Two uniformed police officers waved him through the blocked off entrance of the gated neighborhood. There was enough flashing blue lights to induce a seizure in anyone. A third police officer indicated a place for him to park and he did so.
The gray sky threatened rain in the near future. He considered it an omen; the sun never shone on the days he was called in to work.
A couple stood, holding each other, in the doorway of the house opposite the one swarmed by members of law enforcement. Curtains could be seen moving in other nearby homes. A single police car was a rare sight in Alpine Circle. This scene was sure to cause a stir.
“Peirson,” a haggard officer called out as the detective approached the house. The man quickly excused himself from the group of rubber-neckers conveniently walking their pure bred pooch.
“First on the scene?” the detective asked, assuming by the officer’s look of relief to be talking to someone of relevance.
“That’s right, sir,” his deep voice was filled with as much fatigue as his eyes. His fingers fiddled with a small notebook. “Shift was damn near over. Didn’t think it would be something like this. Figured it’d be some trophy wife in a spat with her scum of a husband. You know, the usual in this kinda neighborhood. Damn alive, though.” He met the gaze of the detective. “Sorry, sir.”
The detective resisted a smile. “Tell me what happened, Jackson, and I’ll take over for you.”
“Yes, sir.” He opened the notebook but didn’t look at it. “The house belongs to John and Carol Carmine.Their two year old son, Jack, is cared for by a live-in nanny.” Jackson flipped through several pages of his notebook and scratched at the stubble on his chin. “She–the nanny, I mean–Irma Patterson, is the victim.”
The detective counted the cars in the driveway. “Who else was in the house at the time? I figure at least two more?”
“That’s right, sir,” Jackson nodded. “Three others, actually. The Carmine’s have a hired cook and there was a couple visiting for dinner.”
“Must be nice,” the detective’s stomach grumbled. He heaved a sigh and walked towards the house. Jackson followed a step behind him. They stopped before the caution tape draped across the threshold.
The door stood open. The very expensive and elaborately decorated entrance hall was visible beyond.
“Straight through the entrance hall, second door on the left,” Jackson answered the unasked question.
They walked in silence to the kitchen. Shutter clicks could be heard before the detective saw the flashes. Two women were taking pictures of the young woman’s body and the entirety of the scene. Blood spatter was here and there throughout the kitchen. Peirson chuckled as he observed prepared plates that were never served. “Herring, of course.”
Based on the patterns, the detective assumed the young woman had been stabbed near the center of the kitchen and struggled to escape her assailant before succumbing to her injuries.
“Anyone talking yet?” the detective asked.
“No, sir. Their rights have been read to each of them. They’re gathered in a sitting room with several officers. We tried to keep them separated as much as possible, sir.”
“I’m sure they have had plenty of time to sort out their alibis by now, nonetheless. Who made the call?”
“The cook, sir.” Jackson scratched at his neck again. “He found the body and supposedly made the call before alerting the owners.”
“Interesting. I suppose I’ll start with him.”
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