“Tola, talk to me.” Adam said leaning forward in his chair. He had refused to meet with the coroner or see the body again, he was director for a reason. Tola was not the director, she did not have such refusing privileges.
“What do you want to know?” she said with a sneer.
“Everything you learnt from the coroner.” He said chuckling. She did not like dead bodies any more than he did.
“Jane Doe, by the coroner’s estimations was in her late teens or early twenties. That’s all we know about her for now. We ran her finger prints, no match. No luck with the dental records too.”
“All these talk of dental records and finger prints make me laugh. Just a few years ago, we did not even have these on the force.”
“Yeah, its 2020, the world has changed.” She was still angry. “What else do you need to know?”
“How was she killed? Same MO as the last girl?”
“Partially. She was cut up the same way and her liver is missing, that’s where the similarities end. The coroner thinks she was cut alive.” Tola said with a shudder.
“She was?” He felt a cold chill run down his spine. “There was no cyanide this time?”
Tola shook her head. “The cut indicated a struggle; there were severe rope burns on her wrists to confirm this. And according to the coroner, she died from loss of blood.”
Adam sighed and leaned back in his chair. The bastard was getting more adventurous, he was enjoying the kill more. He was also sending him messages. That meant he was not going to stop now except he is stopped. It also meant he was more likely to make mistakes.
“Did the coroner check underneath her nails of the victim for any tissue that might belong to our killer? Maybe he scratched him during the kill.”
“He checked and yes we got some tissue, we have sent it to the lab. There is more, there was alcohol in her blood. There’s no way to know if she had it in her before she was abducted.”
“Any other thing on her? Maybe hair that isn’t hers, clothe fiber, anything that can help.”
“No, there was nothing. She wasn’t raped either, we checked for that.”
Adam got up from his chair and started pacing. He had thought about the text he had gotten from the perp. He had mentioned Diana. Could it mean there were two of them involved?
“Tola, does Diana mean anything to you?” He had not told her about the note or the text.
“Diana, the princess or the goddess?” She asked with an arched eyebrow.
“What?” He asked, a little confused. Of course, Princess Diana and Diana of Roman mythology.
“Why are you asking about Diana?”
He was about to answer when somebody knocked on the door. A junior detective entered.
“Sir, I think we have the ID of Jane Doe.” He said handing an envelope to Tola. She opened it, brought out a sheet of paper, looked at it then handed it to Adam.
It was the victim alright. Her name was Lola Arinze. She was a student of the State Polytechnic.
“How did you find this?” He asked the detective.
“Remember those sites that posted her crime scene pictures online? We monitored them waiting for any suspicious comments. Somebody identified her and posted a link to her Instagram page.”
“Do you have any of her contacts? Friends or family?” Tola asked.
“Yes, it’s also in the envelope.”
“Okay, good.” Tola said.
“Good work detective, you can go, keep up the surveillance of the internet.” The junior detective nodded and left.
“According to this, she is based in Lagos.” Tola said. “She has lost her mother, raised by father and step-mother. She’s a second year student at the polytechnic. She lived on campus, so her roommates should know about her. According to this, her father has been informed, he will be arriving to collect her body.”
“Let’s go to the Polytechnic, that’ll be a good start.” Adam said, grabbing his jacket off his chair.
Tola grabbed her Ipad and followed him, his ever faithful assistant.
They were about exiting the building when he saw a man arguing with the policemen at the gate.
“What’s going on there?” Adam called to one of the officers.
“The man wants to report the theft of his taxicab. We told him this isn’t that kind of police station, he’s making a fuss and refusing to go.”
“The poor man.” Adam said with a chuckle. “Take his statement and send it to the nearest station. Was his taxi stolen around here?”
“No, he said it was stolen at Tanke.”
“Why is he here then?” Adam said and waved the officer away.
He was about to step into his car when his phone rang. It was the governor.
“Adam, I heard another body has been found. What are you doing about this menace?”
“Sir, we have a few leads and I was just on my way to pursue one of these leads.” He did not have a lead technically, but he was not admitting that to the governor.
“You do your job Adam, but the public need a little reassurance from you. Why haven’t you given any press conference or anything to calm them? I think we can all agree the Police Chief’s press statement was a botched attempt to repair the situation.”
He felt good the governor too did not approve.
“Sir, I am busy with the investigations, I really don’t have time for the media.”
“I was hoping you would say that. I have a favour to ask.” The governor wanted a favour? He was governor, he ordered not ask favours.
“Remember Kate?” Of course he did, how would he not remember the Governor’s daughter? They had been close, friends, before her mother had been shot on his watch. She had been on the news on and off for two years, never for a good reason. He wondered why the governor was bringing her up.
“Yes I do sir.”
“Well, she needs a job.” Adam stifled a laugh. The governor was asking him for a favour because his daughter needed a job? She could have his job if the governor decided so. The governor was not the Almighty but in the affairs of the state, he was close. “I know what you’re thinking Adam, and you’re right, I can get her jobs but I want a particular one. I want her to work with you.”
“Sir?” He gasped.
“Remember I said I needed a favour? She’s been in a lot of trouble recently,you should know and I need somebody to watch over her.” Adam shook his head slowly. The governor had people, lots of them, who would jump at the opportunity to take care of his daughter. Her mother had asked the same favour seconds before she died. They all thought him very responsible. He could not take care of himself, much less another human being.
“Sir, I’m quite surprised, pleasantly surprised that you think so highly of me but I don’t think there’s anything I can do here that hundreds of people cannot do. The CIB isn’t exactly what I think Kate would like.”
“Adam, I want her here in the city, I want her under the watch of somebody I know and I trust. That media problem you have, she can help there.”
“Sir, I really think you should give more thought to this. Have you asked her if she wants it?” There was no way a girl like Kate would want to work in the CIB.
“I’ll ask her. And do something about this murderer ruining my city.”
He leaned on the car and let out a deep sigh. He really did not want to be drawn back into the Governor’s family. He had done enough damage.
“Are you okay?” Tola asked, breaking into his thoughts.
“I am, I think so.” There was no way Kate would agree to come work for him. “Let’s go see the students.”
Ese walked faster trying to keep the pace of her crazy partner. She was lucky to be back in the unit he had told her as they left the office. She did not argue with him but she had secretly prayed for God to give her an opportunity to disgrace the condescending egoistic hunk of meat. So far her prayer had not been answered.
“You want to be a good reporter, you have to learn to walk fast.” He said over his shoulder. Ese almost threw her purse at him. He was trying to make her miserable and he was succeeding. She had been a top reporter for a national television, he knew it but he was top dog here and she had to know it. She had begged, losing part of her dignity to get back on the case. He had agreed to take her with him as long as she knew her place as his subordinate.
They were in the State polytechnic. Richard had gotten some information that the last victim had been identified and that she was a student of the school. He had promptly called up some contacts in the school who had confirmed that the victim indeed was a student of the school. If his confidence was anything to go by, he also knew who to talk to about the girl.
“Ever been to this school?” He asked, not reducing his pace.
“Yes, a few times.”
“This used to be my stomping ground. I did a lot of damage here.” He said with a proud smile.
“You schooled here?”
“Four years.” He said as they approached the Female Hostel. It looked recently repainted, better than it looked last time she had being there. He stopped and looked over the building. “I used to come here like it was my second home.”
She was even more disgusted by him. She wondered what kind of girl would be attracted to a self-absorbed person like him. They were about to move into the hostel when she noticed Adam and her feisty assistant park behind them. She still hurt from the way he had treated her the day before, but she was not going to give him the pleasure of knowing.
“What are you doing here Ese?” He asked as he got out of the car.
“Good morning to you too.” Richard turned back to look at Adam. He knew who Adam was but feigned ignorance. “This is Detective Adam Ademola, director of CIB.” She said pointing to Adam. “And Detective Dosumu.”
“Who are you?” Adam asked Richard, sizing him up with eyes. Richard did not like being talked to like that. She liked it.
“I’m Richard, her boss.” He said, attempting to hug Adam. Was he crazy?
“He’s not my boss.” Prick!
“Okay, I don’t care who is boss of who, just stay out of my way, I have an investigation to run. And if you are here to question anybody in this hostel, I’d advise you to hold your horses.”
She did not know if she was more happy seeing Richard put in his place or more angry with the way Adam treated her, again. She did not expect Richard to budge, he did not look like somebody who took orders. But he turned and walked away from the hostel.
“You’re taking orders from him? Are you serious? Looks like you’re all talk.” She said with a scoff.
“Just keep quiet and follow me.” He was up to something.
They moved towards a bench not far from the hostel. He dipped his hand in his pocket and brought out a device.
“What’s that?” She asked.
He did not answer. He sat on the bench, set the device beside him and pushed a couple of buttons. It came to life, it was a speaker of sorts. Static came through the speakers. He pushed another button and a voice came over the speaker. It was Adam’s! He had bugged him!
“The attempted hug?” She asked him, her mouth open. He nodded, proud of himself. “That is illegal! It’s so wrong, dangerous even. What if he finds it?”
“You want to question me or work? If your conscience is too pretty for this, you are welcome to leave.”
She looked at the hostel where Adam had entered. If he found the bug they could deny it, but Adam knew her, he would know the moment he saw her that she was lying. He would have no proof though. He had been anything but good to her. He had it coming.
“Okay, let’s do this.” She said, taking a seat beside him.
Adam did not want to help her, he would anyway.
Adam took a swig out of the bottle and placed it on the table in front of him. He was at CALEB’S for the first time since he and Faruk had found the note on his car. He loved the lounge and had staggered out of the place more than a few times with Faruk his ever faithful partner. The music was rarely loud, rich men apparently did not want too much noise, they would have stayed at home with their wives and children if they wanted that. A couple of men with girls who were young enough to be their granddaughters sat to his right. The girls laughed at every silly thing the men said, it was disgusting.
He felt a touch on his head and jumped. A girl stood behind him. She was making an attempt at a seductive smile, she was failing miserably.
“You need something?” He asked her. The smile disappeared. Her failure seemed to hurt her. The lounge did not allow hookers in, so she had to be part of the staff.
“There’s a gentleman outside, he said to tell you Kelvin was calling you.” She said and scurried away.
He looked at the half full bottle, he would come back for it. Faruk apparently had not been allowed in again. He stood and walked out of the room. Faruk was outside, standing some distance away from the door with a bag.
“Bro, what’s happening?” Adam asked as he approached him. “They didn’t let you in again, right?”
“They probably wouldn’t have allowed me but I did not want to enter. Where’s your car?” Adam pointed to the car. Faruk was rarely serious, but he looked as serious as a man listening to the jury deliver his verdict.
He punched the remote and the doors opened, they entered and closed the doors.
“What’s going on Faruk?” He asked as soon as he had the air-condition running.
“I heard you found another body. Same guy?”
“Most likely, yeah. He sent me a text message.” He brought out his phone and showed Faruk the text. “I had a friend of mine check if he could trace the sender, he didn’t find anything useful.”
Faruk opened the bag he carried and brought out a laptop. He put it on and opened a video.
“I came back here that night and asked around if anybody saw anything, most of them did not but I got lucky.”
He played the video. It was a two minute video of a couple of girls attempting a dance, a male voice sounded in the background, probably the person who shot the video.
“What am I supposed to see here Faruk?”
Faruk replayed the video and pointed at a shadow. Then forwarded the video and pointed to a figure that appeared for two seconds.
“That’s the guy.” Adam looked at Faruk confused. “You see your car before the guy gets there, the camera moves away and the note is there by the time we come back.”
Adam studied the video and replayed it a few times. Faruk was right. Unfortunately, the shadow or the figure did not show much.
“The guys didn’t remember seeing him. They were drunk so I doubt they’d remember anything from that night.” Faruk said. “I thought you’d want it anyway, I have printed copies of that image. It might not help much but it is something, right?”
“Yeah, yeah…” He looked at the figure intently, he had a weird feeling he knew the guy. “Thanks Faruk.”
“You can thank me inside, you know that right?” Faruk said, putting the laptop back in the bag.
“Of course.” He said with a laugh.
An enemy with a face – or a figure was easier finding. Or not.
– To be continued –
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 7