Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Ghost

The next day I went to Danielle Grove's, our murder victim's cell phone provider...and had them hit their towers in order to locate her  phone...We had no problem locating it...It was at a pawn shop in West Philadelphia..

This particular pawn shop was legitimate....When I stopped there they not only had the smartphone, but they had video footage of the man who had brought it in and gotten money for it..

Robert Lawton... I did a check of Lawton and he had a sheet on him...Three convictions..Two for burglary and one for armed robbery...He did three five year stretches in the state pen for all three and was currently under indictment for another robbery...

The address he gave was of course phony and the known addresses for him in the system all yielded nothing.

We had a DNA sample of his in the system..I compared it to the DNA I took from my murder victim..It was not a match...

 The semen found in her house was indeed a match for the semen found in the loaded condom and on her legs and on her soaked panties...but it was not a match for Robert Lawton.

Robert Lawton was not our killer.

Still ,he had possession of my victim's phone...He was worth talking to.

I stopped by Robbery and talked to them about the 18 break ins in the area where my victim had been killed.

A Robbery detective  who was working the case and I examined all 18 crime scenes...All the victims were young attractive women who lived alone..We re-interviewed all 18 girls.They varied in race ,African-American, Latino,Asian,White ..None were older than 25, all had modest homes..None would be considered wealthy...Mostly all were either in college or working women...None had any children...And none were robbed of more than $500.00 in cash..Some were robbed of jewelry ...but all had certain pieces of their underwear stolen...Bras,Panties...Pantyhose..What not..

"These aren't high class guys...It's usually two guys...They were both described as African-American males..One was young...One was a little older...But the young one was clearly in charge..The older one was usually stealing the money and the jewelry...but the younger one...He was the freak, the one who was stealing the underwear....That seemed to be all he was interested in." said the other detective...

''Really?"I said.

"Yeah...I mean, the money you can spend...The jewelry you can pawn, but panties?? bras???I never seen nothin like this.....We found a lot of the stolen jewelry amongst our fences and some pawn shops...The guy gave a phony name...but we picked him up on one store camera...It looks like a guy named Robert Lawton...a known B&E guy."said the detective...

"Wow!  That's the guy who turned my murder victim's smartphone in to the Pawn shop for cash.."I said.

"Hmmm, he's no killer though...He's a three time loser and a drug user...He probably was stealing just enough to get high.."said the detective...

"What about the other one?" I asked..

"He's a ghost..We got no DNA..No prints..No facial...He could be a new player...If we could find Lawton maybe he could tell us,but he's currently in the wind...There's a bolo out on him for yet another B& E on the other side of town.."he said.

"I'm going to make it my business to find Lawton."I said


Monica on the other hand spent her morning interviewing the three guys who had dated Danielle casually...

One, Elliot Dozier wasn't even in town at the time....The other, Brian Chalmbers was with another girl ,who verified his story at the time and the third one was home, as verified by his home alarm which went on at 9:00 pm and wasn't taken off until 7:02 am the next morning when he left for work..

When Monica saw me she had a lot to tell me..

"Oh My God...If she dated those three guys casually and didn't get seriously involved with them I certainly understand." she said..

"Empty headed huh?" I said.

"I thought that some of your thoughts were pretty raunchy when we first met...but these three guys took the cake..One guy couldn't concentrate on my questions because he was so busy ogling my boobs...Another guy outright asked me for a date....and the third one tried to jump my bones in the "Fishbowl"(Interrogation room) I had to threaten to throw cold water on him...It wasn't those three...They don't have a violent bone in them...or an original thought in their heads...They all liked her...and I checked their alibis...They all were with other girls or at other places on the night Danielle went missing.." she said.

''Hell Mo-Mo..You're fine..What do you expect a normal heterosexual male to do when he encounters you?I nearly lost MY mind the first time I laid eyes on you...That tight skirt you had on..."I laughed..

''I'm gone let that go because you're my boyfriend.."she said.." Oh...We got back hits from the traffic cams....On the night our victim was abducted....A call was made..From her phone to a burner phone and we got a picture of this car...picking someone up...someone dressed in all black..Couldn't get a facial on the driver either....Auto found the car...It was stolen a week before and bleached down..."said Monica..showing me photos of the car that picked the second man up...

"But how did our guy get to the scene of the crime?" I asked.

"He had to of come on foot somehow..Maybe he took the bus....There is a bus stop and a subway stop just a few blocks from this house..." said Monica.

''Hmm...I got a suspect or accomplice..Bobby Lawton...He sold our victims phone to the pawn shop and he is one of two suspects in all of 18 of these Home invasions..The other suspect though is a freak...The one who was only stealing panties and bras...''I said.

''Who is he?" asked Monica.
''A ghost! but if we find Bobby Lawton...we find our suspect...They're obviously working together in these robberies.." I said.

Just then, my phone rang...

''Excuse me....Hello." I said.

''Heyy Nate."came the voice of my ex-wife...Nyla..she was face timing me (and for once she had on clothes.)..She actually looked nice...

"Hey yourself....You workin?" I asked.

"As a matter of fact I am..I've been workin for a few months now.." she said.

Something sounded different about the way she sounded...She usually called me when she was half naked ,talking all breathy and wanting to seduce me...but not today.

''That's great...What's up?" I said.

''We need to talk...Can you stop by after work?" she asked.

"Sure...What is this about?" I asked..

"It would be better if we talked in person." she said.

"Okay...I'll stop by after work." I said.

"Thanks Nate." she said.

"Everything alright?" asked Monica.

"I guess..Nyla wants to talk to me...Tonight...It sounds important."I said.

"Your baby boy alright?" she asked..

"I sure hope so...I paid his child support." I said.

"Nate ,Am I ever going to meet him?" she asked..

''Sure..The next time I keep him...I want you to come over and meet him...You're in my life now and he should see you...I'm sure he's seen enough of his mother's men."I said.

"That's not nice Nate...Bitterness does not become you."said Monica.

"I know" I said....

The coroner called me just then....

"You've got the hot line today Nate." giggled Monica.

''Detective Nate Nellis, Homicide." I said.

''Hey Detective Nellis..We ran those semen samples found at the murder victims house and compared them to semen samples found at the scenes of the break ins." he said.

"Wait a minute? There was semen at the scene of the break ins?" I asked...I hadn't known that before...

''Yes and it's a definite match....Whoever had sex with your victim...More than likely was breaking into these homes...." said the coroner...

"Thanks.." I said.

''Anytime detective."he said.

"There was semen found at the scene of the break ins?" asked Monica..
 "Yes and it's a match for the semen found in the loaded condom, on the soaked panties and in our murder victims body and at her house..Our killer is one of those two home invaders...And it's not Lawton...He's in the system and I did a comparison...It's not him. Whoever this DNA belongs to is not in the system and has no sheet."I said.

"So who is the other home invader?" she asked.

I shrugged my shoulders....

''A Ghost." I said.

I looked at my watch ,it was quitting time...I looked around...There was nobody in the squad room..

I put Monica's face in my hands and kissed her..

"Got some personal business to take care of babes.."

"Oh yeah ,with Nyla...Good luck."she said smiling weakly...I couldn't tell what she was thinking..but I had a need to reassure her..

"You know I love you don't you?" I said.

"Yes....Nate..I'll be fine...It's sweet that you want to make me feel better...but I'm fine...Besides...I know you're crazy about me." she said and laughed..

"I damn sure am." I said...She smiled and waved as I left.

Nyla looked good,I must say...Smelled good and was dressed to the nines...I peered at her lustfully as I bounced our son on my knee....He was almost one years old..

Nyla sat across from me...

"Nate...I have been working and making good money now and I uh have some announcements to make...One..I'm moving out of here soon and buying a house...At long last ,I can afford a house..My job has a program where if you raise one third of the cost of a house...They pay the other two thirds and deduct it from your pay....If you leave for whatever reason you just re-finance..." she said.

''Oh Wow Nyla..that sounds great...You need me to watch Junior for a few days while you move in?" I asked..

''Oh No..No..See that's uh what I called you over here for..I uh...I uh met somebody..Well actually,I've known him before I knew you...He and I broke up right before you and I got together and we uh never really did end things right....Anyway, you and I got married and well..Look...I'm so sorry about what I did with Wally Becker...I was so wrong..I never meant to hurt you....I swear...and then I found out I was pregnant...I just made a mess of things."she said.

''Nyla..Get to the point baby." I said.

"Nate...I'm getting married!"she blurted out!

"Married? To Becker??" I said.
Nyla gave me the side eye...She actually looked at me like I was crazy....

"NOOOOOOOO! Let's not be ridiculous.... To Frank!" she said.

"Frank?" I asked..

"He's the guy I met and broke up with before you and I got together...Don't act like you had no clue...I know Wally came back and told you he came over here and ran into Frank." she said.

He had...he couldn't wait to tell me...I laughed..

''Yeah he did...He couldn't get you and my partner flagged him...He is just having a hard time with women this month."I said.

"He came over here at midnight one night....Frank and I was..Well we had just finished being ..uh..intimate...He claimed I had texted him ,telling him to come over...What a liar."she said.

I laughed...I couldn't tell her that I had cloned her phone and had sent him that text...I just laughed to myself...

"Boyyy..Just wasn't his night was it?" was all I would say...

We both laughed...and she rubbed my hands ,the same way that Monica does and I stared in her eyes..

"Nate...I want you to still be a part of your son's life...I would never do that to you,Never not let you see him..You can see him whenever you want..And I won't ask for anymore child support..."she said.

''Nah Nyla..That's my son..That's my responsibility...I'll always be there for him..In everyway I can..."I said.

"You're a good guy Nate...You're going to make whoever it is you're seeing a very happy woman."she said.

"Nyla ,you were right...I was dating another cop...And not just any cop...I'm seeing my partner...Her name is Monica...Detective Monica Talbert...I want you to meet her...Next time I come to pick up Junior,I'm going to bring her and you bring Frank."I said.

"That should be nice...Awkward,but nice..Do you love her Nate?" she asked.

''I do and she loves me too.."I said.

"That's why she flagged Wally..She's seeing you..."said Nyla..

"That and she's got good tastes.She would have flagged Wally anyway." I said.

"I know that's right!" she laughed....

Nyla and I both busted out laughing...We hadn't laughed together in ages..

"I'm glad you're happy..."she said.

"I'm glad you're happy too....Oh and uh I would appreciate it if you not mention this to Wally Becker."I said.

"Wally Becker? I took that joker's phone number out of my phone...and I've blocked his number." she said.

"That'll show him huh?" I laughed...

We both laughed.

Soon I left and was on my way across the city...


Monica was surprised when she came to her door and saw me standing there...

''Didn't think I'd see you tonight.." she said.

''I hadn't planned on coming over...I just always seem to wind up over here.."I said.

''Everything okay?" she asked.
''You mean you don't know?" I asked.

"I'm not in your head all the time Nate...but I just scanned your thoughts...Nyla is getting married to some guy named Frank, You told her about me, about us...and you want us to meet right?" she said and smiled...

"You make conversation so easy..."I said ,laughing...

She pulled me to her and kissed me passionately for a very long time, considering we were standing outside...

"MMMMMMMM and you make kissing so easy...You have the softest lips for a guy." she said and kissed me some more...

"If I was worried about anything..I'm not now."I said smiling..

"Come on in...and have some Ice Tea with your girlfriend..."she said.

I smiled and walked inside her apartment.



Rita said...

Incredible writing...So realistic...I was nearly moved to tears..

Sunflower said...

Incredibly real story...Loved it!

Toni said...

Just when I think that you can't top yourself..You go and do it..Love it Keith!

Angie B. said...

Great story! Great writing..Loved it...These two's relationship is evolving right before our eyes.

Lisa said...

Not on ly is their relationship evolving right before our eyes...but they are involved in a compelling mystery.

Halo said...

Great story...Great writing..Question though...How come so many of your male villians have a hard time uh controlling themselves?? Just a question...LMAO!

Vanessa said...

The scene where Nate and Nyla talked and worked out their differences was classic...Shame we don't see this stuff on television dramas involving black couples..