Luke's boots thudded across the lifeless grass while the sound of the gushing river below grew louder the closer as they hiked to the waterway. His gut clenched. A few techies threw cool glances at him, the big shot detective. Many of them remembered his excitement when he left to join a "better" force.
Ahead, Conroy slowed at the edge of the gray water. Unkempt brush and litter covered the ground. An overgrown shrub wagged a warning in the breeze and bit into Luke's pant legs. With a curse, he freed his clothing.
"Enjoying yourself, detective?" Conroy tossed over his shoulder.
"Yeah, it's as much fun as watching the Yankees pound the Sox at Fenway." Luke picked his way through the bushes to join the detective near two uniforms. By Conroy's feet, he found the woman.
"The last break in the temperature melted most of the ice and raised the water level," Conroy told him. "She was a floater who got caught in the brambles."
Luke crouched beside the woman, who rested in a semi fetal position. She appeared small, about five-feet, and helpless. Her arms and legs were twisted and held prisoner in the wild rose's thorns. A tattered white shirt lay open around her thin body, exposing bare breasts. A shredded bra was pushed up toward her throat. Her lower torso was nude, and she wore no shoes. Wet blonde hair hugged her cheeks. Tape wound around her mouth sealed in her secrets. Her open hazel eyes glistened lifelike, staring up at him. Death couldn't hide the fact the woman had been attractive.
"Spooky, isn't it?" Conroy grimaced. "Her eyes make her look alive. I almost expect her to try to speak."
If only they'd found her before the scumbag left her like this.Luke swallowed the bitter taste and straightened. "Her sister mentioned a butterfly necklace when she filed the missing person's report. Anyone locate it or come up with a reason for her to be in Ledgeview?"
"No jewelry found on the body or near the scene. No one's discovered a reason for her move from the Vermont border where she ran a business and rented an apartment. It's a strange one," Conroy conceded.
"We'll find out what happened to her." No one deserved to die this way. Luke's wall of self preservation slammed shut, cutting him off from her pain. "I'll contact the sister."
What or who ended the young woman's life with such brutality? He turned and headed up the bank to speak to Rose Blue in private.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.61(d)|
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