Read Progeny Online

Authors: E. H. Reinhard

Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Police Procedurals, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Crime, #Murder, #Serial Killers, #Thrillers

Progeny (9 page)

BOOK: Progeny
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“Good. Have we run them yet?”

“I’m just starting to pull them.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Pax pulled prints from the inhaler. He’s running them as we speak.”

“Okay. Where are the file boxes from the Redding case?”

“Back in my office.”

“I need to check something quick,” I said.

“Sure, go ahead.”

I walked into his office and found the box from the trial. I browsed through the sheets of paper but found nothing with juror names.

My phone rang in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw Ed was calling. I clicked Talk. “Yeah, Ed.”

“I spoke with Marion Rappaport.”

“Okay.”

“I think we have a positive identification here.”

“How’s that?”

“Well, aside from the same medications in the toxicology report, the eye color, height, weight, all of that is there as well. We’ll still need a DNA match to confirm, but I’d say we’re at a percentage in the nineties.”

“Okay, Ed. Did you hear that we got another?”

“Yeah, Pasco coroner called me. We’re a tight bunch. I was actually going to take a ride over there.”

“Sure. Let me know if you need anything or get anything. I know we didn’t contact anyone as far as next of kin. I’m not sure if the Pasco County sheriffs did. We’re not a hundred percent that it is the homeowner, though it looks like it.”

“I’ll see what I can find out there. I’ll be in touch later.”

“Thanks, Ed.” I hung up, left Rick’s office, and went back to the workstation where Rick continued to examine the winch. “How long do you have here?” I asked.

“Maybe a half hour with this. After that, I’ll need to process the clothes. Why? What’s up?”

“We’re going to have a meeting upstairs in about fifty minutes. I’d like you to be up there. It will be a half hour or less.”

“Yeah, that’s fine. I can have Rob work on the clothes.”

The door to one of the glass labs flew open. Pax stood with a sheet of paper in his hand. He swung it back and forth. “We have a print match from AFIS on the inhaler.”

I walked over and took the sheet. The name of the match was Carmen Simms.

“Did you run her?” I asked.

“Not yet.”

I pointed back inside the lab.

Pax took a seat on the rolling stool in front of his laptop and plugged the name into our system. “Carmen Simms, fifty-one, black hair, brown eyes, five-eight, one hundred thirty pounds.” He scrolled down the screen. “She’s got priors.”

“Print it,” I said.

Pax clicked the button, and the office printer chirped and kicked out the sheet. I pulled it from the tray and looked it over. Most of the charges against her were old, but the sheet was littered with offenses—drugs, assault, aggravated assault, fraud, and restraining orders. I looked for an address. The one listed was in Pembroke Pines, near Miami. She had no known phone number or registered vehicle. Her driver’s license hadn’t been renewed since 1993. She’d been incarcerated between the years of 1994 and 2005. The facility of incarceration was listed as the South Florida State Hospital. We didn’t have much, if any, recent information to go on. I could call down and request a check of the address listed. However, the woman was in our area. I needed more information on her.

“Thanks, Pax. Keep doing what you’re doing,” I said.

I took the sheet from the forensics lab and headed back upstairs. I stopped in the captain’s office.

“Yeah?” Bostok asked. “Get something?”

I handed him the sheet. “We got some prints off of Henry Pullman’s inhaler that belong to this woman.”

He looked it over. “Pretty slim as far as anything recent.”

“I know.”

The captain adjusted his glasses on his nose and continued reading the sheet. “She was in one of the state’s mental health prisons. This woman has been a ghost since, what, two thousand three? Where was she from then until now?”

I shrugged. “That’s what we need to find out.”

“Have Timmons put a BOLO out on her. I just got done with my rounds of calls. People should start filing in for the meeting pretty soon. You should probably figure out who you want on what.” He handed back the sheet.

“I’ll put together something. Until everyone is here, I’m going to dig into this Carmen Simms. Give my door a knock when we’re set.”

The captain nodded.

I went to my office and took a seat. On my desk, waiting for me, were the in-and-out logs from the assisted-living complex. A note from Rickson was taped to the front. It said he’d checked out everyone that had signed in as a guest—no one seemed suspicious. The note also said that the facility had a number of unguarded service roads. A dead end.

I woke up my computer and searched her listed address. All the listings came back as the Brickshire Center Luxury Condo complex. I clicked on the website. All the images were illustrations of what the place would look like upon completion—the condos were still under construction. I punched in the address again and searched through multiple pages of results. The condo complex was a renovation of an old housing facility called the Mission Oaks Treatment Center. I searched the name and found a couple old news articles reporting about the place closing their doors after twenty-five years of operation. I continued reading. The facility had been an involuntary halfway house. They shut down in 2008.

“Shit,” I said.

I searched through the news articles, looking to see if any former employees were named. If they were, they might have known where Carmen Simms went. I found nothing but decided to look into it more later.

I made a handful of copies of her rap sheet for the meeting. They finished printing seconds before the captain knocked on my window. “Everyone is here,” he said from the next room. I gathered what I had and walked down the hall to our meeting room. Rick was standing outside the door with the captain.

Rick looked at me. “It has to be this Carmen Simms,” he said. “The prints on the winch were hers as well.”

“Okay. Anything else?”

“The heel print we’re still working on.”

I nodded and turned the door handle. “Come on.”

The captain and Rick followed me in.

The long table running down the center of the room was filled. Hank, Jones, and Donner were present, and Timmons had five uniformed officers sitting in. The captain sat next to the major at the front, along with Sam James, who I assumed would create his press release from the information discussed in the meeting. Rick stood against the back wall.

I tossed down the copies of the woman’s rap sheet. “Spread those around,” I said. “The woman’s name is Carmen Simms. She is our prime suspect. We have her prints with both victims.”

As the sheets were distributed, I watched while the officers and detectives started reading them over.

“She does not reside at the address listed. It was a halfway house that closed in two thousand eight. We have nothing as far as where she is currently staying. She doesn’t own a car. She has no phone number listed,” I said.

Telwan raised his hand.

I pointed at him.

“Where the hell do we start? What do we even know about her?” he asked.

“We know she’s in the area and, more than likely, skinning people,” Bostok said.

“Here is what I want to do,” I said. “Jones, Donner, I need you to locate the jurors from the original Redding case. Ed said he was ninety percent sure our first victim was Henry Pullman. That was before we found this woman’s prints at both scenes. Henry Pullman was a juror on the Redding case, we need to know if Herb LaSalle, our second victim, was as well.”

“So, call the courthouse and get the records?” Jones asked.

“Call to get the juror’s names specifically. We already have a file on the Redding trial down in the forensics lab. I went through it briefly and didn’t find anything with jurors’ names,” I said.

Donner eyed the sheet in his hands. “It looks like this woman was in the state mental hospital. Do we know why exactly?”

I shook my head. “I haven’t got that far into that. We’ve only had the woman’s name for forty-five minutes.”

“Do you want me to look into that?” Donner asked.

“Rawlings and I will be on the woman. Finding out if the jurors are targets and getting protection to them if they are is just as important as finding this woman right now. You guys focus there.”

Donner nodded in confirmation.

“Timmons, I want you in contact with Jones and Donner. If we confirm that LaSalle was a juror, it stands to reason that is who this woman is targeting. I’m going to need you and patrol getting to these people as soon as possible—that is, if they are local. Other than that, get that woman’s name and photo to everyone in patrol.”

“That’s fine. We have nothing as far as a vehicle for her?”

“Nothing listed,” I said.

“Okay. I’ll try to see if we can hunt down any family on this woman. If she’s been off the grid, she had to be staying with someone,” Timmons said.

“What about bank or credit-card records?” Major Danes asked.

“We’ll need them. Without any idea where she banks, we’ll probably have to contact the feds and let them run with it.”

“I’ll make the call,” Danes said.

“Good.”

Sam James cleared his throat. He sat in a black suit, taking notes at the front of the room. “Are we ready to distribute this woman’s name and photo to the press?”

I looked at the captain, he looked at Major Danes, and Major Danes looked at me.

“I’d guess the longer we wait, the more victims will turn up,” I said.

“How long before the press release, Sam?” Danes asked.

Sam looked at the analog clock hanging on the wall at the back of the room. “Five o’clock.”

“It’s a little after three now,” Danes said. “We need to get more information to see exactly what we’re dealing with here. Get whatever you can by a quarter to five and bring it to me. We’ll make the decision then.”

We split up with our tasks and left the meeting room.

Chapter 15

Carmen and Angel had parked the car a few houses away and walked up the block to the tan golf-course home. They stood at the front door. The ranch looked fairly new, as did the subdivision it resided in. Angel looked down at the welcome mat she stood on. It read The Carpenters. They knew the woman, Maggie Carpenter, had a husband named Chuck—whether or not Chuck was home, they didn’t know.

“What should we do if the husband is here?” Angel asked.

“Kill him. Anyone who stands in our way is dead. It’s what your father wants.”

“That’s what he said?” Angel asked.

“Anyone,” Carmen said.

Carmen pressed the doorbell, which chimed inside the house. “Be ready for whatever happens.”

Angel pulled the scalpel out of her pocket just enough so Carmen could see. “I am ready.”

“Good.” Carmen quickly checked the contents of the bag hanging over her shoulder. Then she zipped the top closed.

The sound of footsteps approached the door. The door lock clicked, and the door pulled open.

A man in his early seventies stood before them. He wore a sweater over a polo shirt and plaid shorts. He looked as if he had just finished golfing or was about to head out to do so.

“Is Maggie here?” Angel asked.

“She went to the store. She should be back in a half hour or so. What can I do for you ladies?”

“Oh, we are here for our book club. I guess we are a little early,” Carmen said. She patted the bag she held, insinuating that books were inside.

“Book club?” the man jerked his head back. “She never mentioned anything about a book club.”

“Yeah, she signed up a while back. Every week, we rotate houses. Maggie is this week. Oh,” Carmen looked at Angel, “I hope she didn’t forget. We have a couple more coming.”

“Well, who knows? She’s always signing up for something. Come on in.”

The two women followed him into the house.

“You ladies can have a seat on the couch there. I’ll call her and let her know you’re here.”

Neither Carmen nor Angel sat.

“No, you don’t have to call her on our account. We can wait,” Angel said.

“Nah, it’s no big deal. I need her to grab me some pickled herring from the store anyway.” The man removed his phone from his pocket and began dialing.

Carmen slipped her hand into the pocket of her jeans. She thumbed the plastic cover off of the scalpel’s blade. In a single motion, Carmen yanked the blade from her pocket and lunged at the old man. The blade sank into the side of his neck. Carmen yanked it across, opening the old man’s throat and spilling his blood to the floor. His phone dropped to the tile. He fell beside it, gripping his neck. Carmen casually crouched, picked up his cell phone, and clicked it off.

“Mama!” Angel yelled.

“What?”

“You could have at least been a little more neat about it. Choke him or something. Now his wife is going to see all this as soon as she walks in.” Angel pointed at the growing blood pool.

“We didn’t have time. He was dialing his phone. What, was I supposed to ask him if he could stop with his phone call and move to someplace more convenient for getting killed?”

Angel rolled her eyes. “Whatever. What do you want to do with him?”

Carmen shrugged. “We could string him up.”

“But he wasn’t a juror.”

“I don’t think your father would mind.”

“But we only have one winch.”

“No, I brought two. It’s always best to preplan.”

Angel smiled. “You’re so smart, Mama.”

The man rolled onto his side, swiped once at the kitchen cabinet, and went still.

Carmen wiped the blood from the scalpel on her shirt, placed the cover over the scalpel’s blade, and jammed it back in her pocket. “Grab his feet. We’ll drag him out to the garage and get started.”

The two pulled the man through the house.

A black two-door Mercedes sat parked in the farthest garage bay—it wouldn’t need to be moved for them to complete their task.

Carmen pulled a ladder, propped up in a corner, over to the center of the garage. She climbed the rungs and pulled the plug for the garage door opener. “Hand me that hammer,” she called down to Angel.

Angel reached into her pocket and removed her latex gloves. She gloved her hands and then did as instructed.

BOOK: Progeny
6.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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