When I got to the hatchery I had trouble finding the tribal sheriff.
His patrol car was there. It was empty and parked in a dark spot rather than under a light post. The pens seemed fine. They were full of fish. Each pen held a different stage of life for the salmon, the largest of which were only a few months old.
I wondered why someone would choose to poison captive salmon rather than some other distraction. If this was indeed a distraction.
(I was pretty convinced that it was)
Either that or the deaths of the salmon were simply a separate and unrelated crime.
“Not likely.” I said to no one.
“WHAT!?” Ransom appeared out of nowhere.
“OH SHHhhh. . . ! You scared the hell out of me. Where were you?”
My heart nearly stopped.
“Whoa. Sorry Agent. Didn’t mean to spook you.”
Ransom approached from behind a nearby power shed.
I watched him carefully. At this point in any investigation, anyone could be the rapist/God wannabe.
“You said something about evidence?”
I sounded completely calm.
“Yes. You sounded urgent.”
“Oh right. Yeah. Sorry. I thought I found something but it was just an old tennis shoe. Wrong size for the prints we found.”
“And you forgot to tell me not to come?”
“Oh, I wanted you to come anyway. That’s why I didn’t call back.”
“Don’t worry; it’s important you see something.” Laughed Ransom.
“What? What should I see?” I casually let my hand go to my sidearm.
“It’s over there.” He nodded to an area behind me.
“Ok. You lead the way Sheriff.”
Next – A Suspect Emerges.