{twenty-five}

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Alessandra expertly worked the keyboard on Pat's computer. Earlier at the lab she'd actually caught another break. With a second program the remnants of American elm trees had been found in five of the six samples. Unfortunately it was also a common tree in Chicago. Still they could eliminate a few hundred homes from their search. Contrary to popular belief, forensics wasn't an exact science.

She'd gone to the precinct because of the second letter from Kion. This time, he talked about her biological mother's name. After asking Pat to search for Alejandra Sánchez in the system she'd found a file that mentioned a restraining order against one Lorraine Medford.

Further searching pulled up a newspaper article from 1992. As soon as Alessandra saw her mother's name, a headache took root at the base of her skull.

Young Mother Killed In Crash on Hollings Road

The picture showed a silver car with its entire left side smashed. Alessandra looked over the piece. There'd been a storm at the time. The car had been broadsided. It mentioned two young kids who'd been rescued at the scene. It went on to say that they couldn't determine if foul play had been involved. The lights and the hands reaching out to her in the rain were images from her dream. The fact that Kion had led her to this couldn't be a coincidence.

"How far back do you guys keep records?"

"Depends on if the cases are opened or closed. If she's in the system we should have something." After a few minutes, Pat shook her head. "Nothing there."

"What about the DMV?"

"From 1992? I'll check for you. Fair warning. I doubt they have anything that goes back that far."

Alessandra plunked down in the seat. "Then what do we do?"

Other than checking in with Carla to see if a death certificate was on file she didn't have any direction. Could she even get a look at it if there was one? The only thing to do was try.

Healey typed something in. "Looks like this is a closed case. I'll have to go down to evidence and see what's there." Healey tapped some more then backed out of her screen. "I should have something for you in a few days."

"Great!" Alessandra's phone rang.

"Eye of the Tiger?" Pat raised an eyebrow.

"It fits doesn't it?" Pat didn't respond as Alessandra answered Dylan's call.

She hung up, unable to keep the excitement out of her voice. "It looks like they might have found something. I've gotta go. Thanks again, Pat. I couldn't have done any of this without you."

"Yeah, yeah. Just let me know what you find."

******

Alessandra trudged in the door behind Dylan. Last night's lead had looked promising but they hadn't found anything. After pulling an all-nighter she had the better part of the day free. Unusual since it was a Saturday. Not that she wouldn't get some work in. She'd already arranged to meet up with Nate at a house later on after his rehearsal. Per Jim's orders all investigators were to work in pairs. Safety in numbers.

Although half of the area had been done, at this point the powers that be were undecided on bringing in too much manpower for what was proving to be a fruitless search. A group of close to eighty people was scheduled to make one last check of the places on Monday.

Alessandra was glad to be getting a search in today. Things proved much easier with fewer people around even if it went much slower.

In the meantime, she'd been making her way through another set of samples. She hoped to find something new to lower the number of places. There was only so much of the plaster they could use so this third time had to be the charm. After a quick bite to eat all Alessandra wanted to do was shower and get to bed.

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