As Maria Sadowsky, homicide detective assigned to the Sarah Dockerty case went over the coroner’s results, she wondered whether it was coincidental inconsequential or pertinent that the victim visited a women’s shelter a week before her death.
She’d moved to Rock City a year ago from out of state and lived on her own. An accountant at Fritz Department Store since her arrival, her boss Darrel Means, explained she’d been an incredible asset and he was delighted to have found and hired her and she would be sorely missed. When pressed for more information he’d indicated he didn’t know much about her private life, only that she arrived on time, left on time, did an exceptional job. He hadn’t noticed her interact much with the rest of the staff.
For all tense and purpose, she lived quietly, off-radar as it were. She didn’t appear to have any close friends and her co-workers said she was friendly, but always had a ready excuse as to why she couldn’t party. That raised questions for Sadowsky. Why would a lovely young woman (no more than 25) with a good-paying job as an accountant, living in a nice location decide to live such a lonely existence? As far as she could surmise, there wasn’t a boyfriend or husband in the picture and she didn’t date (several had tried) and she’d graciously turned them all down.
The victim, Sarah Dockerty, had been a looker with natural blond hair and bright blue eyes. The hair had been dyed a red-brown mix, and according to the autopsy she’d worn coloured contact lenses; her eyes were dove gray. Her obvious intent was downplaying her looks and in that, she hadn’t succeeded; her bone structure, her delicate but toned build were excellent.
Her neighbours couldn’t supply much information either, other than she was quiet, pleasant, greeted them in passing, but nothing more involved or intimate than that.
Consequently, the only way to learn more about the deceased woman and who might have wished her harm was a determined search of her background. From the moment she’d arrived in Rock City, she’d gone into hiding. Why? Sarah Dockerty had determinedly flown solo. More than ever, Sadowsky was leaning toward the woman’s past holding clues that led to her demise. What they were and how important remained to be seen.
Sadowsky had phoned the police department in Merville, the last known address she could find for Dockerty and had spoken to a Constable Mears who asked pointed questions. She was more than a little surprised by the type of questions and his interest.
Two days went by as she collected more information when a man was shown to her desk and stood waiting for her to look up. When she did, she noticed a blond blue eyed male approximately six feet tall looking expensively groomed from his polished shoes to expensive suit and stylish haircut.
“Yes, can I help you?”
“I’m in two minds, yes and no.”
“Cryptic,” Sadowsky responded, “have a seat.”
“One half of me is praying I’m wrong, the other looking for answers and hoping they don’t match.”
He opened his wallet and handed a photo across which Sadowsky took. “You are?”
“Mears, we spoke on the phone.”
“Ah, I see.”
“I’m afraid you may not want to hear the answer I have for you then. This is unfortunately, the woman laying in the morgue, known as Sarah Dockerty.”
“Damn it!” he nearly exploded. “That’s what I was afraid of.”
“So, fill me in.” Sadowsky sat back in her chair and waited.
Following a heart-felt sigh, Mears did. Apparently, the woman was an important part of an investigation he headed which, if completed would see a gang of several dozen loan-sharks jailed. She had been the accountant for their firm until she realized what and who they were. After contacting the police, providing information that would jail the lot of them, she’d been moved until the trial. Originally, they had planned on placing her in a safe house, but the tentacles of the organization were far reaching and it was decided to move her out of state. The only one, as far as he was aware, that knew of her identity and location was himself and the lawyer on the case.
“I’d say you have a leak somewhere.”
“It would seem so. Can you tell me more about what happened?”
Sadowsky filled him in, gave him the entire low-down. “So you must have some ideas about who did this, or at wanted it done.”
“Unfortunately for you I do but I can’t release that information at the moment. We’re at a tipping point in the case; Sarah Dockerty’s death complicates this and if I can’t find the remaining evidence she had, will lose the case.”
“Nothing says we can’t work together on this. I certainly don’t have a problem, particularly if it leads to her murderer.”
The deal was sealed, she’d take him over all the information relating to the victim,and he’d provide as much information about the possible murderer and his henchmen.