Chapter 43

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It had been far too long a day for Raymond. Into work early, only to end up staying late and filling out endless piles of paperwork and reports from the hospital incident. That poor girl, first she had to experience a horrific attack, then die painfully just when she thought she was getting better. Her parents had arrived not long after she passed, and Raymond had done what he could to try to tell them what had happened. Even though he felt no responsibility for the girl’s fate, it weighed on him just the same.

Now he was driving to another death, this one hitting closer to home. The woman he had spoken to on the phone told him he was free to come up and check Donald’s office for some personal belongings Raymond had claimed to have left behind. Since his death was ruled a suicide, no investigation would take place and he was free to take back what was his. Raymond knew she had only agreed because he was a cop, and that worked out just fine for him.

When Raymond had informed her he wouldn’t be able to make it up until later that night, she arranged to leave a note for the nighttime security guard to let him in to pick up his items. That was fine with Raymond, he didn’t believe that Donald’s death was a suicide and wanted to have a look around his office. The fact was he was afraid it had something to do with the sample of ashes that he had brought him. That’s the real reason he came, to find out if Donald’s death was really suicide, and if not, was he somehow responsible. Raymond hoped not.

The parking lot was empty and he was able to park next to the main doors to the science building without paying the usual fee. He pressed the call button next to the door and waited for the security guard to finally make his way over. Raymond flashed his badge as the man walked up. A buzz from inside, a click of the door, and the guard waved him inside.

“Names Raymond Steward, I talked to a Cheryl earlier today about picking a few things up from Donald Harris’s office” he said, holding out his hand. The guard shook it and nodded.

“Yea, she told me. Thought you’d be a little earlier than this. I’ll have to lead you up there, the doors have all been locked up ‘till we can find family to come and pick up his belongings.”

“I’m afraid that won’t happen,” Raymond said, “as far as I know he didn’t have any family left, and he wasn’t exactly the marrying type.”

The guard nodded, “Yea, I kind of figured that. He was kind of a loner and not really good with people, no offense, I know he was your friend.”

“None taken, I know the truth about him, known it for years. Where was he found?”

The guard pointed to the top of the staircase they were walking up. The building was only five stories tall so the elevator was seldom used, so if he had been hanging from the top of the stairs, it was a sure thing he would have been found fast.

“Found by the nighttime janitor early yesterday morning. They said they think he did it sometime around one or two, but that’s only rumor, I can’t tell you anything for sure.”

“Can I talk to the janitor” Raymond asked.

“Not for a couple days, he took some time off to calm his nerves. I can’t blame him really, I think I would have too” he replied.

“Any cameras?”

“Not in this building, all the expensive equipment was moved to the new wing a few years back, and the university wasn’t about to put the money into a system for the old wing.”

By that time they had reached Donald’s office, the guard snapped a large ring of keys off of his belt and opened the door for Raymond, stepping aside so he could get in. “You want me to stick around? Normally I’d have to, but I doubt a cop really needs a security guard babysitting him.”

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