Snohomish County Police Department
Everett, Washington – 2:21 am
“Call-in tip just received: suspected homicide in Forest Park. Response team requested.”
Detective Ryan Craig stood at his desk and tugged at the hem of his freshly steamed suit-jacket and downed the last of his third cup of coffee before straightening the strategically contrasting power tie. Craig was a former Seattle P.D. junior detective, newly promoted and transferred to head detective in the town of Everett some twenty-five miles north. His dapper look came courtesy of wife Maggie.
In his second week on the job Craig had pulled two overnight supervising shifts. Coffee was a requirement; Everett was not a town bubbling with crime. The freshly minted head detective peered around the corner from his office, nodding in the direction of the only on-duty junior detective
“Downey, we’re headed to Forest Park. Suspected homicide, gun and badge, you’re with me.” Sergeant Olivia Downey’s eyes widened at the mention of murder before quickly collecting her gaze and readying for the drive. She hadn’t seen much action either, but didn’t hide it as well.
The drive to the Park was silent. Downey dare not be the first to speak, and Craig wasn’t very good with small talk. The pair exited the car to enter the scene. A male body lay on the mud, arms crossed at his chest, eyes wide open staring skyward. Detective Craig wasn’t certain, but he thought he heard a small squeak emit from Downey behind him. He wasn’t surprised. He was hardly able to stifle his own reaction. The body was indeed laid out in a very eerie, undead sort of way that made the skin crawl. The forensics team of two finished their photo shoot and loaded the body into the paddy wagon. The night’s rain had washed any potential evidence from the scene. The only thing remaining were two smeared sets of footprints; one probably a man’s, the other was possibly a dog or a small lion. Craig turned to Sergeant Downey and bellowed, “Radio the station and see if we can get the name of whoever called in the tip, we’re going to need to talk to them.”
North Terrace Apartment Complex
Everett, Washington - 4:01 am
“Coming,” grumbled the apartment’s tenant as he rose from the bed. A young man, though you wouldn’t guess it on first glance, sat upright rubbing his hands over his face to urge himself awake. Sunken eyes, the result of more than just poor sleeping habits, struggled to adjust to the blackness of the unlit bedroom. He reached blindly in the dark for his walnut derby cane resting against the nightstand. The doorbell rang again and again in rapid succession.
“A moment!” The man called Damion croaked as a...