Catching Her Man 2/5

By Drum Digital
08 April 2014

“There’s nothing here that will lead us to the killer.”

The body lay half hidden in the tall grass.

The car of the motorist who had reported the incident was parked beside the body, shielding it from hurtling minibus-taxis which hooted noisily as they veered past, hurling abuse, not noticing the still body.

Mpho drew the police vehicle up behind the parked car, and left the twirling blue light on to alert impatient road-users. While she took a statement from the motorist, Dixon combed the area for any clues that could identify the car that had hit the man. But he found nothing but small glass shards from a broken headlight lying on the road.

“There’s nothing here that will lead us to the killer,” Dixon muttered in frustration.

When Isaiah had taken all the pictures he thought he needed, he went through the dead man’s pockets. He found an identity document and some small change.

“At least we’ll be able to notify his family,” he said.

Disconsolately the police officers watched the ambulance, its sirens wailing, pull up behind them. The paramedics lazily climbed down from their vehicle. For them this was not an unusual task, working as they did in a country where 13 000 people died on the roads each year.

One of them knelt beside the body.

“How long do you think he’s been dead?” Dixon asked.

With a grunt the man said, “Do I look like a pathologist to you, Constable?”

“Detective,” Dixon corrected him.

“Sorry ‘Detective’,” he said, raising his eyebrow.

Dixon, forcing himself to be calm, said, “I know you’re not the expert – but take a guess. Just give us an idea.”

The paramedic grimaced. “Okay,” he said and gave the body a cursory examination. He stood up. “You must understand this is a guess only. It was quite warm last night which would have delayed the onset of rigor mortis, yet the old man’s quite stiff. So I’d guess he was killed more than six hours ago.”

“So you reckon at about midnight?”

“I would think so.”

Mpho sighed in frustration as they watched the body being lifted into the ambulance. How were they going to find the culprit if there were no clues?

“Hey guys!” one of the paramedics said.

“Look – there was a number plate underneath the body.”

In two strides Mpho was there to pick it up. “Hau!” she crowed. “At last, we have something on the person responsible for this cowardly act!”

-by Cassandra van der Westhuizen

To be continued...

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