Part 7 - Below the Radar

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COFFEE INVESTIGATIONS' OFFICE was quiet. All that could be heard inside was the shuffling of papers. Kev and Skylab had no staff, occasionally it would be useful to have a secretary, but they managed on their own. The office was simply furnished, most of the furniture came from one of the town's six stores stocked with office supplies. The desks and chairs were basic, but the settee, easy chairs and coffee table were bought in Bangkok, an expensive whim purchase, but as Kev spent most of his time at the coffee table, he considered it money well spent.

Outside, it too was quiet, as it was the low season for tourists, hotel bookings plummeted in the rainy season. Thankfully, no taxi drivers were arguing with car owners, struggling to find a parking spot outside their door. All was peaceful.

Skylab stretched forwards and then gently leaned backwards, she needed to move after sitting at her desk for too long. She had been reading further reports of the strange occurrences of baby's bodies going missing. Her feelings for the mothers were understandable. As was her hatred for the guilty person or people who removed the stillborn children from the hospital's morgue. She slapped another of the reports Gatts had given her earlier. She rose from her desk to put on the kettle.

"Kev, this is unbelievable. One Hua Hin man snatched his baby and disappeared with her. Listen, there is more, a Petchaburi bank manager stabbed his pregnant wife in the stomach, he then pulled the baby's body out of its mother's stomach."

Skylab shivered before carrying on. She felt like crying, "The father and stillborn child have disappeared. What the hell is going on?"

"Now you know why Gatts didn't want you involved," said Kev, watching as she wiped her eyes.

"How can I not be involved, someone has got to stop this craziness?"

"The police are investigating every angle now, at least that may help to capture the madman," said Kev.

"Yes, but only because they have killed an adult, now they are treating it as a double murder," suggested Skylab carrying two hot coffees.

"Gatts has interviewed all the family and neighbours living nearby without getting an idea why all this is happening. He wants us to uncover a clue somehow. Are you sure you want to try?"

She nodded.

"Let's go," Kev had been busy on the phone. "A tearful young mum has agreed to talk to us. But I think it may be better if you don't come."

"And why not? You don't think I'm strong enough to cope with sadness?"

"It's not that, how do you think she will feel if she sees another pregnant woman?"

"Sorry, I see what you mean. I'll wear baggy clothes!"

No further arguing, Kev knew when he was beaten. He didn't want to mention; she was already wearing clothes ten sizes too big. They set off on a short trip to a new housing project.

Kev made the introductions to the swollen eyed young mum.

The mourning young lady stated, "Everything was fine. Look at the house, we just bought it especially for our first child."

"Did your husband act, different, strange, I mean?" Skylab asked.

"He came home from work, grinning and joyful. He went straight to our baby, Nong Nam, and started playing with her. I went for a shower before I started preparing our food. When I came out of the bathroom, they were gone. I thought they were playing hide and seek with me, I even started hunting behind the furniture."

The tears slid down her plain cheeks.

She then continued, "My mum was here, he even smiled at her, that was the only unusual thing."

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