Chapter 38 || The Law Of Concealment...
No time was left when all of us stormed out of the house, approaching our cars. I decided to drive with Alex and his father together with Jana and Noah, Sofía and Gracie hopped into Noah’s car. It took a while for us to get to the hospital because of the roadwork. The hospital was on the edge of town and a little hidden.
The car came to a halt in front of a red traffic light when David’s phone started ringing. “Alex could you please pick up the phone and put it on loudspeaker.”
His son did as he was told. “Hello Detective. We have an armed robbery. The victim is Malia Sheffield, the wife of the rich entrepreneur James Sheffield. She was robbed on the street in front of her house and the criminal shot her accidentally when he was trying flee with her purse. It is assumed that the man waited in front of her house to catch her.”
My gaze went to Jana who was already looking at me, her eyebrows raised. Obviously, someone tried to make an effort to make it look like it was ‘plain’ robbery. I still don’t understand why...
“Okay, thank you, Mike. I’m already on my way to the hospital. I will call if I have some information.“, he answered and Alex ended the call.
“I don’t get it. Okay, she could be responsible for the robbery but why would someone kill her because of that ? It would make more sense to blackmail her and not shoot her.“, I said confusedly.
“It could be personal.“, David intervened. “When the museum in San Francisco was being robbed, a woman had lost her life. She worked in the museum and must have seen her. It’s just speculation, the only thing we truly know is that she was accidentally pushed over the banisters. There has been no signs of a fight so it has probably been a reflex action.”
“Yeah, I read about that.“, I called. “The woman’s name was Marie Leopold. Her brother Julian made a public statement that he won’t stop until he found the murderer of his sister. Do you think he is the one who tried to kill Malia ?”
“Could be.“, was all he remarked when he turned into the parking lot of the hospital. “But I’m not convinced. I’ve met Julian and let’s say that he is not the brightest star on the sky. He would not be able to plan something like that.”
He parked the car near the entrance and we rushed past the reception after one of the nurses told us that she just had been moved into a normal room from the intensive care unit.
It took Alex’ father a lot of time until he was able to speak to a doctor. He told him that Malia was still unconscious and therefore not able to answer any questions.
All of us had taken a seat in front of her room, waiting for further instructions and discussing what we should do next.
“This is a disaster. How are we supposed to find out what happened without a trace.“, I whined, putting my head on Alex’ shoulder. A hint of surprise crept on his face but he didn’t say or do anything against it.
“What about her phone calls or messages ?“, Noah asked, looking at David. “They’re being checked at the moment. The only thing we can do is wait for her to wake up or for my team to find something out that could actually help us.”
“What about Rafael Moreno ? What if he is the thief after all ?“, Sofía joined the conversation, when Gracie started giggling.
“Why are you laughing, Gracie ?”
“Because of Rafael. He is one of the Turtles.“, she replied, still grinning.
“What turtles ?“, David looked at her questioningly.
Gracie rolled her eyes at him and shook her head. “The Ninja Turtles, duh.”
“Oh my God, of course.“, I yelled after I realized what Gracie just said. “The Ninja Turtles, that’s it. Gracie you are an angel.”
“Are you high ?“, everyone looked at me like they wanted me to send me to the Betty Ford clinic.
“You know, the incident I told you about. When I heard Elyas Selouti and one of his friends or whatever talking ? They mentioning guys who had the exact same names as the Ninja Turtles and I thought: Wow, funny. What a coincidence. I don’t know if anyone of you knows but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were named after the most famous artists of the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael, Michelangelo and Donatello, the latter being the only one who wasn’t a painter, only a sculptor.“, I paused for a moment looking at their bewildered faces.
“What if he wasn’t talking about actual people, but paintings since only paintings from the Renaissance have been stolen, most of them being painted by those artists. What if Selouti was the fence who sold the paintings that Malia stole from the museums.”
Alex tried says something but was interrupted by a phone call his father received. After a few minutes he had ended the call and turned to us again. “That was my partner Mike.”
“They questioned everyone about the crime, including Elyas Selouti since they both are a part of the America’s Future Program. They have just questioned him and he said that he doesn’t have a clue who could have attacked her because he only knows her since she started working in the America’s Future Committee.”
“Wow, okay, I guess we’re back at the beginning.“, Sofía sighed and sunk down in her seat.
“No, we’re not.“, a huge smirk started to spread on my face. “In contrary.”
“What do you mean ?”
“I’m talking about the fact that he lied. Malia told me that she worked for him as a paralegal long time before I was born. Why would he lie to the police if not to cover up a crime.“, I explained.
“That’s not all.“, David interfered. “Mike said that he was actually on his way to the LAX because he had to fly to a business meeting to France because of a cooperation with his private jet. If what you say is true, Jessica, then he was alarmed and tries to smuggle the paintings out of the U.S. The circumstantial evidence is enough to take him into temporary custody.”
“Okay, then what are we waiting for ? Let’s go.”