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Saturday, July 01, 2017

(S2): PARTNERS IN CRIME! E2.

To read the previous episode, click here


Episode 2 Title: The victim, Sade.


***
“Was her name written on the form?” Genevieve asked with her face down.

“Yes,” Tiwa replied. “Her name was Sade, Sade Akanju.”

She looked around the bush if there were two pairs of shoes but found none. 

“Do I make a call to the bureau for the transportation of the body?” Omoni questioned the detectives. Genevieve was lost in thoughts.

“There is no time for that,” Tiwa said. “We will put her in the backseat. Will that be a problem for you, doc?”

“Of course not! It’s my job! Have you forgotten I examine dead bodies for a living?”

“It escaped my mind, I’m coming.” Tiwa said, she rubbed Genevieve’s left shoulder and walked towards the path of the woman roasting corn. The moment she got there, she greeted her, “Good afternoon, ma. I am detective Bankole.”

The woman gave her a look as she continued to check her corn. “Good afternoon oh.”

“Are you aware about the girl on the ground?”

She paused and folded her arms. “And if I dey aware, wetin concern me for the matter?” She spoke in Pidgin English.

Tiwa smiled faintly. “I know it does not concern you. Please, what time did you leave here, yesterday?”

“Ah! See jamb question o! I no fit remember the time but na for evening.”

“Was it dark?”

The woman eyed her and looked at her little children before she answered. “Yes.”

“Was the girl there when you were still here?”

“Which kind question be that? I know no how to answer that one oh.”

“Okay, did you see anything suspicious concerning that girl?”

“Wetin that one mean, madam? Abi you dey use style tell me say na me drop am for there?”

“Did you see anyone drop her?” Tiwa asked in an inquisitive tone.

She left her stand and joined her two kids on the bench they sat. “Abeg, abeg, I use God beg you.. I no see anything! Na petty business I get and na to take care of my children. I no get money, biko, no put me for wahala. I no see anything and I know no anything. Free me, abeg! Oga policewoman.”

“I am a detective.”

“Wetin be the difference? You dey disturb me o. Leave me madam!”

“Sorry for the disturbance.”

The woman did not say anything but hissed. Tiwa left and joined Genevieve and Omoni to carry the girl into the car. Three of them got inside and Tiwa drove in speed. No one played the radio. Mere looking at the stern faces of the partners, Omoni did not dare say a damn word.

***
Leroy came out from the church after questioning few of the choir members that attended the practice. The male choirmaster wasn’t around but his assistant said he was unwell the previous day and couldn’t make it.

As frustrated as Leroy was, he decided to drive back to the bureau and by five, if they had not seen the girl, he would request from the parents to list out the names of their daughter’s friends.

As he wanted to drive off, he received a call and picked. “Hello dearie.”

“Why do you sound upset?” Chisom, his wife asked.

“I am not upset.”

“Yes you are,” she said. “Tell me what is going on. Did you and Genevieve quarrel?”

“No.”

“So what is it?”

“It’s about a case but I don’t want to bore you with the little details I have. Don’t worry, I am fine. Why did you call?”

“Just wanted to check how you are doing at work.”

“Thanks dearie. Have you picked Jasmine from school?”

“Yes,” Chisom replied. “She is sleeping right now. What do I prepare for dinner?”

“Anything nice.”

Okay dear. See you later.”

“See you later dearie.”

Call ended and Leroy drove off to his destination.

***
The minute Tiwa, Genevieve and Omoni arrived; the body of Sade was taken to the lab. Tiwa checked up on Adebiyi but his secretary informed her he left with Mr. Popoola.
Genevieve walked to the missing-person’s unit and asked after Leroy but his colleagues told her he wasn’t back. She glanced at his desk to see if she could find any file on Sade but saw nothing. She stepped out the door and farsighted Leroy coming at her direction. As he neared her, he appeared bothered as he noticed her melancholy look.

“Any problem, Cole?” He asked her.

“I am sorry for what I am about to tell you.”

He left eyebrow lifted higher. “Sorry?”

“The missing girl has been found but she is dead.”

He widened his eyes and dropped the file in his hand. Genevieve quickly gathered the papers and photo that plunged from the file and placed them together inside it.

She spoke when he didn’t say anything to her. “The medical examiner is currently looking into it.”

Leroy rapidly paced to leave the building. He marched into the other one. Genevieve followed him behind and tried to stop him from entering into the lab but it was already late. He entered without knocking.

Omoni seemed surprised and unhappy. Dressed in her lab coat, she also wore a facemask that revealed only her eyeballs.  “Detective! You can’t come here unannounced, I am working!” 

One of her assistances standing closed to her paused what she was doing. The other one, a male continued to look at some particles through a microscope. The brilliant pathologist sat on a plastic chair. There was a beef burger on a plate on the table. Omoni had complained of his eating habits. She prohibited eating in the lab but she allowed him because he claimed he was recovering from malaria and he needed to take his drugs. Leroy kept quiet as he stared at the lifeless body of Sade.

“I am sorry!” Genevieve apologized to Omoni and explained how Leroy was connected to the case.

She gently pulled off the mask. “But he has distracted me.”

“I know that’s why I am apologizing on his behalf.”

Leroy gazed into Omoni’s eyes.  “Was she killed?”

“You have to let me finish first.”

“But you must have found out if she was killed.”

Genevieve said to him. “Calm down Leroy, it could be a hit and run accident.”

“No it is not,” Omoni said. “She was definitely murdered.”

“She was killed?” Tiwa asked and all of them turned to the door to see her looking shocked. She sauntered to meet them. “How?”

“After my assistant washed off the body, I looked at her wrists.” She made a gesture with her right hand. “Come here and take a look at it.”

The three of them motioned near Omoni and they stared blankly at the wrists she showed to them. All they saw was bruises.

“These are defensive wounds but she wasn’t able to stop her attacker from holding her neck, gripping it tight and smashing her head against something as hard as a rock, probably a wall or floor.”

Their mouths were agape. Omoni proceeded to turn the back of the victim’s head for them to see the deep damage to her skull. “This is caused by blunt force trauma.”

“Christ!” Leroy uttered as the sight of the injury made him feel nauseous. He glanced at the male assistant, Kevin. “How do you people still eat in this place?”

Kevin rose, picked up his burger and took a big bite from it. He was a slender young man with a good-looking face. People close to him wondered how he remained in his slim figure considering the large quantity of food he normally ate. He gestured to his superior.

“It is unethical to eat here.” She said to him. “You know why I allowed you. You won’t take my kindness for stupidity. I don’t care if you are sick or not, when it is lunch break, leave and eat in an eatery!”

He put the burger behind him. “I am sorry ma, it won’t happen again.”

“Better! Do you have something to tell me?” She asked him.

“Yes.” he replied. “I was able to detect the particles you took from her skull. They are particles from broken tiles.”

“That tells us her head was smashed against the floor.”

“Not just any kind of tiles. This type is one of a kind. I am still trying to detect this particular one. I know it is rare and expensive. It will take time to analyze it for me to know which company manufactured it. I only need few days.”

“No problem.” He went away.

“For her skull to crack like that, her attacker should be very strong,” Genevieve said.

“Yes, strong enough to subdue her.”

“A male figure.” Tiwa alleged.

“So what’s going to happen now?” Leroy turned to face Genevieve and Tiwa.

“It’s no longer your case anymore.” She told him.

“I know.” He took a deep breathe. “As you can see the file is with your partner. The home address and phone numbers of her parents are inside. Please don’t break the news to them through the phone.”

“We won’t. We will go there now.”

Omoni checked her wristwatch. “I don’t know when I will finish working on the body but by tomorrow morning I should be done.”

“No problem.”

The partners and Leroy walked out and went into the bureau. One of Leroy’s colleagues told him there was a new case that had to do with the missing of a boy. Both of them agreed to work together.

When Adebiyi did not arrive hitherto, Tiwa sent him a message informing him they would meet at home. Genevieve called to tell Quincy that he should not bother to pick her up at work; she would take a taxi home when she was through for the day.

***                                                               
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” A young girl looking like a seventeen year old spoke through the phone. She was pacing around her beautiful bedroom. “Sade is missing?”

“I am telling you,” a male voice said. “If I had gone to school today, I would not have known about it. A detective came to our choir practice today to ask us if we knew anything about her whereabouts.”

“How can you guys know when Sade is a lone wolf?”

“Lone wolf? I don’t think so. Sometimes, she gets along with people. She has friends. Remember her parents are strict.”

“But not strict enough to stop her from seeing Abraham.”

“Abraham and Sade are best friends. They trust them not to do adult stuffs when they are together.”

“The detective should question Abraham. He might know something.”

“I know you are jealous because you like him and he has not given you the green light. There are guys like me available for you.”

She hissed and sat on her bed. “Zach, I am not interested but where could Sade be?”

“I have no idea.”

“I have nothing to say for now until she is found. I hope she is alright wherever she is.” There was zero concern in her voice.

“Me too.”

“Will you come to school tomorrow?”

“Yes.”

“Have you done your English assignment?”

“Yes, anything?”

“I haven’t done mine. Can I copy from yours tomorrow?”

She waited for ten seconds before she got a response. “The other day, you copied word for word and the teacher noticed, only for him to reduce my score and increase yours!”

She laughed. “Lucky me!”

“It’s not funny but I will write something down for you before I go to bed. You go pay me oh!”

“Let tomorrow come. Take care, Zach.”

“Justine.” he called her name.

“Yes?”

“Are you sure you don’t know anything about Sade’s whereabouts. I know you hate her.”

Justine frowned. “What is that supposed to mean? Get off my phone!” She cut the call, hissed and threw her phone on the bed without caring if it fell on the ground.

***
Tiwa and Genevieve got to Sade’s residence. It was an apartment with a big gate in front of it. A red Mercedes and a white Hilux stationed in front of the gate. Tiwa had to find a space for her car next to another building. There was no sight of a gateman when they advanced to the gate. Two of them decided to open it, entered inside and walked to the entrance. A black Toyota Camry and a yellow Peugeot car were inside the compound.

A woman on her way out opened the door and Tiwa did the introduction. The woman looked nervous and called Sade father’s name. A tall and black man in his fifties came forward. He was looking very worried.

“What can I do for you?” He asked.                
       
“They are homicide detectives.” The woman quickly said. “They are looking for you and Mama Sade.”

“Did you say homicide?” A female croaked voice said. A woman who had Sade’s resemblance rushed to meet them at the door. “Are you here because of my daughter? Where is she?” She looked over their heads and saw no one behind them. “Where is my daughter? Where is Sade?"

“We have to talk about that, ma.” Genevieve said. “Can we come in?”

“Talk?” Mr. Akanju said with emotion in his voice. “You mentioned homicide. Did anything bad happen to my daughter?”

Mrs. Akanju started to fidget.

“We are very sorry,” Tiwa stated. “Sade is dead.”

Sade’s mother screamed and fell on the floor and the woman hurried to raise her up but she could not. Two other visitors moved to assist and they took her away from the sitting room. The victim’s father stood like a log of wood. He appeared lost.

A fair complexioned man dressed in a lovely suit shook Mr. Akanju’s shoulders and he finally regained his mind.

“I am very sorry for your loss Mr. Akanju.”

“Why has God taken our only child from us?”

“Don’t question God. Please, go and sit down.”

Mr. Akanju left and sat closed to a bible. He tried so hard to be strong and not cry in front of his visitors. A young dude dressed smartly sat on a single sofa, covered his face as he sobbed silently.

“I am Pastor Simon Okafor Johnbull.” The man in the suit introduced himself and offered Tiwa and Genevieve a wide seat to share. They sat down but he remained standing. “I am the pastor of this family, what really happened to our daughter?”

“She was murdered.” Tiwa said.

He widened his eyes. Mr. Akanju shuddered and the guy raised his head up that revealed his handsome face but his eyes were very red.

“You mean someone killed her?” Pastor Simon asked.

“Yes sir.”

“Why would anyone kill Sade? Are you sure you are not mistaken?”

“No sir.”

“Oh my God!” Sade’s father exclaimed as tears fell down his cheeks.

A young woman dressed as a housecleaner stood beside the kitchen door. She was crying and at the same time looking angry at the young fellow. Genevieve took note of it. 

She whispered into Tiwa’s ear and she gave her a nod. Genevieve moved to the maid and informed her she wanted to see her. The maid wiped her face and they walked inside the kitchen. Tiwa waited patiently for Mr. Akanju to grief the loss of his child. It was indeed very painful.

“I am very sorry for your loss.” Genevieve told her.

“Thank you ma.”

“What’s your name?”

“Emem.”

“How long have you been working for the Akanju’s?”

“Two years.”

“What kind of person was Sade before this awful incident?”

Emem closed her eyes, forcing herself not to cry. She opened them and sniffed her nose. “I have worked in different places but this is the only house I felt welcomed. Sade treated me with respect. She was very brilliant and a nice girl. She loved to cook and sing but she was very shy to sing in front of people.  Recently, she was planning to join the choir in Pastor Simon’s church.”

“Were both of you close?”

“Not really but despite our age differences we were friends.”

“You speak well.”

“Thank you. I am a student at a federal University.”

Genevieve smiled faintly. “That’s good. Did Sade ever discuss about someone threatening her life?”

She bowed down her head and shook it.

“I saw you looking at that boy in the living room, who is he to the family?”

“I can’t discuss about anyone apart from Sade. I need permission to do that.”

“But why were you looking at him like that?” Genevieve asked. “I saw you.”

“Sade and him used to be close until recently when they had a misunderstanding. Few days ago, I saw her crying and she said it was because of him.”

“Did she tell you why?”

“No.”

“You are angry at him for making her cry?”

“Yes ma.”

“Oh, I see. Friends do quarrel and settle afterwards. With the look on his face, I am sure he regrets hurting her without making amends before her death. Is he the same age with Sade?”

“He is older than her, I think with two years.”

“That will be all for now, if I have any more questions, I will let you know.”

“Okay ma.”

Genevieve moved back into the living room. She saw Mrs. Akanju with them and she was crying bitterly. Her husband had reported it was murder. Most of the visitors had gone. It was remaining a woman, pastor and the boy.

“We have to ask some questions.” Tiwa stood up. She was tired of sitting.  

“What would you like to know?” Mr. Akanju asked.

“What kind of shoes was your daughter wearing when she left the house?”

“Yellow sandals.” Mrs. Akanju answered.

“Do you suspect anyone that might have done this?”

“Killed my daughter? No way!”

“My daughter was an innocent child!” Mrs. Akanju barked. “She didn’t do anything wrong! She never looked for trouble, why would anyone kill her? Who did we offend? The devil is a liar! God, where are you? Why have you abandoned me? Why didn’t you take me instead?!”

“Please, mother of Sade,” The preacher said. “Don’t give the devil chance to come into your home. God can never abandon you.”

She sobbed noiselessly.

“Do you have an enemy?” Tiwa continued with the questions.

“No.” Mr. Akanju replied.

“There is a possibility her killer is a man.”

“A man?” The pastor asked surprised.

Genevieve fixed her eyes on the boy and the expression on his face didn’t change.

“How can?” Mr. Akanju asked.

Mama Sade spoke, “My daughter never slept with any man if you assume she was sleeping around with men!”

“I never said anything like that.”

“My daughter was a virgin!”

The dude’s face remained the same.

“We need the list of Sade’s friends, anyone she was close with. Maybe they might know something.”

“They are few of them she called friends but you can reach them after school hours.” Mr. Akanju said. “You will also need their parent’s permission to speak with them.”

“I know, sir.”

“Excuse me,” he said. “I have to check my room for my phone to bring out their numbers.”

“What about Sade’s phone?”

“It’s in her room.”

“Is it accessible?”

“She has a password. I tried to open it but I could not. Don’t worry, I have her friends number. I will also write their parent’s numbers beside their names. I think it’s best they bring their children to the bureau for questioning."

Tiwa nodded and he went away. Some minutes later, he returned and handed a paper over to her. She gave it Genevieve. She searched for a male name and saw none. All were female names. She pointed at the boy.

“Please, what’s your name?”

“Abraham.”

“Your name isn’t here. Was Sade not your friend?”

As he opened his mouth to say a word, Mr. Aknaju spoke. “Please, leave Abraham out of this.”

She glanced at her partner and back at him. “If you say so.”

“Do you mind if we see Sade’s room?”

“Sure.” He called Emem to take them to the room.

Tiwa and Genevieve looked through the clean and arranged room. She had a small television and a DVD on her table. A bible and an earpiece were on her bed. There were also different Christian music discs on her lamb table. The partners found nothing they could use in the investigation. They returned to the living room and stayed standing.

Genevieve said to the parents, “We will speak to her friends tomorrow.”

“No problem.”

“Immediately our medical examiner is through with your daughter, we will send the body to you.”

“I don’t care how long it takes, I want my daughter’s murderer found. I will pay whatever you want to catch the mad man. Return the body when you get the killer. I will see the owner of the bureau tomorrow.”

“No problem.”

“What time did Sade leave the house yesterday?” Tiwa asked.

“By three after she came back from school." Sade's mom said. "She was supposed to return by five.”

“Thank you.”

The partners walked to the door and Abraham stood up.

“Detectives!” He called them.

They turned back. The pastor and parents of Sade appeared startled.

He added, “Sade and I were best friends but I have no idea who killed her.”

“Okay.” Genevieve said.

***
Quincy made dinner and waited for Genevieve. He fed Freddie and put him to sleep before she arrived. He offered her a kiss, and she bathed and they ate together. At ten, they checked on Freddie and went to bed.

“Why do you suspect this Abraham,” Quincy said to her. “He already told you he doesn’t know anything about the killer.”

“That is the more reason Tiwa and I suspect he is hiding something. We have to know the reason behind their dispute. ”

“Who is he anyway?”

“We don’t know! Sade’s parents did not bother to introduce him to us. We only know they were best friends and his name his Abraham.”

“Used to be best friends,” Quincy corrected her. “Is that not what you told me while eating? They quarreled, remember.”

“Yes, I remember. The maid did not want to say anything about him. Sade was an only child. I felt terrible.”

He brought Genevieve close to his body. “I am sorry you felt that way.”

“Thanks sweetie.”

“Any plan tomorrow?”

“Yes. As we left the victim’s house, I made calls to all the parents on the list. They are five of them. Only four promised to bring their kids to the bureau after school. The one that refused said we could talk to her daughter during lunch break. She is a teacher at the school.”

“Oh, I see. I hope one of them give you and detective Tiwa enough information to help the case.”

Genevieve heaved a sigh. “I hope so. I really hope so.”

***
“If Dr. Omoni is through with the post-mortem, keeping their daughter’s body will cost more.” Adebiyi said to Tiwa as he laid on the bed. He was only wearing the trousers of his pajamas. The bathroom stayed opened. Tiwa was brushing her teeth. She washed her mouth with water.

“I am sure that is the main reason he wants to see you tomorrow morning. If I am around, just let me know when he wants to leave.”

“Okay Tee. You haven’t said anything about the job I intend to give.”

“As long as the person is coming from Mr. Popoola, there is no problem.” Tiwa said the moment she stepped out from the bathroom. She had her pajamas on. She picked up a rubber band on the dressing table to park her bouncy hair. She climbed the bed.

Adebiyi’s hands were underneath the back of his head. “She is into tech.”

“That’s nice. When you give her employment, maybe she could help us see if she can open Sade’s phone. My instinct tells me she made a call to someone before leaving the house.”

“The woman will resume soon. She is not in town.”

“Is she single?” Tiwa asked and rolled to his side. She put her hand across his body.

“Yes. Popoola likes her.”

“So he is able to like another woman apart from his late wife. That is good. I hope he tells her before it is too late.”

“That is exactly what I told her.”

“We think alike sometimes.” Tiwa said with a smile on her lips.

Adebiyi stared at her face and smiled. “No, we think alike all the time.”

Two of them giggled as they fondled each other.

***
The next morning, the tone of a text message woke Tiwa up. She read it and got ready for work. She and Adebiyi opted not to eat breakfast.  They would take coffee at the office and eat later in the day. Adebiyi insisted Tiwa join him in his Lexus jeep but she declined and chose to ride in her own car. He agreed when she explained she wanted to drive to Genevieve’s place to pick her up. She did and they arrived at the Bureau 9:30 am. 

They went straight to the GT lab. Sade’s body was covered up with a white cloth. Omoni sat on her chair, looking very gloomy. She wasn’t wearing her glasses and she looked quite different.

“We received your text message saying you wanted to see us before we continue our investigation this morning.” Tiwa told Omoni.

“Yes, that’s true. I think I am through with the autopsy. I hope I didn’t miss anything.” She sighed, collected her glasses from the table beside her and wore it.

“What else did you find?”

“Marks believed to be as a result of battering. She could have been a victim of child abuse.”

“But her parents don’t look like people who would maltreat their daughter, they loved her.”

“There are different ways to punish children but some parents’ take it to a certain extent they believe could work on their kids to change to exactly what they want. In her waist region and buttocks, she had scars alleged to be from a wire. The scars are not recent though, possibly when she was very young the flogging occurred frequently. I saw a scar on her left arm. That one should not be more than a year old. You have to speak with her parents about it. If Sade was fed up of being tortured physically or verbally, that could lead her to talk to someone older for advice or to find comfort. It might even be she was sleeping with that person.”

“Sleeping with someone?” Genevieve asked hastily.

“You and Leroy mentioned she was a virgin.”

“Yes, we did.” Genevieve said.

“She wasn’t.”

“She wasn’t?”

“No. If her hymen was torn, that is a different case. A hymen is a thin membrane that covers the external vaginal opening.” She sighed and her face showed pity as she glanced at where she placed the body.

“But I don’t think that is what you want to tell us with that kind of look on your face.” Tiwa said. “Is there anything else you found?”

“Yes.” Omoni said with seriousness in her voice. “There was trauma to the vagina.”

“Trauma?”

“In her vaginal, there was seminal fluids and public hair that isn’t hers. The victim, Sade was raped before she was murdered.”

***
To be continued....

6 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 01, 2017

    Oh, such a sad one.. Got me shedding tears. Poor Sade.
    The choir master should be a suspect, Abraham is a major suspect too and the girl that doesn't like her.
    The woman selling by the roadside should be thorough investigated.
    Thanks Carina, keep 'em coming oh. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Abraham is a prime suspect, well done Carina.

    ReplyDelete
  3. But why do I suspect Sade:s father with this twist of rape? Perhaps she was raped by her dad and she confided in Abraham.......With Carina anything is possible. Abeg let me suspect him joor until proven wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh no! Poor girl, this is quite sad. A tad confused as to whom to suspect now though. Not in a hurry to conclude yet.

    ReplyDelete

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Series coming up on my blog later.....

**********

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Ultimate Betrayal!

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Stories on www.ckjacob.com are work of fiction. Names, characters and events described are the imagination of the writer. Resemblance to actual persons, alive or dead, is entirely coincidental.