Through with the car dealer, Dallas slid back into the driver’s seat of the cruiser and handed Bo the picture of the van from the security footage. “Guy in there identified it as a 2007 Chevy Express 1500 Passenger Van. Verified it with two of his colleagues too.”
Bo nodded. “There are a few ways we could take that.
“Yeah. Check all the traffic cameras leading up to the beach, but since there wasn’t a license plate on the front or back, our only hope there is that we get a good enough shot of the driver’s face to run it through the system,” Dallas said. “Based on my experience in narcotics, that’s not likely.”
“My experience says the same, more or less.”
“Okay, so we’re on the same page again. What kind of directions do we have for options? Umm, on the case as a whole, not just the van thing. What are the options there?” Dallas asked.
“We’re still waiting on blood results from the victim, I can use the height of the railing to find out a height on our mystery driver, we can see if we can speak to the victims’ friends from school, or we can work on figuring out how to find the van.”
“Sorry, umm… his friends from school?”
“Miss Sawyer told us that one of his friends spoke of the cult. That was why her son wanted to join. She gave us the friend’s name? Along with two others” Bo prompted.
Sorry, Tex. Might’ve zoned you out a bit too much during that one.
Dallas cleared his throat. “Sorry, man. I must’ve zoned out a couple times.”
Bo nodded. “Sleep deprivation will do that to you. That’s okay. I have my notes at the station. You may look at those as much as you’d like once we get back. So maybe we should start there before we try finding the friend, in the assumption she’s alive and findable.”
Again, Bo nodded. “Yes, she.”
“Okay, so… you think she might’ve ended up like our vic?”
“I think the LAPD would’ve found her, if that were the case. But if the cult killed Mister Sawyer–and based on what I found when I cut him open, it’s very likely that they did–there’s a chance that his friend wouldn’t have wanted to be involved in that. She spoke highly of the cult to Mister Sawyer, yes, but she was young and stupid. It’s doubtful the cult was showing her that they really were planning to kill people, her friend included.”
“And if she didn’t want to be involved, they might’ve killed her too.”
Bo nodded. “Yes. There’s also a chance she would’ve been allowed to walk free. It… depends on what kind of people make up the cult rather than the fact that they are a cult.”
“Are you defending a cult? A cult that cut a kid open and stole some of his organs?”
“No, though I do believe he agreed to that. I’m not ‘defending’ a cult. I’m insinuating that every cult isn’t inherently Charles Manson and his followers. The leaders of cults are inherently manipulative, either on their own or with the help of their religion of choice. But they aren’t all Manson or Jonestown. That’s my point.”
After a moment, Dallas nodded. It wasn’t like he had the moral high ground when it came to homicide, anyway. “All right, that’s fair. Not all cults are ‘murder everyone around us’ types, and not all of them are ‘poison our own members’ types.” He cleared his throat. “So… we can go back to the station and look up the gal’s last known address?”
Bo nodded. “I was thinking much of the same.”
“Great.” Dallas started the cruiser. “Then let’s get a move on.”
Back at the station, while Bo sat down in the lab to work out the height of the driver of their blue mystery van, Dallas sat at his desk. Bo had given him his notes from the Carol Sawyer interview, as well as a sticky note with the names of three of Robert Sawyer’s friends. According to Bo’s notes, only one of them had ever told Robert about the cult or urged him to join in, but Robert had been close with the other two since elementary. It seemed Carol had hoped one of them would be of ‘more use’ to the investigation than she had.
Jesus, Ed, how much of that interview were you fucking around in my head for?
Quite a bit. You know how hard it is to control my… interference when I’m hungry, Tex.
Dallas sighed, rubbing a hand over his short curls. Can you be patient? If I let you feed your ‘hunger’ as often as you’re hungry, we’d get caught in no time. Just chill the hell out, let me do my job, and we’ll find someone for you to take out. Okay?
Ed chuckled. I’ll hold you to it, Tex.
Dallas shook his head and turned toward his computer. Though Ed was going out of his way to make the job as difficult as possible, Dallas planned to put his best foot forward. If he needed to play detective, he’d play detective. If he and Bo had to play this back-and-forth on how friendly they were to each other or how much of silent treatment one gave the other, he would.
Speaking of all the things you’re willing to do, maybe you should find some addresses, Ed suggested.
Why do you care?
It’s a Saturday. We generally use our off Saturdays to research criminals for our kills. Again, I would like to kill. I am HUNGRY, Tex.
Dallas let out a breath. Patience. I want to find the addresses for these three. Then… I’ll wrap up for the day and let you do your thing.
Too soon. If someone strings her up right after I got here, we’re gonna trip up some alarms. There’s been a pedophile in the news, just got out of prison.Once we get home, you have free reign to research him. Same as always, if I give you the reins, you leave Xavier alone. If Bo chooses to take me up on the offer of the couch, you leave HIM alone too. Deal?
Deal. I’ll even sweeten it and leave you alone until then.
Dallas sighed. Thank you.
Ed snorted his response.
Dallas closed his eyes and stretched his neck out to one side until it popped. He moved Bo’s notes off his keyboard and typed his badge number into the system. Logged in and given access, he searched for the last known address of all three people Bo had given him the names of.
He printed off the addresses and headed down to the lab. “Austen?”
Bo lifted his head. “Yes?”
“I’ve got the addresses, but I think we’ll hold off on trying to find these people until tomorrow. We’ve both put in more than enough overtime today, yeah?”
Bo offered a smile. “I’m on shift. Both of our other forensic analysts are on… vacation. I work the day shift week long until one of them returns.”
“Right,” Dallas whispered. “Do you… want to go find these people, then?”
“That’s okay. It can wait until tomorrow. I have evidence that needs to be sorted through. A West Department analyst did evidence collection at a crime scene today, but I still need to officially tag the collected items.”
“All right. You go ahead and call me if you finish that and need something to do, okay?”
Dallas crossed the room and set the thin stack of papers on the table. “My couch is still open if you want a place to stay that’s not a lab or an empty house.”
“I… will continue taking that offer into consideration.”
“All right. Shoot me a text or a call if you decide to accept the offer, all right?”
Bo nodded. “I will.” He slid the papers into the open folder on the table. “Enjoy your day, Mister Silver.”
“You too, Austen.”
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