The Killers Amongst Us:Chimera Dawn Chronicles(6)

By: Declan Conner

“I agree. They’ll probably need Forensics to go and lift fingerprints from their bedrooms. Then there’s the social media to check and e-mails. Incidentally,” Shaw said, “three of our girls are looking like possible kidnappings, especially Lucy Turner. I’ve just come off of a call with a highway patrol officer. They’ve found the dog she was walking with. Its throat’s been ripped to shreds, but no sign of her. Not sure if that one will add to their figures. I guess the FBI will take overall charge?”

“Jesus, poor dog.” Logan winced. “At least FBI ’ll lighten the load on our resources.”

“I could do with driving over to look at where they found the dog.”

Logan looked at his watch, and chewed on his lip. “Fill me in on what you find after the meeting over at MUPU. Best you get going if you’re to make it back for the meeting.”

Shaw picked up the file.

“Listen, I’m skipping lunch so I can get home for my daughter’s birthday party at four o’clock. Cath’s been having headaches this last week and today she has a migraine and...”

“No problem. I hope she gets better soon. You do what you have to do.”

Shaw rose to his feet, grabbing his jacket from the back of his chair. He breezed along the corridor, down the stairway and through the back exit into the parking lot. Arriving at his car, he opened the door. Tossing the file on the passenger seat, he then hung his jacket over his seat and climbed inside. He located his key in the ignition and fired up the engine. Pausing, he opened the glove compartment and checked that Amy’s present was there. The iPhone he’d bought her was as much for his benefit as hers. At least they would always be able to contact her. But then he thought that’s what the parents of the missing girls would have believed. He shuddered, closed the glove compartment, and drove out of the lot.

Picking up Santa Monica Boulevard, he drove on for a while and turned off toward the location of where they’d found Lucy’s dog. A highway patrol car was parked with the passenger side wheels mounted on the sidewalk. An officer rested his backside on the hood. In front of the patrol car, the forensic van was parked with the back doors open. He pulled over to the side of the road and stopped. The officer slid off the hood and ambled over. Crime scene investigators were loading something in the back of their van in a body bag.

“You can’t park here, sir.”

Shaw pulled his ID from his pocket.

“Detective Shaw.”

“Sorry, sir. The forensic guys have just finished and loaded up the dog.”

Shaw opened the door, climbed out, leaving his door open, and walked over to the van.

He called out to one of the forensic team. “Hey, John. Any evidence of the girl’s presence at the scene?”

“Hi. The officer said you were handling the case. No, sorry. Not unless the samples of blood we’ve taken come up with a match. The ground is dry as a bone in the surrounding area, so there are no tracks. We’ve searched the area, but there’s not even a gum wrapper worth bagging.”

“What killed the dog?”

“Could be another dog, or maybe a wild cat. If this was Florida, I’d be thinking it could be an alligator. Whatever it was, it ripped its throat to shreds.”

Shaw leaned into the van, and unzipped the body bag. He sucked air through his teeth.

“Jesus, are you sure it wasn’t a brown bear?”

“Can’t say. I know I wouldn’t like to meet whatever did the damage. It must have been powerful to overcome a Bullmastiff.”

Shaw re-zipped the bag.

“What are you going to do with the body?”

“Not sure. The coroner’s office suggested a veterinary surgeon over at Wildlife and Game carry out an autopsy. But for now were putting it on ice after we’ve taken more samples for DNA around the wound area, and combed the dog’s coat in the lab. With a bit of luck, the DNA analysis will identify exactly what attacked the dog. If it is another dog, we’ll know the breed from its DNA. Find the dog and the owner might just know what happened to the girl.”

“I doubt it’ll be that simple. I hope we find her alive before you get the results. Anyway, let me know what you find.”

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