Michael stood looking into the freezer. It was an older model chest-type, about four to five feet in length. Inside lays a rotting body that still resembled who it had been in life. He looked over at Marcel.
“We no longer have to wonder where Nelson went to,” he replied pointing at the rotting corpse, “Whoever killed him wanted him to disappear.” He turned to Pasquale. “Do you think a woman, petite in build, could have moved this freezer out to the curb?”
“I doubt it,” the garbageman replied, “unless she is a weightlifter. These older models are rather heavy, even without a body. No one thought that the weight was the least strange because people usually load these with other garbage and tape them up to keep it from spilling out.”
“So it all just seemed to be a usual pickup,” Reilly stated, trying to confirm.
“Yes,” Pasquale replied, “Nothing seemed unusual.”
Michael took out his cell phone and dialed the ME’s number. “We need to get this to the station undisturbed. May be other clues that could easily be lost.” His attention was distracted by the ME answering the phone. “Yes. We need your services here. We have a body.”
Marcel looked at the ugly scene inside the freezer. “Might suggest dey leave ‘im in dere. ‘E not goin’ nowhere’s.”
Michael smiled. “We’ll suggest that when she gets here.” He looked back into the freezer. I don’t see any sign of a murder weapon, but I could be overlooking it.”
“I doubt it, Mike,” Marcel replied, Dey ain’t no cloth nor anyt’ing else to hide anyt’ing. He was put dere naked. Remember. We foun’ de sheets in dat freezer in his garage. But dere weren’t no weapon dere either.”
“So,” Michael started pensively,”We have the sheets, the body, the bed, but not the weapon. Where would one put a weapon so that it couldn’t be found?”
“We know that no woman could ever put a freezer of this type out by herself,” Danforth added, “And Jane Doe claimed to wake up on the couch. Maybe she is right about being followed. But why hasn’t she made any more calls? Could someone be toying with her?”
Michael shrugged. “I don’t know, but I doubt it. Her original attacker is right here. Maybe the husband of the victim before Jane Doe figured it out as well. He was fairly well built. He could have been the one to murder, load and transport Nelson to the curb.”
“But without waking our Jane Doe?” Reilly inquired, skeptical.
“Maybe he held a pillow over Nelson’s face,” Michael replied, “or a hand. Who knows?”
Marcel and the other two nodded in agreement. It was odd, but it was a possibility. And besides. They were all convinced that a man was more capable of this than their other choice. She was just too small.
She stood at the kitchen counter humming to herself. She was happy. Though she was still concerned about what tomorrow might bring, or the day after, she was happy today. She had made a special salad, not that she was that great of a cook, but she had somehow remembered how to make a salad, for Dom’s lunch. It had apples, nuts, raisins, celery and lettuce. All mixed together with salad dressing.
She picked up the bowl proudly and started for the dining room. There, she had already set two places. Dom walked in just as she sat the bowl down and looked in at her surprise. He looked up and smiled.
“How did you know that I liked Waldorf salad?” He asked.
She smiled back. “I just guessed. I like it too, Baby.”
He sat down at the table. “Well, since lunch is ready, why don’t we just go ahead and eat?”
She nodded in anticipation. She allowed him to take his portion first, then dug out hers. She began eating right away, not looking up to see if he was eating as well. They both had seconds, then he sat back.
“I will bring something home for dinner,” he stated, “so you won’t have to fix anything.”
“Thank you, My Love,” she replied.
“The body was relatively preserved for being three years old,” the medical examiner began, “It was easy to tell that the victim had been stabbed multiple times by a butcher or chef’s knife. The person was either right on top of him or held him down with a knee.”
“Was his mouth covered?” Michael inquired.
“No,” The medical examiner began, puzzled, “Our victim was sound asleep, possibly drunk or drugged. Why?”
“Just curious,” Michael replied, “it is just that things aren’t adding up.”
“It’s going to get even more weird,” the medical examiner replied, Especially since the first stab killed him instantly. It was perfectly placed and went straight into the heart.”
“So all the other wounds were post mortem?” Reilly asked.
“Yes,” came the answer, “but our unknown killer may not have been aware that their victim was already dead.”
Michael looked at his team. “Since Nelson’s house is still unoccupied, we can easily go back and search for anything we might’ve missed the first time. Like the murder weapon and any other clues we now know about.”
Reilly and Danforth got up, ready to head out. “Meet you there boss,” Danforth stated.”
“Be careful,” Michael warned, “We don’t know what to expect.”
“True,” Reilly agreed, “true.”
Marcel looked at Michael. “Guess you gon’ make me wait on ya? OK, den. You get what-tever you need. I be waitin’ for’n ya in my car.”
“You do that, Justin,” Michael replied, a smile playing across his face, “I just need to get a forensics kit or three.”
She sat looking through Dom’s yearbooks. She was so awestruck that he was such a highly educated man. She had no clue what he did for a job, but it must be important. He always seemed to have money. And with the doctorates he’d earned, he should be a high dollar employee.
Maybe her fear was all for nothing. He hadn’t left yet. Nor had he been taken from her in any other way. But Mardi Gras still had to come and go before she would relax.