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Chapter 12

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That same day, Jake sat in Bobby's kitchen. His notes lay scattered across the table. They were the sum total of his work for the last few days. The pages held a few clues but no answers. Nothing new had been added to them in over an hour. He ran through the different scenarios one more time, hoping to discover a new angle to take his investigation down.

There were no jealous lovers for either Mary or Tom. Surprisingly, Mary had given him total access to the phone records and the home computers. He hadn't thought that either of them would be involved in an affair, but you never knew a person until you went through their text message history.

Tom was also well-liked by his co-workers. Jake had caught a few of them coming out of the office yesterday. They'd confirmed what Edward had told Jake. Tom worked on boring corporate accounts. They'd also reiterated that Tom had no personal issues with anyone, certainly nothing to make someone angry enough to kill. Just the same, Jake would have liked to see Tom's work computer, but Edward wouldn't let him anywhere near it during his surprise visit to his office. Edward had looked down his lawyerly nose at Jake, stating that the real police had already given it the once over.

It was beyond frustrating. Detective Noles wasn't sharing anything with Jake. So, with no resources and no access to the real evidence, Jake was as useful to the investigation as screen doors on a submarine. He'd been kidding himself to think he could find Tom's killer by himself.

Jake only knew one fact for sure. Tom's timeline was tight. He didn't have time to go anywhere but straight from the house to where he was killed. If there'd been any evidence at the scene, the rain, wind, or elements had destroyed them. He'd talked to everyone for two square miles and no saw anything. No killer leaving the scene in haste. The most useful person had been Mr. Jones, aka cat-man, who saw a biker return to the scene that night. But was it even related? Had he removed a key piece of evidence before Jake's search?

Upon reflection, Jake didn't think so. It was probably a weekend warrior who lost his phone from his pack. But if the killer was from a motorcycle club how could Jake penetrate it for answers. They were notoriously tough and tight-knit, and besides that which gang was it. Jake knew none of the local clubs.

He'd need more information to pursue anything, an image to show what the killer had been driving. Being out in the country, the chance of capturing a vehicle on a surveillance video had been slim. Jake had pursued it hard betting Noles hadn't. Not that he could really compel anyone to give him footage from Sunday morning, but it didn't matter. He'd checked with homes and businesses for five miles in every direction. No one had a good video of the roads. Just entrances, driveways, and parking lots. Too bad this wasn't a big city like Chicago with CCTV's on every corner then he could've pegged the offending vehicle to the timeline.

He reviewed all his notes again and considered his options. Should he re-interview cat-man? Maybe he'd have another nugget of information amongst all his crazy talk. Or stake out the murder site overnight? The biker might return to the scene of the crime again if he was a budding serial killer.

Picking up the pen, he scribbled down one last idea. The tip scratching the surface of the note pad sounded like a whisper, the one he'd been ignoring for days. It told him to give up and go home with his tail between his legs. Besides the idea sucked. He scratched it out. The deep line nearly dug through the yellow paper. He wouldn't learn anything by following Edward. And if he got caught the guy would probably bring harassment charges up against Jake. He pushed his notes aside. The fact was he had nothing, and he'd run out of vacation days yesterday.

Reluctantly, he picked up his phone and scrolled through his contacts and found the one he was looking for. His boss answered.

"XP Stampings. Production."

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