Friday, September 12, 2014
Cloudy Afternoon (2nd post for Blogophilia 28.7)
Clouds were beginning to gather as he pulled the Crown Vic into the complex entrance. The crime scene was immediately visible. Dodging an elderly lady walking with a large laundry basket, he made his way toward the yellow taped area. At first all he could see was the car, an older Buick sedan with a large amount of dust on the windshield. It had been there for days. He pulled in behind one of the patrol cars and got out into the humid air
A uniform guarded at the entrance point. He was a very obnoxious rookie he had dealt with before. But this time, the idiot recognized him and passed him through. Murray spent a moment taking it all in. He noticed Sgt Arturo Diaz by the car, making notes.
Afternoon, Diaz.” Murray offered his hand.
“Hey, Lieutenant.” Shaking the hand vigorously. “Long time no see. Like maybe yesterday?”
They both had a laugh at that. Murder every day and it was like a play, with the two of them playing the same roles. The difference last night was the cold, hard rain falling, making a mess of the evidence. This one counted as matinee in comparison.
“So, what do we have so far?”
The portly sergeant glanced at his notepad.
“The first call came in to 911 about 6:30A.M. Our caller, a Mr. Ngyuen, Is in my patrol car over there.” Diaz pointed across the parking lot to a rather battered patrol vehicle with a small Asian man inside.
“Mr. Ngyuen had come home rather late from work and was coming down the hill from the street, when he noticed a lump next to the car there. As he got closer, he noticed the blood and decided to do the right thing. Cerullo and Martin over there were the first responders. They took a look and started securing the scene.” Diaz turned a page.
“I came on scene at 7:45. I’ve done a quick glance around. Our Complainant is probably Latin, about 20. He was found dressed in a green wife beater and blue shorts, probably colorblind. There is a visible tattoo saying “Bella Paloma” on his left arm and a rose is visible on his right wrist...
Murray stopped him.
“Bella Paloma? Isn’t that the name of the hooker we pulled out of here about a month ago?”
“Yeah, I noted that in my report, not sure if it will mean anything. We haven’t moved him or checked an for I.D., yet. Waiting for the M.E. folks to get here and do their thing first.”
Just as those words came out, vans for Crime Scene and the Medical Examiner’s office drove down the hill. The men turned and nodded acknowledgement. Each of the crews exited and came within the secured circle. Diaz continued.
“There is also a tear drop on his right cheek. There is a visible defect on his head just above the left ear, probably a gunshot wound. If he has more, they will probably be underneath the body. Not much else.”
Murray nodded. “Thanks.” And he turned his attention toward the crime scene.
The body had been shielded from public view by the car. The usual crowd of curious onlookers stood across the parking lot, trying not to look too interested. Canvassing was probably not going to be fruitful. But he knew he had to do it anyway. Beyond them, he noticed a beige Toyota with a skinny, unkempt white male inside. He looked familiar, but he couldn’t place where he’d seen him before. Before he could react, the car started and left. Murray shrugged and turned to the body.
The victim looked pretty typical, young, dumb and now dead. Murray wondered if he was a solo coyote or did he have family. There was nothing in his hands and it looked like his pockets had been turned inside out. One of the M.E. techs took pictures as another one placed various measuring scales around the head wound.
After about fifteen minutes, the camera equipment was put away and the lead Medical Investigator came up. She was a short, stocky woman with spiky blonde hair. Murray could never remember her name.
“So, Lieutenant, are you ready?” The investigator asked.
“Yeah. Got to see it sooner or later.”
The investigator slipped his hands underneath the victim’s hips and shoulder and slowly lifted. As the body rose, the assistant began to call out the location of the holes. Right temple, entry with no exit… Right shoulder, entry in back, exit in the front… Right hip, entry only… When they were finished, there were a total of seven holes, made by four bullets. A lone 9mm casing was found under his left leg. A Crime Scene tech took pictures and bagged it for the files.
The clothing was then searched. No wallet was found, but a receipt for a taquito and soda from a local convenience store was in his left front pocket. It was time stamped at 11:00PM the previous night. More pictures were taken and again the item was carefully bagged and labeled. It would be something to follow up on. Maybe he was with somebody and that somebody had something to say. Jackson can follow that up.
Crime scene was moving efficiently through the circle routine, slowly radiating out from the car. In forty minutes, every possible piece of litter within fifty feet of the body had been cataloged and filed. Murray knew a lot of it would be useless, but each candy wrapper and used needle carried a story with it. Taking facts and adding them to facts to make a truth thereof. Huh, sounds like some philosopher he read once.
Looking up, he saw Jackson coming across the tape. It was time to make a plan.
It's been a fun week writing one and recycling one.
Pic Guesses: The future. Two against the world, Young Live, This city is ours.