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Vampire Murders Part 23

Vampire Murders Part 23

They may have a witness. Vampires join the hunt for the murderers.

After Kevin left, Eran took a long hot shower to clean up and to awaken her senses. She got some sleep, but all the events of the past two days ran continuously through her mind. She had not taken time to review the security videos, which Kevin delivered. As she dried, she thought she would start the review on today's shift. She had six days of video to scan and that would take a long time. She dreaded the task, but it was the only way to catalog what happened and who did it. She dressed and left the room quietly as if she would raise Connie from her 'sleep.'

As Eran exited the room, Slade walked to her, handed her a travel mug of coffee and continued to his car. Eran joined him and rode to work with him.

"What are we going to do today?" Slade asked.

"I am not sure what you are doing, but I need to review all that video Kevin brought. I have six days of rape and murder to review, not what I want to watch, as well as the arson set up." Eran reluctantly added.

"I will look at all the lab results and request the remaining material to file with the official record of the case." Slade happily told her.

Eran grumbled, as she drank some coffee. She really did not want to watch all the gruesome crime video. What she already saw made her sleep less comfortably at night. Rape and murder were not things a young woman needed to see, much less six of them. She pondered slowly in her mind, where she would start. She decided to look at the date timeline. The last murder evidence and log was the most complete. If she started there, she would see the most gruesome and horrendous murder first. Working her way backward seemed the most logical choice.

When she walked into the squad room, a box of DVDs occupied the middle of her desk. Sitting on top of the box was a list of the DVDs in date order. She picked up the list and looked for the last date before the arson case. She counted down the list and became suspicious. Instead of six dates, there were seven and the arson date made eight. She stood at her desk and stared at the list with a puzzled look on her face.

Slade walked up to her and looked at the list in her hand. He read the first six dates and stopped at the seventh. A few questioning thoughts ran through his mind, "Did we miss a body? Were there seven murders?" He turned, looked at Eran and saw her puzzlement too. He grabbed the box and carried it to the conference room. Eran picked up her laptop and followed him closely. Eran set up the computer and connected it to the big screen projector, as Slade found the seventh box of DVDs. He took the first DVD, handed it to Eran, sat down and waited for the video to appear. Eran noted the video timestamp to record where usable information started.

The video opened with the arrival of the red pickup truck with two gang members and a petite buxom blonde-haired woman. None of the earlier victims was blonde, nor did they resemble this woman in size. The black car pulled in at the same time and two girls practically fell out of the back. The two men helped the girls stand and walk over to the bar. In a few minutes, the girls left the scene and went to the bathroom. When they returned the party started.

They watched as the women went into the room and each man entered and returned every thirty minutes. When they were done, they emerged fully clothed walked to the counter and the young man gave them beers. The women drank as the blonde-haired woman and the young man behind the bar talked for a long time.

Eran stopped the video and used the computer to capture the video frame where the bartender and the blonde-haired woman looked at the camera. With the frame Eran captured, she isolated the two people and started two facial recognition searches. Within minutes, the search displayed the face of the woman complete with her record and her address. The man in the picture however, came up blank. He had no local criminal record. Eran printed his picture for later identification purposes.

Eran made a copy of the display that came back and searched for Maria's record on the police database. She wanted to get as much information as possible before they went to her place to question her about the vampires. She may also know who the man was and where they could find him. When the record appeared, Eran printed it so she could catalog her as a potential witness. In addition, Slade and Connie needed the information to assist in the testimony gathered in the investigation.

Once Eran finished her searches, she resumed watching the video. The two other women never appeared fully on the screen in a manner, which allowed a video frame capture. They appeared too drunk to help in the investigation. Their testimony of events that happened that night might be non-existent. After the time spent in the room with the men, they collapsed and slept on the couch. The men carried them to the black car and left with them a few hours later. The bartender and blonde-haired woman left shortly after.

Eran stopped the video and made a note of the video timestamp to record where the usable video ended. Eran wrote the time information of the DVD label and a video log. She recorded everything carefully to make sure the ADA had accurate information of the investigation. Without this catalog and its accuracy, anything gathered became inadmissible in prosecuting the cases in both justice systems. The detectives wanted to present all the evidence accurately to put the murderers, kidnappers and rapists in prison for the maximum term possible. Eran knew how important these logs were from her time spent in the coroner's office. There she cataloged everything that went with a dead body.

When the video finished and she put it away, she looked at Slade and noticed that it was early evening out the windows over his shoulder. She shutdown her computer and packed it up to take to her desk. She said to Slade, "It is time for dinner and we need to show the pictures of our two new witnesses to Leona and Connie."

Slade nodded and put away all the paper he scanned from the laboratory. It interested him, but nothing was there to tie the vampires to anything that happened in the house. It was a dead end, but still needed cataloging and storage. The only thing the evidence did was confirm that a lot of blood was there but no one knew or saw what happened. He put the two photos into a file folder and gave them back to Eran.

Slade carried the box of videos to the file area and locked them in a drawer with the rest of the murder case evidence. The police record of Maria went to Eran and she inserted it in the file folder with the photos. She put the folder in her briefcase with her laptop, closed it and put her jacket on, as she waited for Slade. He joined her and they left the squad room together. Thirty minutes later, they entered the warehouse where Connie and Leona spent the day. As the big door closed, Leona and Connie entered the warehouse area proper.

Connie ran to Slade and wrapped her arms around his neck. Leona walked to him and waited while Connie hugged him tightly. Eran watched the display of affection from Connie and the patience of Leona. Connie moved away from Slade and greeted Eran with a small hug and peck on her cheek. Leona hugged Slade, kissed him chastely and looped her arm around his waist. The four walked over to the kitchen area where Slade walked into the kitchen and the women sat on stools at the counter.

"My dear young women, it is time for dinner and I am at your service. What would you like to eat tonight?" Slade mimicked a restaurant waiter.

The women laughed, "What are you offering this evening?"

Slade turned to the refrigerator and looked at the fresh food. There were the makings for some great salads, but nothing to make a 'gourmet' meal. He turned to the women and told them, "It appears, we have to go out to dinner tonight. Do any of you have a suggestion?"

The women looked at each other and back to him. They shrugged together and Slade knew he had a decision to make that satisfied all the women. That was never an easy task. He thought for a few moments and decided to suggest that they might order food delivered from several places. This was classic Slade, always the one who catered to every person's needs and tastes. He reached into a drawer under the counter and produced several take out menus for the women to pick dinner. They ordered food for the group from four different places, none of which delivered.

"Who will volunteer to pick up the food?" Slade cautiously asked. He knew the women would not leave the safety of the warehouse and he did not want to leave them alone.

Eran talked to Leona for a few minutes quietly. She responded positively, "The security force at TMA will pick up all the food and deliver it here. TMA will pay for it too."

She took her phone and called Kevin. They talked for a little bit and she read the list to him. A big smile along with a little blushing appeared as they spoke. She turned her phone off and said, "Kevin will pick up our food and join us for his dinner break."

Eran went to Slade's car and removed her briefcase. She carried it to the counter, opened it and removed the file folder and her computer. She passed the folder to Connie who looked at the two people and shook her head no. Leona looked at the two people next, but also did not know them. Eran took another folder out and handed it to Connie. Connie's face became very attentive as she read the police record for Maria. When she finished, she closed the folder and folded her hands on it.

"Why is this young woman significant?" Connie asked quietly.

Eran looked at Connie and replied, "She and two other young women were brought to the warehouse and entertained the gang members. The other young man in the folder was there serving as a bartender. He spent a considerable amount of time talking to Maria, but never went into the room with the women. He left with Maria and they seemed very friendly."

"Do you suspect that this young man and Maria know something about the earlier murders?" Connie continued with Eran.

"We suspect that the young man knows about the murders because the gang members tolerated and treated him as if he mattered. Our only link to him is Maria. We hope she knows his name and maybe where he lives." Eran injected. "We will visit Maria and get information from her."

As Eran finished, the big door opened and a TMA security SUV entered. Kevin jumped down, went to the back of the truck and retrieved the hot food. He walked to the counter and set down the food. He walked over to Eran and they kissed a little too passionately for it just to be a hello kiss. He sat next to her and held her hand as she rested her head on his shoulder.

Slade looked in the box and found paper plates and plastic forks, knives and spoons. The food sat there steaming still, as if it came fresh from the kitchens. The particular security SUV Kevin drove came equipped with a warming chamber for transporting meals for delivery. The TMA security staff had all the comforts to allow them to concentrate on the security of TMA Ltd. and its assets. People took what they wanted and there was plenty left for seconds. They sat around the counter and ate dinner together like a happy family.

Once the group finished dinner and cleaned off the counter, Slade and Eran spread the case notes around. Connie was not technically back to work, but she wanted to contribute again to the investigation. Leona watched the process and injected comments as she saw the need arise. Kevin sat next to Eran admiring how much she knew and contributed to the process. The laboratory results from the samples that the vampire judicial system technicians gathered linked to the family members who lived in the estate. No one saw any of the family members since Leona and Andrei returned from their imprisonment. There was no suspicion of foul play in their disappearance.

The other data collected pointed at the four young vampires. Their DNA was in the dining room and in two of the underground cells. Their involvement in the family disappearance became apparent with these new results. Nothing pointed directly at the young vampires for the disappearance, but they were there. Any evidence that pointed or pertained to the vampires went into a separate file. This file was for use by the Vampire Judicial System to assist them. The human gang members were for the normal judicial system, but the vampires were special.

Maria seemed to be a key witness to visit about the vampires and the gang members. She saw them and the gang members in their home environment and could tell the police about them. The key to getting her testimony was to offer her immunity or something else. They had to talk to the ADA about that, but that could happen anytime before trial began.

Connie looked at Slade and asked, "Who will visit Maria to question her?"

"As it stands right now, only Eran and I are able to conduct any part of the investigation. Connie needs re-certification to resume duty and her new position. Leona can only go with us as a civilian observer to question humans. We can go with her to question vampires but only as observers." Slade told them.

"It seems like I need to get myself back on the job posthaste. Once that happens, then Leona and I can be a team for both sides. That will help this investigation forthwith." Connie smiled, as she used cop talk.

Eran, Connie and Slade laughed aloud, but Leona and Kevin sat confused with the joke. Slade recovered first and said, "Connie, all you need to do is get a doctor to sign that you are ready for duty and you will be restored. The promotion will come as we pursue this case and bring it to a close. It is a landmark case that shows how well vampire and human police can co-exist and work together to enforce laws that govern us."

"From the vampire side of the law, all we need is a police liaison to work with. Connie is that person. It is incumbent on her to get back to duty as soon as possible. We need that bridge," added Leona. "For now we can work with an informal agreement between us to get these murderers. Once these murderers are caught, the formal structure falls into place and we continue forward."

Kevin looked at the group and commented, "I have heard a lot of planning and thoughts, but what can be done tonight? It seems there are things we can do to find these vampires and gang members without interrogating anyone."

"What do you think we can do?" Eran asked.

"TMA Ltd. is a vampire owned and run business. Why can't they spread the word in the vampire community that both police organizations are looking for them? Spread the word, gather sightings and follow up on leads. I can't speak for Gustaf or Leona, but it seems to make sense." Kevin slowly spoke with logical assumptions. "Eran can co-ordinate the data and distribute it easily via computer."

Eran beamed at Kevin, her eyes full of what appeared to Slade as deep affection. Slade continued, "Leona, can we meet with Gustaf or have him in a phone conference to get this set up and moving tonight?"

"Let me give him a call and set up something," replied Leona. She called Gustaf, after a few moments she placed her phone on the counter and identified the people at the gathering.

"Detective Slade, Connie, Eran it is good to hear from you. Kevin and Leona, it is nice to have our interests present too. I understand we need to pool our resources to close this investigation and get these murderers to trial and punishment. I am all for that. What may I do to be of assistance?" Gustaf asked in his least deceptive voice. "These people are creating a bad image for our future cooperation."

Slade took the lead and spoke first, "We need the help of the vampire community to find and capture these vampires and possibly their human friends. We have been close to them as you well know, but there is some outside influence preventing their capture. Is that possible?"

"Of course, that is possible. What do you propose?" Gustaf said using his jovial business owner magistrate voice. "The vampire community has a very tight communication network which I control as magistrate. We can try to use that if you want?"

Leona turned her head away from the group as she heard Gustaf tell Slade about the network. She looked surprised that Gustaf gave this information out so freely. Up until recently, he protected the community with total secrecy. Now he opened it up to human scrutiny. She wondered what caused the change in his behavior. She needed to go to TMA and get the answers. There was something new in the picture that was far more valuable than the lives of her offspring and she wanted to know what it was.

"That sounds like a good thing for us to exploit. We need to work on the details, but Connie and Leona are the vampire points of contact to use," continue Slade. "They will have the plan for our investigation by the vampire community."

Slade said goodbye and Leona closed the call. She looked at Kevin and signaled he should leave, which he did after kissing Eran. Leona got off her stool, walked to Slade, kissed and held him closely. Connie and Eran stared at them and turned to each other with looks that asked, "What just happened?"

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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