since the weekend Karen Newhouse had been murdered.
‘I’m starting to wonder whether this guy is still alive, Chief,’ said Carl.
‘Pull his father in for questioning again, Carl. He must know where the lad is. Charge him with obstruction if you have to.’
Carl arranged for Uniform to pick up Henry Watson and bring him in for questioning, knowing full well that he’d wouldn’t be available to interview him until after Wally Baker’s funeral service.
Police business was put on hold for a couple of hours, while Carl and Peter joined the mourners gathered at the crematorium for Wally’s funeral service.
‘I thought Wally wanted to be buried in that cemetery up in the hills,’ said Peter, as they watched the casket disappear into the opening in the floor of the chapel.
‘Apparently Debra hasn’t forgiven him for smoking himself into an early grave, so he isn’t getting one,’ said Carl. ‘At least, that’s what Sally told me.’
The service was followed by a subdued afternoon tea that Carl was happy to escape from, after an hour of polite conversation with members of Wally’s extended family.
Henry Watson was waiting when they arrived back at Police Headquarters.
‘You can’t keep me here all day, you know,’ said Henry, when they joined him in the interview room. ‘I haven’t done anything.’
‘Thanks for coming in, Mr Watson. Sorry about the wait, but I need your help. Did they get you to bring in a photograph of Barry?’ said Carl.
Henry’s shoulders relaxed as he settled back into his chair.
‘I gave it to that lady constable that bought me here. It was taken a couple of years ago.’
‘Good. Have you heard from Barry since we last spoke?’ said Carl.
‘No, but that’s not unusual, especially when he goes on holidays,’ said Henry.
‘Does he go camping anywhere besides down the coast?’ said Carl.
‘Not that he’s mentioned. Can’t this wait until he gets back?’
‘What about his mother? Does he visit her?’ said Carl.
‘You’ve got to be joking, Inspector. His mother pissed off when he was a little tacker. I had to bring him up on my own.’
‘That must have been a challenge, given your history, Mr Watson. Who looked after him when you were inside?’
‘Is she still alive?’
‘She died last year. She was the one that got Barry the job at the old folks home. That’s where she was living.’
‘Any chance he might have tracked down his mother?’
‘He never talks about it if he has. Come on, Inspector, why do you want to know where he is? What’s he done? Why did you want that bloody photograph?’
‘Remember that DNA sample you gave us, Mr Watson?’
‘Gave’s a bit rich, isn’t it?’ Henry glared at Peter. ‘Don’t you mean the one he took?’
Peter smiled. Henry grinned back at him.
‘It was a partial match with the profile of the rapist that killed Melissa Keating and Karen Newhouse,’ said Carl.
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’
‘It means Barry is the rapist, unless you have another son.’
‘You’re pulling my leg, aren’t you?’
Henry looked from Carl to Peter and back again.
‘I’m sorry Henry, it’s not a joke. We need to find him, fast,’ said Carl.
For a moment, Carl thought Henry Watson had stopped breathing, until he heard him suck in a deep breath.
Carl waited for Henry to recover from the initial shock of the news.
Henry took several breaths and slowly shook his head from side to side.
‘Barry’s got a younger brother, Jeffrey. My wife took him with her when she left me. I haven’t seen him since.’
‘What’s your wife’s name?’
‘Sarah. Sarah Anne Pike.’
‘Do you have any idea where she is?’
‘I haven’t heard from her since she cleared out.’
‘And how old would Jeffrey be now?’
Henry tapped his fingers on the table. ‘Twenty-four.’
‘Did he look anything like Barry?’
‘He did the last time I saw him, but that was twenty years ago.’
to be continued…