The sirens woke me up.
Not that I was asleep, really.
I knew wherever it was the patrol cars were headed was close. I turned on my portable Police Scanner. Yes, I knew it was none of my business but I never could help myself. Then I heard the code that made my skin crawl. It was a rape and assault of a minor. Female.
I didn’t bother fixing my hair. I threw my clothes on and grabbed my P.I. license off the night stand. The clock read 3:52 AM.
I bolted out of the motel room and followed the sirens and lights. They were only a couple of blocks away, so I ran to the scene. I didn’t give any thought to jurisdiction or what the local police might say or do. This felt personal.
There are reasons. (later)
I arrived on the scene and noticed several neighbors and lookie-loos hanging around near the freshly posted police tape. I grabbed my license and went looking for the nearest patrol officer.
“Who’s in charge?” I hollered at a fresh-faced night patrolman.
“Who’s asking?” Came a deep voice from behind me.
I whirled around and saw a rather handsome plain clothes detective walking briskly toward me. “I’ll ask again, who’s asking!?”
“Bobby Kwan. Here on assignment. Can I lend a hand?”
“On assignment? From? Newspaper, radio? . . .”
A little fib.
“We have it under control, Bobby. Why don’t you go back to bed.” He dismissed me.
“Wait. I can be of assistance. I specialized in sex crimes.”
I didn’t mean to blurt it out.
The detective practically rushed me. “Keep your voice down Agent!” He was firm. “These people don’t need the details of this crime flung around like that. You, of all people, can understand the need for sensitivity in these kinds of cases. Go back to your hotel. NOW!”
He stomped back into the house.
I refused to move. It was nearly dawn and light was beginning to creep up the street. I was cold but I would not show it. I had been waiting for a chance. If that detective jerk would answer just one simple question for me when he came out of the house, I just might be able to make my mark on the investigation. To hell with fish.
There was one fact I wanted to know. It would provide a key to how to proceed with the case.
As if on cue, Detective Nelson slowly emerged with his crime scene technicians. He saw me and paused.
“Why are you still here, Bobby?” His gaze was tired.
“Just one question and I’ll go. ”
“Ok, shoot.” He leaned on the mailbox post.
“Did he leave anything biological?”
There was a pause.
“No. So what?” He looked at his watch.
“He’s a local.” I said it with certainty.
“What makes you think so, Agent . . .?” He probed. He was curious.
“Kwan; P.I. A careless stranger wouldn’t care if he left a sample in the victim. A careful criminal, one who probably knows the victim somehow, would NOT leave anything so damning. Doncha think?”
He looked down for a moment. Then right at me. “P.I.? I thought you said FBI.”
“The director asked me to investigate a case here. So, I was already here.”
He must have been really in need of assistance. There is no way he should have let me get involved.
“Fine. Ok. Sure. I might, might, not have concluded the perp was local. . . right away.”
Another pause. Just a little bit longer. He didn’t want to do it.
“What do you want?”
I was in.
Next – The First Salmon