10. Detective Amari Raguel Wattkins
13. 09. 2018.
“Daddy told me that you are still working,” my daughter said. Her angelic voice going through my ears. I’ve been waiting to hear her angelic voice throughout the whole day. “When are you coming home, mommy?” she asked.
The corner of my mouth curved into a small smile. “I don’t know that yet, honey. It depends on how fast I catch the bad guy.”
“I hope you will come home fast.”
“Don’t worry, I will be back before you even know it.” I leaned further into the car seat.
“Wattkins,” Rayan called my name from the front seat.
“Who is that, mommy?” Marocco asked.
I pulled down my phone and looked at Rayan. “What is it?”
“Are you okay?” he asked, looking at my phone.
I nodded. “Yeah, let me just say goodbye to my daughter.”
He looked at me confused before he looked back at the rainy window in front of him.
“I need to go now, sweety. I will call you later, okay?”
“Okay, but be careful, and don’t forget to take your pills.”
I smiled. “Don’t worry, I won’t.”
“I love you, mommy.”
“I love you too, pumpkin,” I said.
After ending the phone call, I placed my phone back into my pocket and looked out of the car into the heavy rain. The streets were covered with water and the people who were walking down the street were soaking wet.
“I didn’t know you have a daughter,” the sheriff said.
“I said the same thing,” Rayan commented.
“I keep my personal life private,” I told them, “How far is the station?”
“It’s just around the corner,” the sheriff said, turning into a small parking lot where a couple of police cars were parked. I stared at what was supposed to be the police station. It didn’t look like one. I guess, nothing in this town doesn’t look like I imagine it.
“Don’t tell me that this is your police station,” I told the sheriff.
“Not all of us have good privileges as you,” he said back, trying to open the main door, but they got stuck. He leaned his shoulder on the door, and with a little push, he finally managed to open the door. We immediately get hit by an awful smell of shit.
“Oh, God. What is that smell?” Rayan asked.
“The main pipe broke so our cells are now flooded with toilet water,” the sheriff answered.
Walking in, I stared at the number of people waiting in the hallway. Most of them had chains around their hands and legs, while some of them looked like they were about to die at any moment. Their clothes were ripped in some parts, covered in shit from the flood.
The sheriff leads us down the hallway to the large black door. He opened the door and we walked into a bigger mess. The police officers were cleaning the floors, while some of them were talking to newly arrested people.
“Where is he?” I asked.
“He is already in the interrogation room. Gersom will take you there. I have to make a phone call if it’s okay with you.”
I nodded my head. “It’s fine with me.”
The sheriff rose his hand in the air, and a second later, Gersom walked to us. His clothes looked like they weren’t ironed for a couple of days, and when I looked at his face, I saw a ketchup stain in the corner of his mouth.
“Yes?” he asked.
“Take the agents to the interrogation room, and please for God’s sake clean your face.” The sheriff took out a tissue and gave it to Gersom who took it and wiped the stain off from his mouth.
Gersom nodded his head. “As you say.”
I looked over to Rayan who shook his head before we followed Gersom to the interrogation room.
“We will take care of it from now on,” I told him.
He looked surprised that I didn’t want him in there with us. A moment later, he nodded his head and walked past us. “If you need anything, I will wait outside.”
The door slowly opened, revealing a small white room with a brown table standing in the center of the room. There were three chairs placed next to the table, and on one of those chairs, a blond-haired boy was sitting. His head was bowed down as his still wet hair was dripping on the table. When he lifted his head up, I saw blue eyes staring back at me. My eyes traveled down his face to his neck where a golden cross was hanging.
“You must be John Larson,” I said, closing the door behind me. “I’m agent Wattkins and this is agent Birsen. We are here to ask you a couple of questions about your sister.”
Rayan sat on the first chair, and I sat next to him, placing the file on the table in front of John.
“We are sorry for your loss,” Rayan said.
John gave him a cold look before nodding his head. “That’s the twelfth time someone said that to me today,” he said, “When you hear those six words for quite some time, you kinda can tell the difference between the people who mean it and who doesn’t.”
I leaned further into the chair. “I know the feeling. There are people who will say they are sorry about something, but in reality, they are just trying to make themselves look better, especially on your birthday. It must hard for you to look at people and say thank you when you are supposed to celebrate the day you were born.”
John glanced at me, his eyes narrow. “My sister died, and people who never cared or knew her are now giving me their condolences.”
“But she isn’t really your sister. You were adopted, weren’t you?” Rayan asked.
“Yes,” he started, “I met Margareth when I was six years old at the orphanage that our, I mean her uncle, ran with two more men.”
“Other men? Do you know their names?” I asked.
John shook his head. “No one knew their names, but they would come to visit at least once a week.”
“What about Margareth? Did she live there with you?” Rayan asked.
“Not before her parents died. After their death, she moved in with her uncle. Sometime later, her uncle adopted me so that she wasn’t alone,” he stopped for a moment, looking down at his shaky hands, “She was my best friend, my sister. Maybe not by blood, but she sure as hell was the only family I had, and I would never harm her.”
“But someone did.” I placed my hands on the table. “What happened during the night of the murder?”
“Nothing special. It was the same celebration party for the new school year. It’s a tradition. There were a couple of arguments and a fight broke out, but no one ever got hurt, or in this case, murdered.”
“Until now,” I said.
“Until now,” he whispered under his breath. His face turned sad. I could see the pain that he desperately tried to hide.
“Did you hear what happened to Hana Petrovich, the sheriff’s daughter?” Rayan asked him.
John rubbed his face and leaned into his chair. “Yeah, but what does this have to do with me?”
“You tell us,” I said back, “There is evidence that Hana Petrovich was drugged. When we asked her if she drank something, she said that you gave her a cup of water before she went to search for her friend.”
“Yes, I did, but only because Roman told me to gave her. He saw that she was looking sick so he asked me if If I can do it instead of him,” he confessed.
I glanced at Rayan who took a deep breath. “Who is this Roman?” he asked John.
“He is just a guy who goes to school with us. We call him Schnidy because his last is Schneider. He sometimes deals drugs to the freshman and the others,” he started, “Listen, I’ve known him for my whole life. We went to the same middle school and now we go to the same high school. He’s a nice guy.”
“A nice guy who deals drugs to minors.” I couldn’t help myself to stop the sarcasm rolling out of my mouth.
“Why do you think he asked you to give Hana the cup of water?” Rayan asked again. At this point, I let him do all the questioning. By the look on John’s face, he seemed more intimidated by Rayan than he was by me.
“Everyone knows that Roman had a crush on her since middle school. Hana is a pretty girl from a perfect family. Someone like Roman was easily attracted to someone like her, but he could never go talk to her. He was coward.”
“So you being a good friend tried to help him.” Rayan looked at him confused.
John nodded. “I tried to ask her to go to talk to him, but she told me that she needed to find Romana.”
“Romana is her best friend, right?” I asked.
“Yes, but no one knows how. They are like two different people.”
“Why is that?”
“Romana is a party animal. She likes to drink, smoke, and screw men who are three times older than her, while Hana is like I said before, a perfect girl.” he leaned his hands on the table and whispered, “If you ask me, I don’t believe Romana just accidentally disappeared. I believe she left her there on purpose so she could laugh about Hana’s panic attacks with her other stupid friends. Hell, maybe she was the one who drugged Hana.”
“So you are now saying that we should talk to her best friend too.” I pointed a finger at him.
“She was the only one I haven’t seen at the party for four hours.”
“What about Margareth? Why was she there?” I asked this time.
He shrugged. “I don’t know. The sister I grew up with never liked those things, she always liked staying at home and reading her books.”
Taking a deep breath, I opened the folder, took out a couple of pictures of Margareth’s dead body, and placed them in front of him. First, I placed the picture of her face. John looked at the picture and immediately looked away.
“Who did this to her?” he asked.
“That’s what we want to find out.” I placed the next couple of pictures next to the first one, showing him the rest of her body. “The autopsy also showed that she was at least three months pregnant.”
He looked at the pictures with the corner of his eyes before looking away again. He looked like he was about to throw up any second.
“We heard a rumor about a man called Michael Pierson. Do you know anything about him?”
“He used to be the gym teacher at our school 30 years ago. They say that he was a young, good-looking man, and you know how young girls act when they see an older hotter man. Especially if he was a teacher.” he took a deep breath before continuing, “One day, three girls came to his office to talk about their grades, and the next morning, they all came to the principle, accusing him of sexually harassing them for a higher grade.”
“What happened then?”
“He got fired, and since then he lives in the forest, near the Blackcreak.”
“They say that he was stalking Margareth. Is that true?”
He nodded his head. “Yes, but not only her. He was also stalking me. One time, he caught me on my way home, pulled me aside, and started asking a bunch of questions about my uncle.”
I leaned to Rayan and whispered in his head, “Go and see where they placed him. Start with the hallway, I have a feeling that he is chained there.”
Rayan nodded and walked out of the interrogation room.
“So, tell me, did Margareth have any boyfriends?” I smiled at John.