Her brother and sister came home after school to find them on the beach in the back yard. They cheered with excitement before tackling their guests. Kris helped Janice prepare dinner while the rest built a bonfire to cook it by. It’d had been a few months since she’d seen her siblings so they stuck by her side all night. She was at peace with what she’d found in her mother’s things and knew that she would be fine with whatever the outcome was with the test.
She knocked on Elliott’s office door three days later and he waved her in with a smile. “Good morning.”
She took a seat across from him with a peaceful smile on her face. “Good morning.”
“Well?” He asked as he watched her shift in her seat. “How’d it go?”
Kris passed him the letter from her mom. “Looks like there’s a strong possibility that Vance is my dad. A DNA test will make it a certainty of course.”
Elliot scanned over the letter and passed it back to her. “How do you feel about this?”
She shrugged as she took the letter back. “I don’t know.” Slipping it back into its folder she said. “I’m not mad at her. She did what she did for a reason and I can’t say I would’ve done it differently.”
“Ok.” Elliott could see she was at peace with what she found. “Now what?”
Kris let out a long breath and shrugged. “Well, I’m going to do the DNA test and I’m going to find Vance’s killer.”
He’d had a feeling at least one of those two things was going to happen. “Kris you know I’ll support anything you want to do but this, this is dangerous.”
She scoffed and stood up to pace. “I know who these guys are Elliott but I have to do this. Regardless of what he did he was still a cop and someone needs to pay for what they did.” Kris continued to pace as she expressed her feelings. “I’ve dealt with a mob case before. The O’Dwyer family has either been cold or under the radar for the last 23 years.” Even she knew that the family being out of business was only a possibility. “It’s a safe bet that the $50,000 was payment for Vance letting those three go.”
Elliott stood up and walked around his desk and leaned back against it as he watched her. “Yes and he paid with his life.”
“We don’t know that the Irish killed him.” This time Elliott scoffed and gave her a disbelieving look. “It could’ve been one of their rivals. You read his files, it could’ve been anyone. He was an equal opportunist when it came to stealing from people. We don’t know anything for certain. That’s why I need to do this. Regardless of what he did he still deserves justice.”
Her boss laughed sadly as he leaned back against his desk. “Of course he does.” He shook his head and dry scrubbed his face. “Ok. I pretty much knew this was going to be your decision so I set up the interrogation room again. All of the files on the O’Dwyer’s are there along with the files on Vance’s murder. I really hope you know what you’re doing Kris.”
She appreciated his concern. Even after everything they’d been through personally she knew he wasn’t questioning her abilities. “I do. I need to do this and thank you for your help.” When she walked back out to her desk the guys were waiting. “He has everything we need set up in the usual place.”
Both men nodded and followed her to the room. “You want us to start with the O’Dwyer case and you with Vance’s murder then switch up?”
“Yeah.” She nodded at Jonas’s suggestion and went in search of the right boxes. “Sounds like a good plan.”
They grabbed boxes and spread out around the room, Jonas turned on the radio for background noise knowing they all worked better with it. Kris took a brief moment to smile at her partner before delving back into her father’s murder file. She sighed as she looked over the crime report and the photos. They were pretty bad even for the 80’s. They were too grainy and it was as if the photographer didn’t care to capture the scene.
Kris threw the file down in frustration and the guys looked up. “What’s wrong?” Quinn asked.
She held up the pictures. “I know he killed his own partner but shit. They may as well have taken shots of the floor.”
Jonas and Quinn looked at them up close and agreed. “We could always get Erik and a couple of his people to recreate it.”
Kris nodded in agreement and a little smile crossed her lips. “No one lives there and if he is my father I’m in charge of the place. We should definitely do it. I want Sophie to go over the autopsy report too.”
“Let’s go then.” Quinn said. “We can get Erik going on the DNA test and see when he can do the scene. Then we can go see the doc.”
Kris looked to her partner and he nodded in agreement as well. “You guys go. I’m going to stay back and see exactly what he got on the O’Dwyer’s. If Erik can do anything today, call me and I’ll meet you guys at The Dempsey.”
“If he can’t do anything then we’ll come back with lunch.” Kris offered and got a smile in return. Kris called Erik to see if he was in the lab. He said he was on his way back from a scene so they stopped to see Dr. Sophie Cross, the Medical Examiner first.
“Morning guys!” She greeted them warmly.
Quinn was still getting to know her so he simply greeted with. “Morning Doc.”
Sophie and Kris had been friends for a while so they hugged. “Hey! You busy?”
“Not for two of my favorite detective’s.” She winked at Kris who had become like a sister to her, both having jobs in male dominated fields. “What can I do for you guys?”
Kris passed her a folder. “We’re reopening a cold case from 20 years ago.”
“Does this have to do with what happened with Detective Taylor?” She asked as she looked through the file. “This man was a detective too.” Kris nodded. “Is he the one Taylor said was your father?”
“He is and after finding a letter from my mom I’m pretty sure he is too.” She shrugged at the doctor’s surprised look. “I was hoping you’d take a look at the report. Maybe fresh eyes would catch something the original M.E. didn’t see. We’re going to get Erik to recreate the crime scene because the pictures were crap. That might help you too.”
Sophie spread out the pictures and the notes. “I can definitely do this for you but I’m going to need some time.”
Kris squeezed her friends shoulder as she watched her get lost in the case. “Thanks Soph.”
As they walked out to their car Quinn’s phone beeped. “Erik’s back at the lab.”
“Great.” She slid into the passenger’s seat and Quinn drove the five blocks to the city’s crime lab.
They’d already given Erik a heads up about why they wanted to see him so they weren’t surprised to find him in the DNA lab. “Hey guys!” He motioned for them to join him by the machine he was working on. “As you know the department keeps DNA samples of their offices just in case.So he was in the system and of course you’re in the system too so I’m running everything now. It’s going to take a while, days probably. There was something about crime scene photos?”
Quinn passed the file over. “Whoever took them might as well have been taking pictures of the floor.”
Erik took them and studied each one like it was a treasure map. “Scary thing is, I’ve seen worse.” He looked over them again. “Jesus. There is so much wrong with the pictures and the notes.” Kris and Quinn kept quiet while they watched him. After a few minutes of looking at the photos and reading the description Erik said. “I can definitely recreate this. Hank is on loan for a couple of days. He’d be the best for this job.”
Hank was a ballistics doll and apparently Erik’s favorite. “Give us a call when he’s back and you’re ready.”
“Will do. I’m also going to pull whatever I can from Evidence. I doubt that after 20 years there’s anything viable but you never know.” Erik looked up from the pictures. “If there’s anything I can do until then let me know.”
“Thanks buddy.” Kris hugged him and Quinn shook his hand then said goodbye.
After their uneventful visit with Eric they headed back to the station to see if Jonas had anything. He was exactly where he said he’d be and elbow deep in files.
“I take it Erik was a bust since you guys didn’t call?” He looked up from the file he had in his hands.
Kris sat down across from him and sighed. “He wants to use Hank but he’s on loan right now.”
Quinn sat down beside him. “The doc is looking over the M.E.’s report to see if she can spot something.”
Jonas nodded as he took in the news. “Ok. Now what?”
Kris looked at her watched and smiled. “It’s lunch time. How about we go to Manny’s? He’s reopening today.”
They weren’t surprised to find half of the city there. Manny had reopened and hired a few people to help out. The sadness was definitely still there but pride was shining through as it was standing room only. Manny talked to every single person that stepped through his door.
He stopped to say hello and take their order, they opted for To Go since the place was so packed. “I’m so glad you all came.” He hugged each of them.
“There’s no way we would’ve missed it Manny.” Quinn said as he hugged the older man.
Manny looked around for a table but nothing was open. “I’m so sorry my friends. We are so busy right now.”
“Don’t worry about it Manny.” Jonas clapped him on the back. “You know we’ll be back.”
Kris agreed as she hugged him too. “Plus we’re working on a case and it’s probably better that we get back to it.”
Manny’s smile could light up a room. Kris watched as it faded when she heard the bell above the door jingle. She watched his eyes and whoever was coming in had their friend scared. “I’ll be back in a few minutes with your pies.”
Kris looked up to find Jonas and Quinn looking at her. She knew they’d seen it too but it wasn’t the time or place. Kris recognized three of the four men with her boss. One was the Chief of Detectives, the next was Hershel Clifford a Lieutenant from Vice and the third was Dakota Stewart a Lieutenant with Major Case. The fourth man looked familiar but Kris couldn’t figure out why.
Manny came walking up a few minutes later with their pies. “It was nice to see you all. Thank you for coming by.”
Kris passed him the money and Quinn took the food. “Thanks Manny. We’ll see you again soon.”
They didn’t say anything to each other until they got back to the station and into the interrogation room. Kris put the pizzas down and opened the boxes. Inside of one of the boxes was a note in a Ziploc bag.
Kris picked it up and read it out loud. “The man in the gray suit is not who he says he is.” She looked at the guys. “Did either of you recognize the fourth guy with Davies?”
“He looked familiar but I couldn’t tell you exactly where I’ve seen him.” Quinn said as he sat down at the table. “Look at Manny’s handwriting. He’s terrified of this guy.”
They’d seen his writing many times and it was usually extremely neat and legible. “I don’t like this.” Jonas paced around the room. “We need to go back and see him.”
“No.” Quinn surprised them as he said. “Not yet at least. Manny is terrified and if we go back right away he may not talk at all.”
Kris had to agreed, with time he was more likely to talk. “He knows he can talk to us.” Jonas started to protest. “We can go back tomorrow night. We didn’t get to sit down and eat today so it’ll be a good excuse. I think we’d have better luck if we wait.”
Jonas reluctantly agreed. “So we just keep looking through the files?”
His partner nodded as she picked up the pile she had been looking at earlier. “I think we need to focus on the O’Dwyer family, especially the one that got away with the two body guards.”
Jonas had been the last one to go through them so he remembered where the family’s files were. “Ok. They were old school Irish. They came here in 1970 from Wexford, Ireland. The head of the O’Dwyer family was Daniel and his wife was Mary Elizabeth. Daniel was 50 when he was put away. They had five children; Thomas, Patrick, Connor, Fiona, and Phillip.” He laid out pictures of all of them. “All of the men in the family except Phillip, probably because he was so young, were involved in the family business including Fiona’s husband Stephen. All of them were arrested during the raid. Daniel got life and he died 10 years ago in prison. The others got forty years so they’re about half way through their sentence. Mary Elizabeth, Fiona, and the other wives along with their kids moved to a large farm near Alabama that they owned under her maiden name.”
Kris read through everything and passed it over to Quinn. “We need to get the visitors logs for the prison. I would bet my paycheck that they’ve been discreetly running things from the inside. How old was Phillip O’Dwyer when all of this happened?”
Quinn flipped through the pages until he found his information. “Looks like he was thirteen.” He frowned. “If he was only thirteen surely he would’ve gone with his mother. He couldn’t be the one that got away with the bodyguards.” He looked between Kris and Jonas. “Right?”
“Only one way to find out.” She started typing on her laptop. “Even if she taught him at home she would’ve had to register him.” She checked the state’s school system for public, private, home schools, and colleges. “There’s nothing in the school system for him.” She even searched nationwide and still came up with nothing. “The other kids were registered in Georgia’s home school system. What was his date of birth?”
“February 19, 1976.” Jonas read from the file.
Quinn had opened up his laptop and started his own search. “Something isn’t sitting right with me on this.” He looked up to find Kris and Jonas looking at him. “Phillip was the baby. There’s no way a family like the O’Dwyer’s would let him disappear without a trace. Especially not an Irish mob family.”
“And who the hell were the body guards that went missing too?” Kris posed the other million dollar question. “Why would they send their thirteen year old son, the heir to everything, off with two bodyguards? They moved all of the other grandchildren to the farm. Why not just take him too?”
“Maybe because he was the heir?” Jonas started typing frantically. “The pictures of the body guards aren’t in the files with the rest of the family. Vance only had first names on them, Kenneth and Niall.”
Quinn flipped through the files Vance had accumulated. “They have to be related to the family somehow. That is the only way a family like that would let the youngest go with them.”
Kris agreed, the O’Dwyer’s were too solid to let their youngest and the heir to the business go with someone that wasn’t blood related. “We need to track them back to Ireland. They were pretty strong here but we know their support most likely came from their mother country.”
It took a few hours going through Vance’s files to gather the entire O’Dwyer clan. Quinn read from the notes they’d all gathered. “Daniel O’Dwyer was only the head here. His older brother Ian was the head of the family and ran things from Wexford. Daniel was the baby and he came here of all places, the second oldest brother Seamus, was in New York and the third brother Michael was just outside of Las Vegas. It looks like they all made the trip over in 1970.”
Kris paced the room as she processed all of the information. “So all of the brothers are dead correct?” The guys nodded because they had confirmed it. “And the departments in their cities have, as far as they know, disbanded their operations?” They nodded again because that was another thing they’d confirmed. “I think they’re running under the radar. Each of the brothers had sons. When their father’s died I believe they each took over the family business. They learned from their mistakes and kept a low profile. I can guarantee they’re still in business.”
There was a knock at the door as Elliot walked in. “Boss.” They all greeted him.
“Hey guys. How are things going?” He asked as he closed the door.
They exchanged looks before Kris said. “You should probably have a seat for this.”
He did as suggested. “What’s going on?” They showed him Manny’s note. “You know, I got a weird vibe from him in the parking lot as we were walking up to the restaurant.”
They exchanged surprised looks and Jonas asked. “You mean you guys don’t know him?”
Elliot looked a little confused at that question as he shook his head. “No. I’ve never seen him before today. Dakota and I rode there together and when we pulled up he was looking around some of the unmarked cars. He even passed by your car.” That made their hair stand up. “What’s going on?”
Jonas also passed over the notes they’d made on the O’Dwyer family. “The biggest question so far is where the hell did Daniel O’Dwyer’s youngest son Philip go? He was only thirteen at the time of the take down and the only other people that got away were two supposed body guards. The women went to a farm with the other children but as far as we can tell he never joined them.”
Elliot read over everything and said. “There is no way in hell Daniel O’Dwyer would let his youngest son go with just anyone. They have to be related to the family somehow.”
“We said the exact same thing.” Quinn said. “We just need to find out who they are. I guarantee he went to someone in the immediate family. He may not have even known who his family really was at the time since he was so young. We also don’t believe the family was disbanded. Each brother had at least one son. I’d bet a year’s salary that they are the ones running things now.”
Elliot read through everything again. “Send me a copy of all of this.” He said as he passed it back to Jonas. “My cousin Jay is with the FBI, he’s got connections everywhere. I’ll get him to check out the family in Ireland.”
“Thanks.” They all said.
As their boss was walking out the door he turned and said. “Make sure to get the car checked before you go anywhere else. We take no chances with this case you understand?”
“Yes sir.” Kris said and as he left she called downstairs to S.W.A.T. to see if they were around to look at the car. They went downstairs and met up with the head of the team, Lieutenant Antonio Moses.
“Lt., how’s it going?” Jonas asked as he shook hands with the man.
He shook hands with Quinn and hugged Kris as he said. “Slow day and we’re bored. How about you guys?” He looked to Kris with the concerned father look he generally gave her. “How are you holding up?”
She’d met Antonio Moses when she was in the Academy; he’d been a Defensive Tactics instructor then. “I’m good Toni. How’s the family?”
He smiled broadly as he said. “Great. Toni Jr. got early acceptance to Florida State and Nya will be a junior in high school.” He laughed and shook his head. “Man I’m getting old.” As he scanned the car he asked. “Is this because of what happened at the cabin?”
Kris had always appreciated how Toni never treated her different than the guys. “We’re not sure.” They knew they could talk to him about what had happened without any worries. “Elliot saw a strange guy wandering around the unmarked cars earlier today at Manny’s. We’ve reopened the Vance murder case and he’s just concerned.”
She watched as her friend thought over what she’d said. “You know this is dangerous territory Kris.” It wasn’t a question. “Are you sure you want to do this? I knew Jacob Vance and he was the worst kind of man.”
Kris sighed because Toni’s opinion mattered to her and to her that was hard. “I’m pretty sure he’s my father Toni.” The look of surprise was written all over his face as she continued. “We took an oath and you know that we don’t get to choose who we protect or seek justice for.Whatever kind of man he was he was still a cop and whoever did shouldn’t get away with it any longer.”
It was hard for Toni to feel that way considering the things the man had done. “I get that it’s our job Kris but please think about the danger you’re putting yourself and the people you love in.”
“I’ve known from day one what this job brings Toni. There’s nothing that can change my mind. I watched a man blow his head off because of what my father was involved in.” Her voice cracked. “I have to do this.”
He’d learned pretty early on that she was the most stubborn woman he’d ever met but he had nothing but respect for her. “Ok. You know if you need help in any way, all you have to do is ask.”
“I promise I will.” She said sincerely.
“If you’re going to do this there is something I want to give you. You’re not in uniform anymore so I doubt you even carry one.” Toni finished clearing the car then asked them to follow him to his office. He pulled opened a cabinet and pulled out a box. “Your uncle would never forgive me if I didn’t do something to help you.”
Kris chuckled at the thought of her Uncle Ben and Toni having words. They had gone through the academy together and trash talked each other on a regular basis. “He knows you keep me out of trouble as much as you can nothing to worry about there.”
Toni had a huge smile on his face when he turned around. “My worries will lessen with you carrying this around.” He held up an Asp baton. “You may be in a situation where you can’t get to your gun fast enough or may not have it at all. If I remember correctly you’re pretty bad ass at hand to hand combat.” Jonas and Quinn both laughed in agreement. Their size didn’t matter because she was fast and could take both of them down pretty quickly. “That’s what I thought. I also have something that you guys can use to scan your cars and homes for any devices. I know, or at least hope that I don’t have to say this again but the guys and I are always at your disposal. Anything you need just call.”
Kris hugged him for a long second then kissed his cheek. “Thanks Uncle Toni.”
“Get outta here punk.” He said playfully as he watched her leave. “You guys try to keep her out of trouble.” He said to Jonas and Quinn and they gave him an exasperated look. “Yeah. I know it’s a full time job.”
The first place they scanned was the interrogation room and the room next to it. “I know we should feel safe here but I really don’t. I think we should move this to the house.”
Quinn found a dolly; they loaded everything up and took it to their car. Kris called Elliot and told him what they were doing. He understood and told them to call him if he could help. Once they got home Jonas scanned the house, it was clear so they started unloading all of the boxes.
Kris brought drinks over and sat down. “I think, until we hear from Erik, that we really need to focus on finding out what happened to Phillip O’Dwyer and the two body guards. If he was 13 when all of this went down that makes him around 33 now. He could be anywhere, doing anything. We need to see if we can find a picture of him from back then and use the new age progression software.”
Jonas was smiling like a mad man. “He was a student at Tattnall Square Academy and all schools keep copies of their yearbooks.” He called them, gave his badge number and told the principal what he was looking for. The picture was emailed five minutes later.
Since they had a department issued computer Jonas accessed the progression software, scanned the picture and started the process. Kris and Quinn continued to look through the files until Jonas’s broke the quiet ten minutes later. “Holy shit.” He turned his laptop around. “Guys.”
Neither was prepared to see the face of the guy from Manny’s. “This is what Phillip would look like now?”
Jonas nodded, in as much shock as Kris and Quinn were at the results. “I can run it again but yeah. This is him.”
Quinn didn’t like this bit of news. “What the hell could he possibly be doing here?”
“I think maybe the biggest question is, does he know who really is.” Kris pointed out. “We need to find him again and have him followed.”
Jonas nodded as he called Elliot and told him what they had found. “I’ll get it set up.” Elliot hung up the phone and dry scrubbed his face because Kris Parker was going to be the death of him. He dialed his cousin’s number. “Hey Jay! It’s Elliot. Yeah. Good. How are you?” He listened for a few minutes as his cousin told him about his last case. “I think I have something pretty big here and I need a favor.” He explained what was going on and his cousin happily agreed to help. “Thanks Jay. I’ll be in contact soon. My people will probably want to meet you in person.”
“Not a problem. Just let me know when and where.” Jay said as he started packing things he would need for his trip to Macon.
Elliot called Kris back and told her what Jay could do. “I know he’s your cousin but I’d like to meet him.”
He chuckled and said. “That’s what I thought you’d say. I’ll call him back. He’s in Atlanta so we can be there in a couple of hours.”
“See you then.” Kris disconnected the call and filled the guys in.