Searching For Jenna

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Chapter Ten

The crime scene investigators were wrapping up when Darlene and Darren got back to the Matthews’ house. Darlene was led inside by one of the female officers so she could get some clothes. The house would be off limits at least until the end of the day tomorrow. The crime scene techs would be back out to go over the yard and house in the daylight to make sure they didn’t miss anything.

Darren followed Darlene and the officer in the house and offered to help carry stuff out. Darlene loaded his arms with dresses and clothes from the closet. “Stick those in the backseat,” she said.

“Are you sure you don’t want to put these in the trunk so you can put your uniforms and things you’ll need right away in the backseat?” Darren asked.

“Good idea,” Darlene agreed. “The trunk button is on the lower part of the dashboard on the left-hand side.”

“Okay,” Darren said and walked outside with the clothes. He tried to be as nonchalant as he could. He opened the driver’s side door and pushed the trunk latch button. The trunk popped open. Darren slowly walked to the end of the car and looked in the compartment. It was empty. Damn. Shaking his head, he should have known Matthews would not have left the body here. He suspected that Darlene didn’t even know that her husband had taken her car from her parking spot, moved a body, and put it back. That caused Darren to pause. How did he do that?

Matthews was smart. He probably parked his truck close to the spot, moved the car and put his truck in her parking spot while he was gone with her car. He turned on the penlight he kept in his pocket and tried to search the trunk without dropping the clothes. It had been recently vacuumed. Damn.

That son of a bitch was smart, Darren would give him that. If this victim was strangled like the last two, there would be no blood evidence. Jenna said the body was in a coroner’s body bag, so there probably wasn’t any body fluids to be found. Although, the bag could have had a leak. He’d have to go back to his apartment to get his Alternative Light Source torch and go over this trunk. It would be tricky to do without making Darlene suspicious, but he needed to see if there was anything in here that could be used as evidence.

He didn’t have any choice but to put the clothes in the trunk. He was about to lay the clothes down when he saw one of the crime scene techs with whom he was pretty good friends. “Hey Bobby,” Darren called.

“Yeah,” the tall blond man said.

“Can you bring one of the Forensic Lights over here real quick?” Darren asked. “I don’t think Darlene was involved with Jenna disappearing, but just to be on the safe side, let’s run the lights over this trunk.”

“Good idea,” Bobby said and set down his gear. He opened his field case, pulled out the Luminal and ALS torch. He sprayed the Luminal liberally over the carpet in the trunk and turned on the torch.

“Nothing,” Bobby said after a thorough search.

“Thanks, man,” Darren said and pitched the clothes in the trunk and shut it just as Darlene was coming out of the house with another load.

“I think this is it for now,” she said. “I’ll have an officer escort me over here to get more stuff on another day. What I’ve got will get me through the next couple of weeks.”

“Good,” Darren said. “If you need anything, you have my number.” He stood outside the car door as Darlene settled behind the wheel. “Michael’s my friend, but he doesn’t treat you and Jenna right. You’re doing the right thing by leaving.”

“It’s been long overdue.” She sighed sadly and then in a tearful voice said, “I wish I would have done it sooner. Maybe Jenna wouldn’t have had to run away. I’ve got to go.” She closed the driver’s side door and started the car.

Darren stepped away and watched her leave. Turning, he went over to the CSI van and stopped Bobby before he climbed inside. “Did you guys go over anything besides the bedroom and back stairs?”

“We’ve been all over that house and garage,” Bobby said.

“Even the freezers?” Darren asked.

“Yep, she wasn’t in there, and there wasn’t any evidence saying anything had been in there. I thought he was a big hunter and fisherman. I expected to find deer steaks and large bass in there. It was weird that they were both empty and no fluids. You would think if he put any meat in there, fluids would have shown up, but they were as clean as if they were new,” Bobby said.

“That is weird,” Darren agreed. “Maybe he doesn’t really go hunting. Maybe he just hooks up with a bunch of buddies to play cards and drink for a week and doesn’t want Darlene to know what he’s doing.”

“Maybe,” Bobby said with a shrug. “Who knows what he does. He’s such an ass I can’t believe he has any friends besides you.”

“Aw, he’s not that bad,” Darren lied.

“Whatever,” Bobby said and waved as the van pulled away.

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