“You didn’t know the victim?” Griggs asked when he returned his attention to me.
“I don’t think so, but I didn’t really see his face.” I paused and then asked, “Who was he?”
“We don’t know,” he replied. “He didn’t have any identification, no wallet, no keys, nothing.”
“How did he get here?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“Just curious,” I said innocently.
Griggs’ eyes were full of amusement as he looked at me, and Reddish laughed. They both know all about my curiosity. I love a good mystery. I read a lot of detective novels and try to solve the mystery along with the protagonist. Movies that feature a mystery are my favorite. If a crime makes the news, I take notes and follow along. I fancy myself a sideline detective. That trait may have been what got me almost killed just before Christmas.
“We don’t know,” Reddish answered my question. “The uniforms didn’t find any unaccounted for vehicle.”
David Reddish is a hard man to read. He has been a police officer for over thirty years and a detective for the Reed Hill Police Department for eight having moved to town from Dallas. He is a large man, attractive, with broad shoulders and flat stomach. He has skin the color of coffee with a dash cream, but it is his eyes that tell you he’s not someone you want to cross. They are hard and calculating.
“Was he murdered?” I asked softly.
“Oh, yes. It was murder,” Griggs replied.
The last time I found a body it had never occurred to me that the police would consider me a suspect. As a law-abiding citizen, I had just assumed that people knew I was innocent. My experience with the police showed me I was wrong. I looked at both Griggs and Reddish.
“Please tell me you don’t think I killed him.”
Griggs snorted. “No, we don’t think you killed him. He was taller than you, and his neck was broken. No way could you have done that.”
“It was fast and neat,” Reddish added and then turned to Griggs. “Probably someone with military or combat training.”
“Someone who knows how to kill with their hands,” Griggs said softly.
I swallowed. Candace had shot and killed two people in December and tried to kill me twice. She had been crazy, her behavior unexpected and unpredictable, which had made the situation scary. This sounded worse. A person who was calm and rational murdering someone with their bare hands was chilling. And I couldn’t forget about the weird shoe thing.
“Did you find his shoes?”
“No,” Griggs replied turning toward me.
“Why would someone want his shoes?”
“Who knows? There wasn’t much of a struggle although there were multiple sets of footprints. But all appeared to be made by people wearing shoes.” He turned away from me and back toward Reddish. “Between Leah and her dog stomping around, I doubt we’ll get any viable footprints.”
“Hey,” I said indignantly. Both men ignored me.
“Let’s keep the area secure anyway,” Griggs continued. “Send a team out to see if they can find anything. Maybe the shoes will show up somewhere else in the park.”
“Got it,” Reddish replied as he started to walk away. “See you around, Leah.”
“Bye, David,” I said reluctantly. I didn’t want to be alone with Griggs. It was awkward and unpleasant. I’m not exactly sure why he had kissed me and then disappeared from my life, but I wasn’t going to ask. I hadn’t thought he would be interested in me in the first place. Although not traditionally handsome, Griggs is an extremely attractive and sexy man. After waiting weeks for him to call or come by, I finally chalked it up to a gaffe on his part. Instead of telling me he wasn’t interested, he simply disappeared. If I hadn’t found this body, I probably would have never seen him again except in passing.
We stood there in silence for a few moments before Griggs said, “You can leave now. Thank you for your patience.”
He sounded so formal and polite. I didn’t like it. I gathered Harry’s leash, pulled him up, and started to walk away. “Well, I guess…I guess I’ll see you around.”
Griggs stepped back and let me pass. I hadn’t gotten very far before I heard him call my name. When I turned around, he was standing in the same spot with an odd look on his face. He rubbed his hand across his head and then gave me a slight smile. “It was good to see you, Leah.”
“Uh, yeah, you too,” I stuttered before we both turned and walked away.