Chapter 14: Guilty
Warner Beverly and Patrick Stoddard were dead.
That’s why they had been crossed off the list.
So now Roderick and Ian were standing in front of the door of Deputy Jonah Ledford, who Ian had very briefly met at the arrest of Dolly and Vera.
The brothers didn’t know if the two women were really the ones who had killed the little girls, but they decided that the best option would be to keep investigating and see what happens.
And after the whole thing with the cultists, they had decided that it was probably best if they didn’t go off investigating alone, which Jordyn was very put out by at first, but then insisted on having Joey, since she seemed more competent than any “private investigator”. (That last part really made Ian irritated.)
Finally, the door opened, and there stood the Deputy, a man in his early sixties who lived alone in a house behind the police station. The mustached man gave them a smile.
“Oh hello boys. Mayor said ya might be comin’ to ask me some questions.”
The two brothers nodded and followed the man inside.
“Now I don’t know much about the ghost girls themselves, but I know just about everybody in town.” the man told them as he sat down at his kitchen table.
“Great-then do you think you could tell us what you know about some of the suspects the previous investigators wrote down?” Roderick asked, bringing out a folder.
Ian and Roderick looked down the handwritten list.
“So we just learned from looking through the files that Patrick Stoddard and Warner Beverly are dead. Do you know how they died?”
The deputy gave them a solemn knowing look and leaned back in his chair.
“Yep. Warner and I used to be golfing buddies. He got hit by a car about a month back. Real shame. As for Patrick, the ghost girls got him. I was there and saw it happen. I had gone over to investigate some drug issues when the ghosts showed up. They dragged him down to the bottom of a pool. It was real scary like. The water turned black, and I couldn’t do nothin to save him. When the black cleared, he had drowned. Real tragedy.”
Roderick and Ian looked at him for a moment. He seemed genuine. Roderick decided that he was telling the truth. A quick glance at this brother told him that he felt the same way.
“Ok. Uh… Do you know… Wally Jennings?”
“Oh! Principal Jennings! Yeah. He helps run the Elementary School here. Real nice guy. I wonder why he would be a suspect?”
Hmmm. Elementary school…
That was the age range of most of the ghost girls…
“What about Marvin Atwood?”
At the sound of Marvin, the Deputy’s face darkened a little.
“Oh he’s a no good son of a gun. We’ve got a warrant out for his arrest. A few months back, he strangled his wife and killed her. (That was before the ghost girls.) He’s been on the run for a while now, and no one’s heard neither hide nor hare of him.”
“And that happened before the ghost girls started to show up?” Ian asked.
Ian wrote that down in his notes.
“Ok. How about a… Wade Bentley?”
The Deputy’s eyebrows furrowed as he thought about.
“Oh! Wade! He’s one of the bus drivers for the middle school. I’m afraid I don’t know much about him though.”
Another school with the age range of the ghost girls…
Roderick wrote that down.
“Ah Nathan. He’s one of the other cops in town, but he disappeared a couple of weeks ago due to the ghost girls.”
At the sound of that, Roderick crossed the man’s name off of the list.
“What do you know about Reverend Jonathan Passey?”
“Ah. He’s a pleasant fellow, but I do have to say that there was a big scandal with him a few months ago before the ghost girls showed up. He was involved in an affair with the Sheriff’s wife. (But that whole affair has been on the down low, so don’t go spreading that information around-you know-for obvious reasons. ) Oh! And he’s been having a little bit of trouble because there’s been several people from his parish that have been taken.”
“Wait-the Sheriff’s wife?” Ian asked, glancing down at their suspect list.
“Yup. Unfortunately, she was one of the first to be murdered by the ghost girls.”
Well that seemed strangely suspicious.
“Ok. How much do you know about the Mayor?”
“Not much. Pleasant man. Came out of the closet a couple of years back, got some bad rap for it. We’ve got some homophobes out here, but he’s a good mayor, so he’s kept his office.”
Well Ian could see why he was scratched off the list.
“So that just leaves Ramona Kingsley, Cohen Massey, and Douglas Smalls.” Roderick commented after he had written a couple more notes down.
“Oh yes. Cohen Massey is an interesting case. He’s the only one who’s not an outsider who’s been able to leave Pinnacle Gulch as he pleases.”
Ian raised a brow.
“Yup. He always comes back though. And Ramona is his mother. She hasn’t left though. Don’t know much about her.”
Ian and Roderick nodded. “And Douglas Smalls?” Roderick pressed.
“He keeps to himself most of the time in that house of his. Lives alone. Not much there otherwise.”
Ian noticed his brother looked a little disappointed at the lack of information on Douglas Smalls, but he himself was quite pleased with the info they got. They had asked about everyone on the list and gotten some pretty viable information.
Well, almost everyone.
Ian and Roderick and skipped the part where the Deputy himself was also on the list.
They would have to figure that out themselves.
Maybe the Sheriff would have a reason why?
Brian had decided to mess around with tech stuff back at the motel with his van, so Jordyn and Joey were investigating by themselves. So here they were at the police station to ask Sheriff Glendale. The plan was to meet back up with Roderick and Ian after a few minutes.
A young man with red hair sat at the desk, typing things away on the computer.
“Hey-is the Sheriff here?” Jordyn asked. The red haired man looked up, and then upon seeing the detective blushed a little.
“Uh-yeah. W-what can I do for you miss-uh-miss-.”
“Officer Hastings to you.” she said sourly with a snicker from Joey, ignoring his obvious attraction to her. “Sheriff Glendale if you please.”
The man’s face turned redder as he apologized profusely and ran into the back where the office was.
A moment later, a familiar man came out, a grumpy look on his face. Jordyn guessed that he always looked like this.
“What do you want?” the Sheriff asked gruffly.
“We’re here to ask about the ghost girls and how much you know about them.” Joey told him in her dreamy voice. The Sheriff paused, his face growing darker, and then he turned his back on them.
“Piss off. I don’t have to tell you kooks anything.”
“Um excuse me?!” Jordyn exclaimed, mildly offended as he continued to walk away from them. Stubbornly she followed him behind the counter.
“I’m sorry sir, but you are under investigation. My name is Officer Jordyn Hast-.”
“I don’t care if you’re the damn president. Leave me alone.”
“SIR!” Jordyn seethed, her hands clenching into fists. “I’m afraid I must insist that you-.”
“Insist what?” he asked, turning and looming over her, his face filled with fury. Jordyn did not back down or give him any satisfaction of intimidating her, even though he towered a good foot above her.
“What are you going to do?” he mocked. “Bring someone here to arrest me? I’m in charge here Detective. And I know how long you’ve been here without any luck. You don’t have any proof. You have nothing that could bring me in. And how would you get a warrant to search anything? Tell a judge that it has something to do with ghosts? Don’t make me laugh.”
Jordyn opened her mouth and closed it again, her face red with rage.
“We’re done here.” the sheriff finished, turning his back to them again. He slammed the door to his office shut.
Jordyn was still babbling and shaking with rage when they met back up with Ian and Roderick outside of the station.
“What in the world happened in there?” Roderick asked with surprise as Jordyn savagely kicked over a trashcan, the contents spilling everywhere.
“He’s guilty.” she blurted. “That man is guilty!”
“Now Jordyn, like he said, we don’t really have any evidence…” Joey cautioned as she started to pick up Jordyn’s mess.
“Well I’m going to find some and put his butt in jail.” the detective seethed, pacing back and forth. Ian and Roderick watched all of this go down with amusement.
“Well we found out some interesting things about the Sheriff.” Roderick said proudly, throwing out his chest slightly.
“Like what?” Jordyn asked, folding her arms and narrowing her eyes.
“Like the fact that the Reverend had an affair with his wife.” Ian stated bluntly. Jordyn and Joey looked up in surprise.
“The Sheriff’s wife?”
“Yep. And a lot of the Reverend’s parish has ended up lost to the ghost girls.”
“Then that settles it. He’s guilty.” Jordyn said matter of factly, turning to go back into the police station.
“Now hold on there!” Roderick stopped her, grabbing her arm. “If we’re going to bring him in, we really do need to get some solid evidence. Jordyn stopped, reluctantly realizing that he was right.
“Fine.” she said through clenched teeth.