Hostile Intent (Danger Never Sleeps #4) - Lynette Eason Page 0,2
you haven’t even seen the crime scene yet, but I’ll run this murder through ViCAP and see if it matches any other murders of entire families—including the one in Houston. Depending on what shows up, we can add the other information as we get it.”
Caden shoved his phone into his pocket, pulled the little blue booties over his shoes, and signed the crime scene log just as a black Jeep Wrangler pulled to the curb. His partner, Zane Pierce, joined him on the porch, coughing into a tissue. The man’s nose was red, his lips chapped, his hazel eyes bloodshot with dark circles beneath them. Morning stubble graced his face and his dark hair looked finger combed.
“Dude, are you on some undercover assignment I don’t know about?” Caden asked him. “That’s one heck of a disguise.”
“I wish. I think I’m officially sick.”
“Sorry, man. I can take this if you need to go home.”
“I’ll be fine, just don’t get too close.”
“You don’t have to worry about that.” The last thing he needed was a cold—or whatever affliction the man had.
The foyer held a set of stairs to the second floor. From his position in front of the door, Caden could see straight ahead into the den. The living room was to the left, the dining room to the right. From his vantage point, he could see the kitchen, with a large island, connected to the dining room. “Who found them?” Caden asked.
The officer looked up from the log. “The neighbor. She and the wife—”
“Angelica,” Caden said, his voice low. He’d studied what little notes the responding officer had gleaned. “Staff Sergeant Michael Fields, his wife, Angelica, and their two youngest children, Brian and Ellen, ages eight and ten.”
“Right. Angelica. They go walking every Sunday morning. When the woman—Angelica—didn’t show up at their usual meeting spot on the curb, the neighbor came looking for her. The front door was open, so she walked in.”
Caden groaned. “Walked in to see—”
“Yeah. She ran screaming to her husband, who called us. Paramedics almost had to sedate her, she was so hysterical. They finally got her calmed down.”
“Poor woman.” Bracing himself, Caden forced his covered feet forward and entered the den.
He spotted the victims and let his chin drop to his chest while sorrow slammed him. Kids. He’d almost quit the job more than once because of the children. But they had to have someone fighting for them, to see they received justice.
Zane blew out a harsh sigh, coughed, and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Man.”
“Yeah . . .” Caden shook his head. For a brief moment, he squeezed his eyes tight. He didn’t want to see any more. He finally opened his eyes and studied the family huddled together on the couch. Each had one bullet to the forehead. The nausea swept him and he fought it to focus on the building rage. He could manage the anger. “Where’s Mickey?”
“Their oldest son. According to the notes I read on the way over here, he’s fourteen or fifteen. His name is Michael Jr., but he goes by Mickey.”
“I’ll get someone looking for him.” Zane turned to the nearest officer and requested he ask the neighbor about the teen.
“Who would do this?” Caden didn’t expect an answer. The question wasn’t so much disbelief that someone could actually kill them, but him fathoming who would want to do it—or why.
“Robbery doesn’t appear to be a motive,” Zane said. He nodded to the elaborate media system nestled into the wall unit. “That would bring in a lot of cash.”
“So, why?” Caden muttered. Another rhetorical question. Until they took apart this family’s lives, they wouldn’t speculate.
Zane continued to frown and turned his eyes from the scene. “Adults are bad enough,” he muttered, “but kids . . . they get to me. I’m going to be seeing them in my nightmares for months.”
“I know. Same here.” It would probably be more like years.
Caden’s phone rang. Annie. He swiped the screen. “That was fast.”
“I had an almost immediate hit in ViCAP. There are two other murders that I can say initially match yours.”
“The information received was that the entire family was murdered with one gunshot each to the head. They were all seated on the sofa, kind of huddled together. The scenes were middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhoods.”
“First one was the Holden family in San Diego, California, last month. Second one was two weeks ago—like the observant sheriff noted. Carl Bailey and his family in Houston, Texas.”
“So, this is the third,”