Sunday, the 8th of May.
There was something intriguing about Pamela Neil’s case that had Tia coming back and revisiting it, some of the unanswered questions and hidden clues regarding this particular case had brought her back to the house on Stone street, Tribeca, to come to have a chat with a family member, she was hoping she would get the chance to talk to Pamela’s younger sister, Trisha because she seemed to know more about her sister than their mother did. This would be her third visit.
Asides from the fact that her murder had been the first case assigned to her that had drawn up this string of serial murders, she did feel some kind of connection to the dead girl and her family, most especially to her aged mother since she herself had promised the woman that she would personally bring this criminal down, now she felt like she owed the family a lot.
She pressed the buzzer two more times before taking a step back away from the door, she looked around the neighborhood, no, she did not like this place, it was too quiet and too alone. There were no children that she could see playing around and neither was she able to hear their chattering if it was that they were inside. This was a mind your business zone and even during the day like now, it was still quite eerie.
The click sound from the door drew her attention back and she turned her head to see the door slowly being opened, squeaking as it did and she could see Pamela’s mother from behind the screen door. The woman had no readable expression on her face when she opened the door fully and invited Tia in, she just kept on a blank look and walked back inside with Tia following behind her without a smile on her face.
“You come here more often than the other cops.” The woman acknowledged as she sat on her comfy lone chair beside a small cane table. Tia noticed the knitting basket placed on the table and she could tell that the woman had been knitting or trying to before she had come here.
“That is because I am the detective assigned to this case and I do want to get to the bottom of this as soon as I can. Having a mad killer on the loose is not a good thing.” She explained but the woman only hummed and picked up her knitting.
Tia did not sit down immediately but took her time in observed her, the woman was weak and she was tired and she looked like she had not been getting much sleep in a while, Tia took her time to look around the house, it was not as tidy as it had been the last time she was here, the fact that she remembered these small details surprised her a little but then she was used to remembering things, it was something she had learned in the course of her job.
Tia heard her sniff, her hands trembled and she was having some difficulty in continuing her knitting, she frowned and adjusted her glasses, pushing them in and higher up the bridge of her nose then she tried to continue knitting but her hand still trembled. She sniffed again and sighed, taking in a deep breath and she set her knitting in her lap, placing one hand on top of the other. She remained quiet and looked outside through the window, up at the clouds.
“I came by hoping to have a chat with Trisha, is she in?”
“Trisha has not been back for a while now.”
Tia’s eyebrows furrowed in worry. “She has not? For how long?”
“Since the last time, it has been days now and she has not even called once.”
Tia looked away, her thoughts flying wildly in her head, she could not help but think up what negative things could have happened to Trisha, was she even still alive? She shook her head slightly to clear her thoughts but they returned, she knew that might be a possibility, she might be dead and her body dumped somewhere, waiting for the police to find it. She thought of the killer, she could imagine him roaring with laughter at the total incompetence of the police force, she could imagine him standing over Trisha’s body, her dead, icy-cold eyes fixed on Tia’s, sending every guilty feeling racing through her entire being. She shivered and snapped out of her thoughts.
She looked at the aged woman who paid no attention to her, she could not afford to let her bury both of her daughters, the least she could do was to save one.
“I will leave you now, please do take care. Might come back much later.” She excused herself and stepped outside, pulling out her phone and the car keys as soon as she was out the door.
* * * * *
Tia had spent the last hour driving to every park that was close by, although she was really hoping not to find Trisha’s body mangled somewhere in one of the parks, she still had to look and after one hour, she had nothing. She did not know if it was a good thing that she had not found Trisha dead or if it was a bad thing that she had not found Trisha at all, she did not even know where to continue her search. She did not know where the girl visited frequently, who her friends were, or where she worked - if she worked.
Trisha had become a person of interest mainly to her because asides from the fact that she was the sister to the murder victim whose case she was on, Trisha had no other link to the case but Tia just could not shake her off. There has not been a case where the killer would come to attack the family of his past victims but that did not mean that there would not be a possibility, keeping an eye on Trisha was, for now, the safest thing she could do for her but how easy was it? To keep an eye on a girl who gallivants here and there without notifying anyone of her whereabouts and they could not put a trace on her without finding her first.
She hated the bad vibes she was getting, it irked her body and she vibrated severally as she drove on without having an actual destination. She breathed in and out slowly several times, trying to go in rhythm with the song that played softly on the radio, to clear her mind and loosen her up a little bit.
“Trisha is a grown-up young lady.” she told herself. “Surely she can take care of her own self?”
But she was still not able to convince herself of that, why she was this worried, she did not know, but what she knew now was that they had to find Trisha. She pulled the car up to a stop by the side of the road and fished out her phone from the pockets of her leather jacket, she had Aiden on speed dial and she called him up, putting the phone on loudspeaker and setting it on her laps.
“Hey, partner.” Aiden’s cheerful voice fluttered through the speaker and the corner of her lips twitched briefly in a half-smile. “How is the detective work going?”
“Honestly Aiden, not so good. How is Stacey Rohn’s case going? Any luck? Any recent breakthrough or news?”
“Uhhh… we have compiled her file, autopsy results, and everything…”
“And the DNA samples?” She chipped in rather impatiently, drumming her fingers on the steering wheel. “Please tell me that you have got your hands on something.”
“Calm down a little Tia, it is still in the lab, we should be expecting results by the end of today or early tomorrow.”
Tia hummed, she could not sit stable in the car and she kept shaking her legs, drumming her fingers and her eyes moved here and there, scanning her surroundings, the streets, the buildings, taking note of everyone that walked by within her field of vision.
“Tia…?” Aiden called. “What is going on?”
“Everything is going on, everything bad is going on. Nothing is right Aiden, nothing feels right and nothing is going on right.”
“What’s wrong? Where are you?” He was genuinely worried, she could tell by the way the tone in his voice dropped.
“She is missing.”
“Who is? Who is missing?”
“Trisha. She is missing, she has not been home for days and it is causing me to worry. I went over to her place and her mother said she has not been home for days. I have even driven to every park around trying to find… something.” She could not tell Aiden that she had been driving all around, from park to park looking for the dead body of a girl she was hoping to be alive, even now, thinking about it did not sound very good.
“She has been missing for days? Her mother should have filed a missing person’s report.”
“Nah, apparently this is not the first time she is staying away from the house, her mother does not seem all that worried because she is used to it but I can not help but feel this way, not with this mad man-killer roaming free.”
“I understand you, I will have a missing person’s report filed right away and mobilize a team to go in search of her.”
“Thank you, Aiden.” That was a start but it was not something that could easily put her mind at ease. “And can you track her phone? I do not have her number so you might have to find it somehow.”
“Easy peasy. We will start from the place she was last seen.” She could hear him, already tapping away at the keyboard as he spoke.
He hummed a positive response. “The neighbors might have seen her leave the house on the day that she did, maybe one person might know where she goes to, or where she works.”
“If she works.” She turned her head to check the side mirrors to see who had just bumped into the rear of the car, it had been a teenager on a bicycle. He waved to her an apology and continued his cycling. “The neighbourhood is a dead zone Aiden, nobody knows anything about their next-door neighbour.”
“Well okay, that is sad and… un-neighborly, this will be a bit tasking but nothing we can not do, right?”
“We just have to find her and keep a close watch on her, nobody is to approach her when she is found unless absolutely necessary.”
“Yes ma’am.” He chuckled briefly. “Anything else?”
“Hmm… that would be all for now, thank you so much Aiden.”
“It is alright, we are partners, after all, I do most of the work in here while you go out into the world and encounter all the dangers of it.” That caused Tia to chuckle. “And since you are already out there, you will have to go somewhere right away.”
She looked at the phone screen like Aiden himself was there. “Where?”
“It is regarding Stacey Rohn’s case. The last person she had contacted was a lady, Blair Grace, apparently her co-worker, I will send you the address right away.”
“Skyline?” Tia asked, it was just a guess but she was almost sure that was the place. She heard him chuckle distantly.
“Now are you not the smart one?” He teased.
“Lucky guess?” She shrugged her shoulders.
“I wills send the address right away and a bit of information on Blair Grace. Something to get your mind off worrying over Trisha for a while, I will contact you the second we find her.”
“I’m on it.” She started the car.