As soon as Michael got into the garage shutting it close was first on his mind, he didn’t even waste a second on catching his breath. Luckily the door was electrical and all he had to do was find the remote. Panic stricken he didn’t have to search for long though, he found it on top of a tool box to the left of the entrance. Pressing the close button he stared back at his house and an image of him behind bars in an orange prison jumpsuit flashed through his mind. Tears still filled his eyes, he wanted to be cold and run away from his current life without looking back but his emotions got the better of him.
Back at his residence, the light blue raggedy house at no.4 Hudson Road. The police had broken down the door after their fourth unanswered knock and upon stumbling into the lounge they had immediately drawn their weapons. The two strongly built officers who both had barely 6 months on the job, braced themselves for a face to face show off with a sadistic criminal. They had a jolt of adrenaline running through their bodies from a blend of nervousness and fear. A few glances to one another and an exchange of head nods. It was a silent conversation were one said “I’m with you” and the other replied “I’m with you too.”
Walking on from the lounge they shouted for Michael to come out from wherever he was with his hands above his head. Repeating the call with every step they took with their guns leading the way. The slightest of sounds sent jitters through the officers. It was one of those situations were the urge to run away to a point of safety overwhelms the urge to move on but you stick to the task at hand out of mere pride. As they edged on without receiving a reply they methodically moved around the house and cleared it room by room, soon concluding that Michael was long gone.
The officers then placed a call to the station, asking for the homicide detectives to come over together with a crew from the forensics unit. Right afterwards they got to taping off the area right round the house and the nosy neighbours didn’t take long to notice the yellow and black strip. The words “Crime scene do not cross” written on it in bold letters. In the neighbours minds was a gush of the possible play of events that could have occurred at Michael’s house. Most of their thoughts were leaning towards something having happened Michael. If only they knew, but well no one would like to believe they have been living next to criminal and yet they didn’t have the slightest idea.
Hudson Road was located in the Uppington suburb, which was generally flooded by the lower middle class. It was an area overrun with simple and similar architecture, only the colour of the paint differentiated the houses. A lot of lawns were unkempt but the people were friendly and a little bit loud. So even if they had been screams at Michael’s house his neighbours could have barely heard them. The crime rate in the area was fairly moderate with murder cases being extremely rare. Well as it was a Sunday morning most people were home, either recovering from a hangover or simply hanging around until the Sunday sports came on.
Walking away from their front porches people began forming a crowd around no. 4 Hudson Road. Coffee mugs in hand and indistinct murmurs all around, the arrival of the forensics van only furthered their curiosity. It was followed close behind by an unmarked car that had the two detectives from the precinct. Detective first grade Martin Phillips and his partner Andre Rogers a junior detective recently promoted. On their arrival they immediately took control of the scene, directing all the traffic.
The house was now restricted to the forensics personnel and the cops first on the scene went outside to talk to the detectives. After giving their narrative of how they arrived at house, what they saw and how they conducted their initial search, Phillips shot back a question. “Did you by any chance search the garage?” The two cops looked at each other and replied with a dull shake of their heads.
The detectives weapons were drawn swiftly and they smoothly made their way towards the garage. This was met with an uproar of noise from the crowd but their excitement was short lived as officers came to move them away to a safe distance. Flanking it on either side the detectives signaled one of the officers to open the garage door. The detectives had the right idea here it’s only that they had the garage of the wrong house. With the door up they moved in, their guns leading the way as always and eyes darting from corner to corner.
The garage was cleared in seconds and they shifted their attention to the silver Toyota SUV that was parked in it. A smudged bloody handprint was on the back windscreen and blood was also on the front door handle. The car to their luck, was unlocked and soon a rigorous search of it began. All the doors were opened. The dashboard and the middle compartment between the seats were both ransacked of their contents, with nothing of significance being discovered. Finally upon looking into the boot, a dark blue wheeled travel suitcase was discovered with a noticeable amount of blood leaking from it.
The closest gloved forensic personnel was called over to open it. As the bag was unzipped everyone in the close vicinity had their eyes intently fixated on it. The zipper reached the other end and the lid was lifted off to the absolute horror of everyone. Inside was a dismembered female body later to be identified as Paula Valdez, Michael’s girlfriend…
-To be continued