"So in order for one of us to enter into the evidence locker, we have to swipe our keycard, which shows in our database who goes in and out, as well as the time," Ryan said as he sat at his desk, looking at his computer screen. "According to the computer, it was Lanie who came in last night around the time of death."
"Lanie wasn't anywhere near our precinct last night," Esposito responded quickly in her defense. "She was with… Well, she wasn't here. We all know this is ridiculous."
Beckett answered, "Of course."
Castle continued, "It's obvious that someone had to have swiped her keycard sometime after she left work last night and used it so that they wouldn't be detected."
"Right, we should go talk to her to see if she might possibly know who could have taken it, in case she met up with someone after work, or maybe even just talked to someone here as she was leaving," Kate replied as she started to head toward autopsy, followed by Castle, then stopped. "Ryan and Espo, continue to run down any possible enemies that Tony might have had. See if any of them may have made any threats against him."
"Why would anyone hate Tony?" Esposito asked. "He was a loner. It's most likely that our killer killed him because he or she wanted to steal something tucked away in evidence."
Beckett shrugged, then responded, "That's also a good theory. Both of you work on seeing if anything was taken as well."
Esposito looked over at his partner as he glared at him and then answered, "I think I can handle it alone."
"He's never going to forgive me," Ryan said sadly and then walked away.
"I'm afraid if he's right, I'm eventually going to have to assign them both to other partners," Kate replied worryingly.
Down in autopsy…
As Beckett and Castle listened, Lanie spoke saying, "As far as I know, I was the last person to leave here last night and I never ran into anybody. After work, I went out to dinner with… actually, who I went out to dinner doesn't really matter, but I never met up with or came into contact with anyone who could do this. I don't know how your killer managed to get his hands on my keycard, but I did have it on me this morning when I came in to work. I'm not sure if I should be worried by that."
Kate shook her head as she responded, "I wouldn't worry. Our killer was either after Tony or something logged into evidence. Ryan and Esposito are looking into both theories right now. Thanks, Lanie."
After finishing their talk with Lanie, Castle followed Beckett to Captain Gates' office so that they could explain to her what little information they had so far on the case. She had warned them that had better update as soon as anything became relevant. The captain was irritable and so the meeting wasn't a pleasant one, as they expected. Afterward, they walked back into the main room and took a seat at Kate's desk.
"I really doubt that our killer specifically targeted Tony," Rick spoke up casually. "If he was the target, then surely our killer would have killed him while not at work. It would have been much easier. Why go through all this trouble?"
"I agree with you, but it's our job to go through every possible scenario until we find the right one," Kate answered. "I know that whoever did this, removed whatever he or she was searching for in evidence, which is why I was hoping that Espo and Ryan would work together, but…"
Castle finished for her, "It would make things easier."
It was then that Javier walked up to them as he asked, "What would make things easier?"
"Nothing," she replied quickly. "Did you already find something?"
"Yeah, actually I did," the former Marine responded as he pulled out something from his shirt pocket and placed it down on their team leader's desk in front of them. "The search wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I found this empty evidence bag inside a newly unsealed box, belonging to a pretty old case. It's the bullet we finally found after days of searching that killed Drew Benson in that robbery. It was the damning piece of evidence that allowed us to arrest his killer, Greg Davenport. Now that it's been taken, Davenport's lawyer will have no problem getting him out of prison on account of evidence tampering."
Castle spoke again as he said, "Greg Davenport isn't just a thief, but a psychopath, who belongs in prison for the rest of his life. We weren't able to prove it, but he's suspected of killing a number of people and now he's going to get off scot free? This is terrible. He'll only kill again."
Beckett crossed her arms as she thought for a moment and answered, "Then, we'll need to keep an eye on him somehow, even if it isn't strictly legal. You know, to try to make sure he can't harm anyone again."
"And what about our current killer?" Javier asked. "We now know why he broke into our evidence locker and killed Tony, but we don't yet know who he or she is."
"Then, before Davenport is set to be released, we'll have to go talk with him and his lawyer," Kate replied as she stood with along with Castle. "Maybe try to rattle his cages a little. He's too slick to admit anything, but maybe we'll get lucky and he or his lawyer will let something slip. Either Davenport hired someone to steal the evidence, or someone did it for him in order to help set him free. Either way, he'll know something. Javi go find Ryan and explain to him what we've discovered, then talk with Gates. Castle and I will head to the prison as soon as we make the proper calls to Davenport's lawyer and the prison warden to let him know we'll be coming. Good work, Espo. At least now we've got a starting point."