Chapter 12: Suspect
It’s a little uncomfortable here with the police while my whole family is wearing formal attire. From my grandparents down to Abigail, everyone is present and is attentively listening.
Nami and the twins are in the other room guarded by Uncle Lucas’s people, too. It took some time before Auntie Elaine finally decided to let her twins away from her for a moment.
“Are you cold?”
My grandmother, Ledesma Valmonte, shook her head and kissed me on the cheek.
“I missed all of you,” she said and looked at me, then shifted her eyes to my cousins.
Amorsolo Valmonte and Ledesma Valmonte are my grandparents. They don’t live here in the Philippines. They decided to migrate to Canada after giving Uncle Lucas the full command for the Valmonte Group.
Of course, the government and the healthcare system there are much better. That’s what my father and Uncles prefer, too. But from time to time, we just miss them from time to time, and it’s heartbreaking to know that they have to endure this moment in their old age.
“Shall we start, Lucas? So that the kids can go home early,” my grandfather sat in the middle chair.
“Is it necessary for the kids to know this? Shouldn’t we leave them out-”
“Mommy, stop! I want to know what’s all this about,” Abigail said.
“They should know for them to be aware, Elaine,” her husband, Uncle William, held her hand.
The police started giving us photocopied documents in a folder, probably what they gathered from the investigation.
I opened the folder and saw raw pictures from the incident. The appearance of the car after the crash, everything that’s inside it, including the belongings of my parents and even the surroundings.
I saw my grandmother started tearing up. It’s hard for Sara and me to look at this, too. This is what my parents suffered from while I was having the time of my life when I reached a hundred thousand subscribers. I can’t believe it just had to happen on the same day.
That kind of happiness shouldn’t have given to me if they were to take it away that soon.
“After a thorough investigation... the police have concluded that this is not a simple car accident.”
I held my sister to keep her under control.
“Tell us the details why you came up with such a conclusion,” Granpa challenged the officer.
Even I wouldn’t believe it, too.
What else could be the reason?
“The test results came out fine. There were no traces of alcohol or a bit of influence of drugs—both of them. None,” Auntie Irene backed up the police.
“Of course. Dad isn’t the type of person to drive under the influence of alcohol, especially when he’s with us,” I said.
Auntie Irene presented another document with pictures on the table.
“As checked, there were no signs of attack, struggling, or self-defense, too.”
“What does it mean?” Auntie Elaine asked.
Auntie Irene sighed.
“Therefore, I assumed they didn’t fight inside the car that might lead to Arthur losing control of the steering wheel. No third party is involved, too. It’s impossible that someone approached them from outside the car.”
“Based on their estimated speed, Arthur Valmonte is driving above the average speed that might have led to this...”
They made us look at the effect of the crash in front of the car. It was a complete mess. It’s totally crushed.
“So a third party is a possibility?” Rueben wondered.
“No. Didn’t you just heard what Auntie Irene said? There’s isn’t a sign of-”
“It is possible,” an officer cut Abigail off.
I feel like this incident is a puzzle that needs to be solved. I thought this is just an accident that can happen to anyone.
“A third party that might be in another car...”
We all looked at Aaron, who’s seriously looking at the photos.
“Correct. In those photos, you will see the skid marks on the road. Look at it and notice how those skid marks are impossible to come from one vehicle only.”
I shared the photo with Sara. The officer is right. There are more than two skid marks on the road.
“It seemed like they’re racing, or one of the vehicles intentionally drifted,” David commented.
“So are you saying that someone intentionally drove towards them for them to end up bumping on the tree?”
Grandfather raised his voice.
“What a trick to hide their crime...” Uncle Lucas crumpled the photos before him.
All of us went silent. I don’t think I can sleep peacefully tonight. Someone dared to hurt my parents. Someone wants them gone. Who is it? Who could it be?
“What we have to find out is their motive. Then, only we can narrow down the list of people that can be the possible suspect or suspects.”
“I don’t think Arthur and Harriet have enemies,” Auntie Elaine said to herself.
“We’ve handled a lot of attempted murder cases before, and half of those will shock you with their motive. Some are just misunderstandings at first but got deeper that made them want to kill a person. Of all people, a business-oriented family like you shouldn’t be the one to be shocked about this. The moment you enter the business field, you will not only gain support. You will also gain competitors and enemies. People who are greedy and cannot live without money. Those who can’t stand to know that someone stole their spotlight.”
The officer narrated like he’s been dealing with these kinds of cases all his life. Their profession might’ve been so hard. To know the worst side of humans. To expect the unexpected. And to accept the harsh reality.
“We recommend that you tighten your security. Triple it. Until we have a motive and a suspect, none of your family is exempted and safe. We have to know if they’re just after Mr. Arthur and Ms. Harriet Valmonte... or it’s your whole clan they’re aiming for.”
It is planned that Auntie Irene will discuss, too, the status of my parents, but Grandpa wanted to call it a day. He claimed that everyone deserves to rest and just continue everything tomorrow.
It’s almost midnight, so Uncle Lucas decided that everyone will be staying at the hotel tonight. They paid for the whole 9th floor. Even the vacant ones were not available to the guests for security measures.
I was about to enter my room when a notification from Youtube appeared. Someone has commented on one of my covers.
“Excited to see you again. Can’t wait to see you perform in person.”
Comments like these are very common. They all wanted to know where I live and other personal information. Many YouTubers are also asking me to collaborate with them, but I’m afraid I disagree with them yet because of our situation.
“Jael,” Rueben, who just got off from the elevator, called me.
“Where have you been? You’re not in your room?”
“Aaron and I had to check a few things so I can sleep peacefully tonight. Are you sleeping alone? What’s wrong with Sara’s room?”
I started taking off my heels even though I was standing and talking to him simultaneously.
“She had to review for her exams. I don’t want to disturb her. I’m fine here,” I assured him.
“Call me when you need anything.”
“Yes. I will, brother.”
“You think you have time to drop by my office tomorrow? I have to tell you something,” he said in a mysterious tone.
I stomped my feet and lashed out at him.
“Why not tell me tonight? Why do you have to make my mind think about it if I still need to wait for the sun to shine?”
My brother and his not-so-friendly tricks when it comes to telling me a secret.
“I still have to check it tonight. If I’m right... we will have a possible suspect tomorrow.”