Midnight Owl (A Joe Leverette Mystery, Book 1)

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Marsden sat at his desk going over the paperwork he had on the case. It was 2PM and they hadn’t received anything else on the case. He looked over at Leverette, who was on the phone with Carrington.

“No, we haven’t heard anything yet,” he said into the phone, rubbing his forehead. “Yeah. Gordon’s doing a check on the four we already spoke to.”

“I doubt all of them did it. The cuts are exactly the same,” Carrington replied.

“Well, maybe one of them did it and the others lured her to an area,” Leverette said sitting back in his chair. He looked across the desks and noticed Marsden listening to the conversation he was having with Carrington.

Leverette hung up the phone and looked at Marsden.

“Did you hear from Gordon yet?” he asked, folding his hands on top of his desk.

“Yeah. Amy Lang and Shin Yoo know each other. The other two don’t know the others. They don’t connect anywhere.”

When Leverette looked past Marsden he froze. He was hoping it wasn’t another body part.

“Got the torso,” Billingsley said and handed the file to Marsden. He took it reluctantly and handed it over to Leverette.

Leverette opened it and read the one page report, then shook his head.

“Keeps going like this we’ll have the whole body today,” Leverette said and handed the file back to Marsden.

“Well, you two get going. Carrington will be there soon, if he’s not already,” Billingsley said and walked back to his office.

“I’ll sure be glad when this case is solved,” Marsden whispered after Billingsley walked away. “This is creeping me out.”

“Yes I know. You don’t exactly hide the fact,” Leverette said with a grin on his face. “Let’s get going.”

The torso had been found in a car at an old junk yard. They turned into the drive and up to where they saw the squad car.

“Do I have to get out?” Marsden asked.

“You can stay by the car and talk to the officers and the person who found it,” Leverette said with a grin, and shook his head.

He headed to where the officers were standing. Carrington was leaning into the car on the driver’s side and had removed the top bag.

“What do we have here?” Leverette asked.

“Might be related to the parts we found earlier today,” Carrington said as he backed away from the car door. “Looks like the same type of saw marks.”

“Who found it?” Leverette asked the officers. He recognized them as Murphy and Laurence.

“This guy, Frank McCullough. He and his buddy were supposed to move all these cars to the new location. He noticed something in the front seat and when he walked over, it smelled foul. When he touched the bag it scared the hell out of him,” Laurence said.

Leverette turned to the man. “Did you have gloves on?”

“Yes, he did. We always wear them when we’re moving things,” the man said. “We always check them for people because we’ve found some sleeping in them even in this cold.”

“So you’re not McCullough?” Leverette asked.

“No, I’m Neil James. Frank left shortly after finding it. He looked like he was about to die. Mark Peterson came to give me a hand with the others.”

“Well, you’re not going to be moving any more cars today,” Leverette said. “This place is now a crime scene. Once we’re done you can finish.”

“I’ll call the boss and let him know,” James said and pulled out his cell.”

“Okay. We’ll have to have McCullough come to the precinct to give a statement,” Leverette said. The three men left and Leverette headed to Carrington.

“So she’s probably our girl,” Leverette said.

“I’d bet my life on it,” Carrington told him. “I saw some surgical scars but I don’t know if that’ll tell us anything until I get her back to the morgue.”

“Let me know what you find. We’re going to be getting the five people in to talk to them tomorrow,” Leverette said.

“Too bad we didn’t find the head first,” Carrington said. “Can you ask one of the officers to help me get her out?”

“Yeah,” was all Leverette said and headed back to the car.

“Carrington needs one of you to help him get her out and into his van,” Leverette said looking at the two officers.

“No problem. I’ll go,” Murphy said, and headed over to help Carrington.

Marsden wrote down everything James told him, including McCullough’s phone number.

So far Gordon found out that two of them knew each other, and the other two didn’t know any of them. Was McCullough the connection, Leverette wondered?

Marsden happened to look where Carrington and Murphy were. He saw them almost drop the torso and started feeling sick. He quickly looked back at his note pad and wrote a few other things down to get his mind off what he saw.

Leverette walked up and noticed his face pale and a little tremble in his hands.

“We can go, now,” Leverette said. He didn’t want to say more in front of James. Marsden put his note pad and pen in his pocket and headed to the car.

“You okay?” Leverette asked.

“I will be when we get out of here,” Marsden said and kept his eyes down. “Please, let’s go.”

Leverette started the car, then turned around and headed out.

“Carrington said he’s sure it’s the same woman,” Leverette said. “The saw marks are identical. He said he saw a few surgical scars but won’t know anything until he checks her out.”

“I kinda figured it was,” Marsden said trying not to remember what he just saw. “I’ll be glad when we catch this bastard!”

“Me, too,” Leverette said and headed back to the precinct.

When they arrived, Leverette went to talk to the chief and Marsden called Gordon with the new name.

“Hey Gordon,” Marsden said. “We got another name for you to run.”

“Okay, give it to me,” Gordon said and picked up a pen.

“Frank McCullough,” Marsden said. “He works for Littleman’s Salvage in Port Huron.”

“Okay, I’ll work my magic,” Gordon said and hung up.

Marsden turned and saw Leverette talking to Billingsley and took a deep breath. He didn’t want to talk about what they just found but he took the information. He should be in there. Reluctantly he got up and walked over.

“What’d he tell you, Marsden?” Billingsley asked.

“Just that they were relocating the cars to their new yard. They always check the cars for people who sleep in them and found the black bag.”

“What did Carrington say?” Billingsley asked them.

“He’s positive it’s our lady,” Leverette said. “The saw marks are identical. He’ll call when he’s done.”

“I gave Gordon the name of the guy who found it,” Marsden said and swallowed hard. The image kept creeping into his mind.

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