Midnight Owl (A Joe Leverette Mystery, Book 1)

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Leverette and Marsden get into their car and Marsden opened the next file.

“The next stop is on White St. near 13th St.,” Marsden said. “If I remember right it’s just off Griswold.”

“Yeah, I think I have an idea where it is,” Leverette said and turned onto 24th toward Griswold.

They rode the rest of the way in silence. Marsden hoped Leverette wouldn’t start to tease him. He didn’t know why this bothered him when he’s seen bodies mutilated beyond recognition. There was just something about bodies being deliberately cut apart that got to him. He wondered how Leverette did it. He never showed any feelings one way or the other. Not that he was a stone-faced person, he had a smile that made the ladies melt, but he would never show any kind of emotion at a crime scene.

Traffic was moving at a decent pace and they managed to get there in ten minutes. The patrol car was parked in the driveway, and Marcie was carrying the arm out to her van which was parked in front of the house.

One of the patrol officers was talking with an Asian man who looked terrified. He was sweating and shaking almost uncontrollably. They got out of the car and walked toward them.

The patrol officer saw them and nodded. The young man turned toward them. Leverette figured him to be in his 50′s but he was never good at guessing ages.

“This is Shin Yoo,” the officer said. “These are Detectives Leverette and Marsden.”

The young man looked at them and tried to smile. He was so shaken up Leverette wondered how he managed to smile.

“You own this house?” Leverette asked.

“It was my parents’. My mother passed four years ago, and my father last week,” Shin said.

“Sorry for your loss,” Marsden said in his calm voice. “Has anyone been living here since?”

“No, my wife and I live in Fort Gratiot. My sister and her husband are in Mt. Clemens. We were going to get together to clean out the house and get ready to sell it.”

“Why did you come here alone today?” Leverette asked.

This made Shin even more nervous. He wasn’t sure how to answer especially with the arm he found.

“I was just checking to be sure nobody broke in. The neighbors have been keeping an eye on it but they can’t watch it all the time,” Shin said.

“Where did you find the arm?” Leverette asked a little gruffer than he meant to. He thought about apologizing but, decided not to.

Shin’s eyes grew wide. “I didn’t put it there!” he said defensively. “I found it in the kitchen sink.”

“I wasn’t accusing you. I’m sorry,” Leverette said. This made Shin relax a little.

“I’m sorry, too,” Shin said. He realized everyone was on edge, not just him.

Leverette looked at his watch. It was just about 8:30AM.

“Were you on your way to work?” Leverette asked.

“I have the week off and thought I’d stop by. I was even thinking about doing a little cleaning,” Shin said.

“What do you do?” Marsden asked.

“I’m an independent programmer. I build firewalls and maintain them,” Shin said. He thought about telling them about the dream he had last night but then thought better of it. They might think he was crazy or they’d think he did this and was trying to use an insanity defense.

Marsden picked up on Shin’s hesitation, just like he had with Amy and Denton. All three of them were hiding something. Might be a good idea to get them to the precinct and have a chat.

He handed Shin his card.

“If you think of anything please call. Or if someone saw something and they don’t want to talk to us,” Marsden said. “We might call you to come in to talk with us.”

“Sure. No problem,” Shin said taking the card.

“You can go now,” Leverette said.

“Okay. I want to call my sister and let her know what’s going on,” Shin said.

“You won’t be able to get into the house for a while,” Marsden said. “We’ll have a team go in to give it a look-over. I’ll let you know when it’ll be all right for you to finish what you need to do.”

Shin just nodded and walked to his car and drove away.

Marcie saw Leverette and waved. Marcie had a huge crush on him even though he was 23 years her senior, and everyone knew it. Marsden thought it was funny to see her act like a school girl around Leverette and would tease him about it. But today was different, he didn’t feel like teasing or being teased. This case really bothered him.

Marcie closed the back of the van and headed toward them in a girly sway. Leverette stiffened, wishing she’d just go back to the lab.

“Hi ya, Detective,” she said in a sing-song voice looking directly at Leverette.

“Hello,” Marsden said. Leverette forced a smile.

“Quite a case, huh?” she asked still looking directly at Leverette. She wished Marsden would leave.

“Yeah,” was all Leverette said not looking at her.

“Wonder if they’re gonna find the rest of her today,” she said. “So far we have her extremities.”

“Don’t know,” Leverette said.

“We better get back and see what Gordon found out,” Marsden said in order to pull them away from her.

She pouted. “Okay. See you later,” she said and walked away with a deliberate sway in her hips. Leverette didn’t even look her way.

The car was a few feet away and Leverette quickly walked toward it with Marsden in tow.

Once they got in Leverette said, “I wish she’d find a nice young man and leave me alone.”

“She must like older men,” Marsden said, and grinned. “Unless you find someone, she’s going to think you’re fair game.”

“Not in her wildest dreams,” Leverette said and started the car.

When they got back to the precinct they noticed Gordon in with Billingsley. They were both sitting at Billingsley’s desk and talking. When Billingsley saw Leverette and Marsden walk in he motioned for them to come into his office.

“What’s up?” Leverette asked as he sat in a chair next to Gordon. Marsden decided to stand.

Gordon didn’t like Leverette and knew he knew. It wasn’t that Leverette ever did anything, it was just his persona or aura or whatever it was called. He was just not comfortable when he was around.

“I couldn’t find anything in common with the two names you gave me. No groups, church, employers or friends in common. Once we find out who this woman was we might be able to figure out something,” Gordon said to the group.

“Well, we have two other names now. A DeShawn Davis and Shin Yoo. From what we know Davis is a factory worker and Yoo works on computers,” Marsden said.

Billingsley looked up at Marsden and noticed a hint of reservation in his eyes.

“What is it, Marsden?” the chief asked.

Marsden thought for a moment not wanting to sound like an idiot.

“I just get the feeling they’re not telling us everything,” Marsden said directly to Billingsley.

Billingsley nodded his head. He knew Marsden’s gut feelings always had merit and he wondered if he wasn’t psychic or something in that line.

“Can you put a finger on it?” Billingsley asked.

“No. I was hoping maybe Gordon had something,” Marsden finally sat in the chair next to Leverette. “I don’t think they had anything to do with it, just that they know something.”

“Best thing is to bring them in and talk to them,” Billingsley said and sat back in his chair folding his arms in front of him. He thought for a minute. “We have four different people to talk to. We assume Lang and Dalton don’t know each other. We’ll have to see about Davis and Yoo. Do you get the same feeling with all of them, Marsden?”

“Yeah. When we spoke to Lang at first I thought it was just her being so shook up, but then there was just something she wasn’t saying. I got the same feeling with the others, also.”

“They had surveillance cameras around the factory and we got a copy of the last 24 hours,” Leverette said. “We’ll go to see Andy and see what’s on it.”

The chief thought for a minute.

“Let Gordon check to see if there is a connection with the other two before we do anything. In the meantime see if Carrington can tell us anything.”

The three stood and Leverette said, “Okay.”

As they walked out the chief’s office Gordon told Leverette and Marsden that he’d get right on it and let them know what he found.

As the two detectives walked to their desks Leverette said, “I’ll give Carrington a call and see if it’s worth our while to head out.”

“Sure,” was all Marsden said, dreading the trip to the morgue.

Leverette dialed and Marcie answered. He closed his eyes and Marsden knew it was her.

“I need to speak with Carrington,” was all he said hoping Marcie wasn’t going to try to get all cutesie on him like girls her age do.

“He’s examining the extremities right now. I can have him call you or you can just stop on over,” she said with a hint of ‘come-and-see-me’ in her tone.

“No, just have him give me a call when he has something,” Leverette said and hung up before she could say anything.

He looked over at Marsden.

“If you say a word I’ll send you to see Carrington by yourself,” he said.

Marsden just made a zipped motion across his lips, but had a slight grin under it.

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