Addison stood behind Robert as he knocked on the door of Wendy’s neighbour. They could hear a boisterous woman as her footsteps echoed as she rushed to the door.
“What is it now?” she interrogated the two Detectives through the door.
“I’m Detective Chief Inspector Robert Arrows and this is my…” He paused. He glanced at Addison and she noticed his hesitation. “This is Detective Sergeant Addison McCain, we wanted to ask a few more questions.” Robert said. The woman finally opened the door.
“I’m Susan Richards. You’ve had people knocking on my door all morning.” The woman said as she put her arm out guiding them through the hallway. Addison noticed all the beautiful family photos that were hanging on the wall. She noticed the young boy she had seen at the window earlier this morning in some of the pictures.
“Sorry for barging in on you like this,” Robert started. “We are double checking on some inquiries we have about Wendy Willis. How well did you know the family?” Robert asked. Robert and Addison walked into a large living room, the woman offered them a seat. Addison sat down as Robert stood with his hands in his pockets.
“Would you like a drink?” The woman asked.
“No thank you,” Robert replied. “But I would like you to help us understand your relationship with Wendy. Did you know her well?” Robert carried on.
“We’ve lived in this house for fifteen years, they moved in next door about five years ago. Trouble always came knocking on her door.” Susan said.
“She’s always shouting, arguing, I’m sure she threw her sister out the other day,” Susan recalled.
“Where is your son Mrs. Richards?” Addison asked.
“He’s upstairs, he didn’t want to go to school today because of what happened to that family. He’s been silent all morning.”
“Do you mind if I went up to try to talk to him?”
“Be my guest, it’s the first door on the left. You can’t miss it.” Susan waved her hand, dismissing her. Addison got up from the sofa and headed upstairs. She heard Robert carry on with their conversation as she left the room. She headed down the hallway and stopped outside his door, with a sign which said keep out. Addison knocked on the door and waited for a response, though it didn’t come, she still entered his room anyway. When she entered the room, the boy was laying on his bed looking up at the ceiling. Addison saw a big poster of the football team West Ham. His room was blue with a few other posters on his wall. He had a shelf of football trophies. She noticed a desktop in the corner of his room, there was a screen saver of football players from West Ham.
“Are Anna and Jake… are they… I mean…” The boy swallowed hard.
“They are in the hospital, traumatised by what’s happened, but they are okay,” Addison told him. She watched him let out a sigh of relief. “May I?” She asked nodding to the seat next to his bed, the boy shrugged his shoulders, so Addison sat in the seat anyway.
“Do you know why I’m here?” She asked. Again, the boy shrugged his shoulders. She leaned forward which caught his attention. “You saw me this morning, through that window, didn’t you?” Addison asked.
“What’s your name?” He asked quickly.
“I’m Detective McCain, but you can call me Addison, my friends do.” She said. She pulled out her ID card from her pocket and showed him. She leaned forward again handing him her ID card. He took and studied it.
“This is pretty cool and heavier than I thought it would be.” He smiled.
“What’s your name?” She asked. He handed her the card back which she put back into her pocket.
“My name’s Joey and I did see you by the window.” He confessed.
“Are you friends with Anna?”
“I am, though my mother doesn’t like it.”
“She doesn’t like Anna’s Mum because she’s always shouting. We hear them all the time.” He told her.
“Was there any shouting last night?” Addison asked, but he shook his head. “Did you look out of your window at any time last night?”
Joey sat in silence, glancing towards the window. He nodded his head and got up from his bed. Addison watched as he moved towards it. She got up from her seat and stepped behind him, looking across to the house next door. She could see right through his window and into the familiar scene of Anna’s bedroom.
“Did you know Anna can do sign language?” Joey smiled. Addison realised that he liked Anna. She shook her head. He started doing a signal with his hands. “That means ‘I can see you’.” Joey showed her. Addison smiled and did a hand gesture back to him.
“You know sign language?” Joey lit up.
“I had a very good friend when I was younger who was deaf, so I took a course in sign language, so she could communicate with me better. I did it for her.” Addison confessed. “Has Anna ever told you where she learned sign language?”
“She told me it was a club after school where she was doing it from. She loved it. She has a cousin who is deaf, and she wanted to learn how to do it.” Joey told Addison. “Anna would flash her torch into my room, and I would come to the window. She signed that to me every night.”
“And last night?”
“It was just after nine when she flashed her light in my room.”
“How did she seem?” Addison asked.
“She seemed fine. But once the storm started to settle later in the night, I had got up to go to the toilet last night and I peeked through the window.” Joey paused and glanced back at Addison behind him. He turned his full body to face her. “I saw someone at her window wearing a black mask.” He said. “Like those ski masks, the ones who rob banks and you see them on those tv shows.”
“Did you see anything that stood out, the colour of their eyes, tall or short?” She asked.
“Well, they seemed very tall. I would assume it was a man, he took up all the window frame when I saw him standing there. I couldn’t see their eyes, it was too far and dark.” Joey told her. She patted him on the shoulder, and he made his way back to his bed. He sat on the end of it while Addison sat back in her seat. “Anna is going to have a tough time through this, and she will need her friends. I believe she might be going to her fathers, but you can contact her. I think she’ll need you.” Addison told him.
“Thank you, Detective,” he smiled.
“You support West Ham?” Addison asked. Joey nodded. “I support West Ham too.” She smiled.
“Really?” Joey’s face lit up.
“I was a big fan of Teddy Sheringham, do you know who that is?”
“Of course, I know him,” Joey replied.
“I have two signed shirts from him. I only need one.” Addison smiled. Joey leapt up from his bed. “Would you like it?” She asked.
“Hell yeah, I would love that. That’s amazing, you are really cool.” Joey laughed.
“No worries, I’ll get it to you as soon as I can. But if you remember anything at all from last night don’t be afraid to contact me, this is my card.” Addison handed it to him. She went to leave his room when she saw a football to the side of his door. Addison kicked the ball up with her foot and started to do kick-ups. Joey watched in amazement as she kept it up. She gently knocked the ball in Joey’s direction, and he put his hands out to catch it. He smiled when she finally left. She headed back down the stairs and Robert was pacing around the living room.
“Did he say anything to you?” Susan asked.
“We talked, I think he’ll be okay. You have raised a good son, Mrs. Richards.” Addison said. Robert shoved his hands into his pockets and nodded to her.
“If you have anything you remember or can tell us that will help us with this investigation, please call us,” Robert said as he handed one of his own cards to her. Susan took it and nodded. She let them out of the house closing the door behind them.
“So, what did the kid say?” Robert asked.
“Well, he saw the killer, but he was wearing a mask. But he’s convinced it’s a man by the way he covered up the whole window frame. Or it could be a large woman. Also, Joey said that Anna knew how to do sign language.” Addison told him.
“Well, it’s something we can work on.” Robert nodded. “Come on, let’s get back to the station and find out who is Wendy’s next of kin.”