“If I had to guess based on what I see, I’d say he was in his mid-thirties. And how long he’s been wrapped like a mummy? I just don’t know. What I do know is that whoever wrapped this body was probably the same person who wrapped the other one. There were tell-tale signs showing that. However, this body doesn’t appear to be wrapped as well as the other one.”
“You could tell that from the condition we found it and how it was torn from the debris?”
“Sara figured that out. That’s her opinion.”
“And your opinion?”
“Same as hers.”
The detectives took the autopsy information and the tags back to the office and sat at their desk and pondered—and pondered and pondered and then pondered some more. With all the information they had in front of them, they hoped just one aspect would jump out and bite them—or at least jump out and nibble at them. They seemed close, but not close enough.
Joe called Lisa at NCIS and made another request. Surprisingly she didn’t balk, but wanted to know more. Joe responded, saying he would meet her somewhere on the outside where over-sensitive ears couldn’t hear them talk. He was afraid her phone might be tapped. Harrison Flynn would go crazy if he knew Lisa was passing secretive information to his nemeses.
Danny pulled all his information up on the incident board. They would go over it as many times as necessary until something jumped up and bit them. Just as they were getting into the meat of the case, Lieutenant Hastings called them to his office. What he had to say caused Danny to explode.
“You mean to tell me that Dobbins has escaped our surveillance! Damn! I can’t believe this! What the hell happened?”
“Danny, calm down, calm down,” Hastings urged. “I put out an alert. We’ll find him.” Hastings said this just loud enough to force Danny to calm down.
“What happened, Lieutenant?” Danny asked in a calmer tone.
“Apparently, he was wise to our surveillance schedule. Somewhere along the line he saw an opportunity and took off.”
“In his car?”
“No, not in his car. He just disappeared. We don’t know how he got away. We’re trying to find that out right now. We’ll catch the SOB. Gun or no gun, we’re going to arrest him for his step-mother’s murder. We’re not going to play games anymore. I think this guy can go dangerous on us. It’s time to play hardball.”
“What do you want us to do?” Danny asked.
“Nothing! What I want is for you two to get back in there and keep working on that damn hotel case. There’s nothing more you can do on the Dobbins case. We’ll catch Junior. Do you understand?”
“Roger that,” Danny said in agreement. “Okay Joe, let’s go put our thinking caps back on.”
After several hours of pondering, sifting of evidence, and hair pulling, both detectives leaned back in their chairs to take a breather. Both were worn out. They had made some progress but nothing had jumped out at them. Danny related to Joe some off-color political joke that caused Joe to laugh. A few moments later, Joe got a serious look on his face and jumped from his chair telling Danny he would return shortly. He wanted to catch Janice, the front office lady, before she left for the day.
Fifteen minutes later he returned with a photocopy of something. He handed it to Danny. He looked over the yellow highlighted area. He grinned. Boy did he grin.