A story by Fruitcake @barjan
“I shall never get used to that part of the job” Josie said to Rob “It’s awful seeing the painful recognition on their faces” Rob suppressed his own dislike and said “Yup it’s no picnic, but all the more reason for us to get on and find the scumbag that did it eh Dixie?”
In the “ops” room the chief was asking what exactly they had to go on and it wasn’t a great deal, it seemed that Melanie always walked to work, leaving home at 8.15am and always took the same route, which took her out of the housing estate, through the short cut behind the garages and then she turned right to cross the bridge over the motorway, up the next street, through the archway under the viaduct and then up the main road to the offices where she worked.
The murderer had put Melanie’s body in a white plastic bag, big enough to cover a mattress, and then obviously transported it to the area where it was found by the isolated stream, (Tom had taken his photographs from the other side of the stream, but with his photographic equipment could zoom across) The side where the body was found was at the bottom of a partly wooded hill, it would appear from the postmortem that it was a massive blow to the head which had killed her and that most of the other findings were conducive with the body being rolled down the hill from the wooded area, she also had a broken leg, which seemed as though it had been hit with some force, the time of death was estimated at between 8 and 9am, which meant it was during her walk to work. “Any evidence of sexual interference?” Rob had asked “Doesn’t appear to have been” came the reply.
“Well, on the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be many places from where she could have been abducted does there?” Rob said “Right, come on Dixie, let’s get to it, house to house first, we’ll start with the houses that the garages are behind and work our way along the route that she took., George, can you cover all the shops along the main street from the viaduct up to the office block and see if there’s anything at all that you can find out, I know the boys in blue have made inquiries, but they were doing a missing person inquiry, not a murder inquiry so let’s step it up a notch eh?”
Rob and Josie had been to the scene of the crime and had found tyre tracks in a clearing on the hill above where the body had been found and evidence of something, presumably the body, being rolled down the hill. By the wheel tracks and up to the edge of the clearing were several footprints in the leaf mould and the forensic squad were working on the evidence of these and the tyre tracks.
During their house to house inquiries Rob & Josie found one witness who had heard the squeal of tyres at about 8.30am, thinking it was some boy racer the woman said that she hadn’t taken any notice and hadn’t thought any more about it until Rob & Josie had asked the question , as they did each person interviewed, “Can you think of anything at all different that morning? Any unusual noises?” , “What direction did the noise come from?” asked Rob “Well it seemed to come from where the garages are because it echoed” the witness said.
Rob & Josie thanked the woman and made their way to where the garages were, there were ten garages in all and they slowly walked along the fronts of the garages, closely examining the ground, suddenly Josie shouted “Got it boss!” Rob bent down and inspected what they’d been looking for “Get on the blower Dixie and get forensics out here to check this skid mark and see if it matches the tyre tracks from the wood, and those look like blood stains, get those checked to see if they’re a match for the dead girl”.
George was back at the station after he had made inquiries of all the shopkeepers along the road from the viaduct to the office block, where Melanie had worked, he asked each one if they had seen or heard anything, anything at all at between 8.15 am and 8.45am, he reported that one of the shopkeepers had heard, as he was putting out his advertising board, a car roar past “It fair made me jump!” he’d said to George, he said he’d looked up to see the back of a white car, “Any idea of make?” George asked “Not sure but it could have been a BMW” the shopkeeper said “And it looked as though there were a couple of young lads in it, I remember thinking that it was a bit early in the day for joy riders!” he added
“Okay Dixie, gotta job for you” , “Yes boss?”, “First thing tomorrow morning get onto traffic and check all their records to see if they made any arrests or had any problems with joy riders in that area on the morning in question, I wouldn’t mind betting the car was stolen if it is kids, of course until we get the report back about the tyre tracks we don’t know if it’s anything to do with the murder but, at the moment, it’s all we’ve got to go on!”
Josie was pretty pleased with her efforts and so was Rob when she reported in, not only had she found a record of an arrest made of two youths who had stolen a white BMW, they were released on bail awaiting the court case, but had also found that the car was registered to someone who lived in the road where they’d done house to house yesterday.
“Why weren’t we told when we were there?” Rob queried “It was probably one of the residents that were out boss” Josie supposed “Well, now we’ve got the report back from forensic and we know the tyre tracks match, George get round there now will you ? Give him the address Josie, if the owner is there explain what’s happening” said Rob
A tall fair haired man answered the door, George said “Mr Brown?” and introduced himself and showed him his ID “That was quick!” said the chap “I’ve only just reported it missing!” “Sorry sir” said George “What is it that you’ve just reported missing?”, “Well my wife’s car, is that not what you’re here for?” “Uhm, well in a roundabout way it is sir” replied George
“Come in, excuse the clutter, we only got back from holiday last night, went to change mine and the wife’s cars round, as we’d left hers in the garage, and found that the door had been forced open and the car was gone!”
“Well Mr Brown, we do know where your wife’s car is but I’m afraid we have to hold on to it as it’s evidence in a murder inquiry” said George “What? A murder inquiry? What’s my wife’s car got to do with a murder inquiry?” Mr Brown said, “Did anyone know you were going away on holiday sir?” asked George “Sorry? Oh I guess some people did, what’s this all about?, what do you mean a murder inquiry?” he demanded again. “We believe your car was stolen and then used in connection with a murder Mr Brown, I can’t tell you any more than that at this time as we’re still investigating the crime, but I’m afraid it means we must hang onto your wife’s car until our investigations are completed”.
Meanwhile Rob & Josie had the addresses of the two lads arrested by traffic and made their way to one address, a woman answered the door, “Mrs Scott?” Rob demanded “Yes” replied the woman looking a bit puzzled “Detective Inspector Davies and Detective Sergeant Dickinson” continued Rob and showed the woman his ID, as did Josie, “Is your son Darren at home please?” , “He’s in bed, what do you want with him? I thought the car business was all done with until he goes to court” , “Well we’d like to have a few more words with him if you don’t mind” Josie said “Darren!” she called as she went in the flat, Rob & Josie followed her in and, as soon as she’d opened the door to her son’s bedroom, Rob grabbed the boy, put his hands behind his back and handcuffed him, read him his rights and told him that he was being arrested on suspicion of murder. At the same time as Rob & Josie were at Darren Scott’s flat two other detectives were at the 2nd address, where they arrested Leroy Stanley.
Darren Scott was 16 years old and, during the interview, it transpired that he worked at the local newsagent’s, “Dixie?” Rob called Josie aside “Get hold of that Mr Brown and ask him if he had a paper delivered from that newsagent’s and, if so, if he’d cancelled for while he was on holiday will you?” he whispered. Josie asked one of her colleagues to check and went to interview Leroy.
“So Darren” Rob continued with the interview, “Are you going to tell me what happened when you stole the BMW car, because you know that being charged with murder is a different kettle of fish than being charged with unlawful taking & driving of a vehicle don’t you?”, “I don’t know anything about a murder and I don’t know why you’re charging me with it, what evidence have you got smart ass?” Darren said with a smirk, “Darren you won’t help your case one bit by calling me names, even though you’re quite right of course, I am a smart ass, which is a lot more than I can say for you! The thing is you see, we have got evidence that proves you were involved with the murder, what we don’t know is whether it was you or Leroy that actually killed her or which one of you was an accessory, of course the punishment for each crime is totally different, but no doubt Leroy is, at this moment, telling my colleague who did what, so I guess we’ll see what he’s got to say, would you like a drink of water?”
Rob gave the boy some water and left the interview room, he bumped into Josie outside, “How’s it going with Leroy?” he asked her, “Oh he’s all about is Leroy, I don’t think I’m likely to get very far with him as far as admitting anything’s concerned, trouble is we’ve got the proof that they were in the car and that they were where the body was dumped as the tyre tracks and their shoe prints all match, but we’ve nothing to prove that they did that or commited the murder”. Rob agreed and said “I think I might be able to work on Darren a bit more, he’s 2 years younger than Leroy and not so streetwise, I’m letting him sweat at the moment, coffee?” “Thanks boss, by the way Mr Brown did cancel the paper he had delivered”
Rob & Josie drank their coffee and then both went back to the interview rooms. Rob resumed his interview with Darren, “Well, Leroy has a very interesting version of what happened Darren but I think I’d like to give you a chance to tell me your side, it’s only fair” Rob saw just a flash of panic in the boy’s eyes and thought ‘Yes I’ve nearly got him!’, “Of course it doesn’t really matter to me who I charge with murder, no skin off my nose, as long as I get someone but, in spite of your cheek Darren, I don’t think you’re that bad a kid really so I’ll give you one more chance to tell me your story”
Darren crumpled then and it all tumbled out, they’d been to an all night party, were quite high on alcohol “And drugs?” asked Rob “Nothing heavy” said Darren, he continued to say that they had planned to take the car the night before “You knew the people were on holiday and that they’d left her car didn’t you?” Rob asked, Darren nodded, “Why hadn’t you taken it before, they’d been away all week?” ,“Leroy had been turning other tricks with some other mates”, “Carry on” Rob said “Well because of the party we didn’t take it during the night and we were high and it just seemed like a bit of fun so we smashed the lock and Leroy hot wired it and backed it out……”, “Yes, so what happened next” ,“Well this woman came round the corner, she saw us, Leroy said “Get in!” but the car’s automatic and as I jumped in I kicked the gear stick and it went into reverse just as Leroy jambed his foot onto the accelerator, it knocked the woman straight down, I jumped out, her head was smashed open , I touched her and shouted to Leroy that she was dead, we didn’t mean to kill her! It was an accident!” he cried.
Rob sat back in his chair “Tell me Darren why did you take the body away?”, “Leroy said that he’d never got done for anything heavy, that we had to get rid of the evidence, so we found the big bag in the garage, put her in it and put it in the boot, then drove to some woods, that Leroy knew and dumped it” Darren then broke down completely and sobbed.
Leroy was charged with manslaughter and disposing of a body and Darren for being an accessory to manslaughter and aiding and abetting in the disposal of a body.