Wednesday 3 October 2012
It was Officer Ricketsen who broke the news to Missy.
‘Do you think it was him? The guy who’s stalking me?’ she asked.
‘Well,’ Andy replied, ‘if it wasn’t, then it was a freakin’ huge coincidence because Detective Hunt said that the file Russ had with him, the one that had all of the details you told me and the photos, it was gone. And Hunt is positive that Russ had it with him when he left here last night.’
‘Yeah, he did,’ William Fairmont chimed in, ‘I saw him take it out to the car. It was on the front seat when he left.’
‘The detectives are obviously investigating the scene, but I think it’s safe to say that your mystery man has escalated his behaviour,’ Ricketsen said. He rubbed his head as he had done when Missy first met him. She figured that it was a nervous habit, and she understood why he might be feeling that way.
‘That could have been you, Officer Ricketsen, if you hadn’t thought to hand it over to the detective squad,’ she said. Ricketsen nodded. It wasn’t a pleasant thought at all, to be considering that were it not for his realisation that he needed more help and resources on the case, that accident would have been his.
‘So, what happens now?’ William asked what Missy was thinking.
‘Detective Lennard is still here. She’ll want you to go over everything that you told me. I know that we’ve gone through this a lot, but with the file and photographs missing, we’re back to square one. And I believe that she’s contacted the station, and there should be a couple of detectives making their way over in about an hour or so.’
‘Who found him?’ Missy asked.
Ricketsen sighed. He’d passed the scene on the way and it was a mess of twisted metal.
‘Couple of hitchhikers came across the accident and called nine-one-one. Apparently they tried to resuscitate Seaborn, but he’d been gone for a while according to what the medical examiner told Hunt.’
‘Did he have a family?’
‘Ah, yes ma’am, he did. Wife and two kids left behind,’ Ricketsen replied quietly. Missy lowered her head. It was because of her that the children would grow up without their father, that a wife would become a widow. William knew his wife well enough to understand that she would carry the burden of Seaborn’s death, and his family’s loss, until the day she died.
‘Officer Ricketsen, is there someone I can talk to about contributing to Detective Seaborn’s funeral, and perhaps doing something for his wife and children?’
Ricketsen pondered William’s question. He didn’t really know the answer.
‘I guess I could get the boss to contact you . . . or if you wanted to drop by the station house, I’m sure he’d be happy to discuss that with you. I don’t really know, but I can’t imagine that anyone would complain about you helping out.’
Detective Lennard had been waiting for a lull in the conversation before making her entrance. She had used the time to analyse both Missy and her husband, their reactions to the news of Seaborn’s death, and to being told that Missy needed to recount the events all over again. She looked carefully at how the Fairmonts were interacting with Officer Ricketsen, and something was beginning to disturb her about the whole case. She announced her presence by loudly clearing her throat.
‘Mrs. Fairmont, might I have a word to you . . . in private?’ Lennard focussed on William Fairmont as she spoke.
‘Sure, Detective Lennard.’ Missy whispered something to her husband and walked over to the detective. When the women had left his sight, William began his own investigation.
‘That detective, what’s she like, Ricketsen? Is she good? Capable? Intelligent?’
Ricketsen was taken aback by the fierceness of William’s questioning, but put it down to the man feeling pressured and stressed by the fact that his wife was the target of a clearly deranged stalker.
‘One of the best in my precinct, sir. Got a couple of degrees in Psychology and Criminology. Came first in her class at the Academy, and was fast tracked to detective status after only a few months as a beat cop. If anyone can close this case now, it’ll be Lennard.’ He hoped he’d given Fairmont a glowing enough report of the woman.
‘Then why,’ Fairmont asked, ‘did you go to Seaborn as your first choice of detective for this case?’
‘Russ is – was – a buddy of mine. We grew up in the same neighbourhood. It was a friend thing. Well, that and the fact that he was the best detective in the precinct.’
William Fairmont smiled in a way that made Andy Ricketsen’s hackles rise.
‘Good. Good. Excellent to hear, Officer Ricketsen,’ Fairmont said, and then headed upstairs leaving Ricketsen alone in the hallway.
. . . To be continued . . .