“This is a long day.” Max glanced at the clock on the microwave. The time, 7:30 p.m. Detectives Max Drake and Sarah McFadden are still at the Knowles residence.
“How much longer do you think it will take to clear this house?” Sarah asked.
“It shouldn’t be much longer. We have been here for over 8 ½ hours already. The Crime Scene Investigators have literally combed over everything.”
“So let’s go over what we have already,” Sarah said.
“Let’s sit in the living room while CSI finishes. Besides my feet are killing me.” Max said.
Max plopped down on the couch, and Sarah sat in a soft chair facing him separated by a coffee table.
“Okay, we now have blood evidence on the workbench in the garage as well as a pretty good pool of blood Parker tried to clean up. If this blood is Hallie’s, and there is no way it is not…let’s run through what we believe happened on Wednesday. Hallie and Parker had a meeting at their home the night before their court date for the divorce. Something happened. Maybe Hallie decided 200K and the house were not enough, and she tried to get more, or Parker got upset when she said something about the baby. Whatever it was Hallie was hit on the head very hard. She fell to the floor and started to bleed. Parker panicked and strangled her to death. The evidence leads us that direction.” Max said.
“We lifted three blood droplets from the trunk of Hallie’s Honda before it was towed to our garage. We have the gravel or pebbles as you call them and dirt residue from the tires. The lab is matching that with samples taken at the dump site where Hallie’s body was found.” Sarah said.
Max pursed his lips, and his eyes darted back and forth. He was in deep thought, processing the information.
“We have some blood residue from the bathroom sink trap, which we have in evidence. That means Parker washed up. We cannot account for a missing hand towel that matches the other towels hanging in the bathroom.” Max said.
“Also, we are missing one complete set of towels in the cupboard. Most homes have at least two matching sets. No one but a guy like you has only one set of towels”, Sarah teased. “Parker used one of those sets of towels to clean up the garage floor is my guess.”
“And as you stated a few hours ago, where are Hallie’s purse and keys? They are not in this house or the car. Did Parker take them, and why?” Max said.
“One other thing we have to ask ourselves. If Hallie’s keys and purse are missing, how did Parker drive the car back to the garage? Max asked.
“That’s a question we need to ask Parker. Does he have a set of keys for that car?” Sarah said.
So we need to find the murder weapon, the car keys, and purse.” Max said. He pulled out his cellphone and opening his notepad he dialed a phone number.
“Mr. Knowles, Detective Drake. Yes, we were wondering if we could meet for a second interview say tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.” Max looked at Sarah and nodded. “Of course, your lawyer can be there.” Max mouthed, ‘shit’ to Sarah.
Max ended the call. “Well, we get another larger dose of Glanville Vance tomorrow. Parker has lawyered up. I was hoping to get him alone and rattle his cage a bit more before Attorney Vance shuts him up.” Max said.
“Look, I’m bone tired. I’m going home and getting a few hours rest. I’ll see you first thing in the morning at the job. We can go over everything before Parker gets there.” Sarah stood up and gathered up her folder, “Good night partner.”
“Good night, see you in the morning,” Max said.
Sarah left, and Max could still hear CSI in the master bathroom. He started running things through his mind.
“I know this was unplanned the evidence leads that direction. It in no way could it be a professional hit. Therefore, that says to me the next logical step is most people that commit murder snap. After the person is dead shock sets in and panic. They are sloppy. All they want to do is get through it, clean up and dump the body.” Max smiled, he had a hunch. Before going home, he was going to check it out. He hoped he wasn’t too late already.
Max left the Knowles residence and drove the few minutes to the Knowles Import business. The building lights flooded the back of the building and driveway. Max parked the car and switched off the ignition. Like the back of most businesses, he found the walled enclosure with two metal dumpsters. Both dumpsters were over full with garbage, which meant the dump truck could be there in the next few hours.
Standing there with his hands on his hips, he decided to call for police support. The job he had in mind was going to get nasty, if not beyond gross. Dumpster diving was not something he would ever get used to.
Sarah McFadden checked her watch. It was 9:10 a.m. when her phone rang.
“Yeah,” Sarah said.
“Detective McFadden, Glanville Vance. I understand you would like to speak with Parker Knowles this morning. I am sorry, but there is a conflict in my schedule, we cannot be there until at least 1 p.m.”
“Sure Mr. Vance, that sounds like a lawyer. Put off today what you can do tomorrow. We have a murder investigation going on here Sir. Your client is a prime suspect, and we need to interview him. Since this is short notice, I expect you here at 1 p.m. sharp. No bullshit sir, 1 p.m.” Sarah said.
“We will be on time. Sorry for the delay Detective McFadden.”
“Bullshit, just be here.” Sarah slammed the phone receiver down.
Sitting at her desk, she fumed then grabbed the phone and called Max’s cell. It rang three times.
“Max, your asshole friend, Glanville Vance has put off the interview until 1 p.m. today. Where the hell are you anyway? You were supposed to be here already. We were to circle the wagons before interviewing Parker Knowles.”
“I’m on my way home right now.”
“Why home, what’s going on?” Sarah asked.
“I found more evidence, and we need that extra time to get it tested. I’m heading home right now.”
“You haven’t been home since last night?”
“No, I need a shower and a change of clothes. I was about to call you to get started with the interview, and I would be in as soon as I could.”
“What did you find?”
“I had a hunch last night and drove to Knowles Imports. I went out back and found two dumpsters full of garbage. I couldn’t resist so I did what any good detective would do. I spent the night digging through a mountain of crap. I’ll take a shower, grab a couple of hours sleep and I’ll be in before the one o’clock interview. We will leave them in the interview room sitting on their thumbs while I fill you in.”
“Ok, anything I need to do before then?”
“Not that I can think of right now,” Max said.
“Good work. You should have called me. When did you get a hair up your butt to dumpster dive?” Sarah added.
“Not long after you left. I started thinking like a person that snapped and probably accidently killed his wife. We both know killers panic and get sloppy. They just want the nightmare to be over and deal with their guilt afterward.”
“Yeah, seen that a million times.”
“So I drove over there and saw the two dumpsters full of garbage. I was afraid that the dump truck would be there in the morning since they were so full. I had no choice but to dig. I didn’t want to lose the opportunity.”
“Good work Max, but it pisses me off that you didn’t call me. I could have helped you into the dumpster and stood there and kept you positive as you dug through that stuff.”
“I thought about it, but decided if you got a couple hours of sleep you would be fresh and could handle our friend Glanville in the morning.”
“Okay, anything else?” Sarah asked.
“Just one thing, I think we have enough to arrest Parker Knowles.”