Adam ran to his car and entered and was on his way out of the building in one minute. His mind raced through different possibilities. Faruk had not told him if it was Kate’s body he had found, he had ended the call before he could confirm it. Dumping Kate’s dead body in front of his house would probably give the killer a great thrill and it would be the end of him as a detective.
“God, please don’t let it be Kate.” He prayed aloud as he drove.
Whatever Kate had done, she did not deserve to die. He had no idea how the killer knew him, but he doubted that he done anything to deserve the trauma the killer had forced upon him since the first girl was found.
Adam turned into his street and slowed down. The veins on his neck were almost popping. As he drove closer, he could see the silhouette of Faruk sitting on his car. His heart beat faster. He rolled down his window and cool wind blew in his face. He closed his eyes against the wind and felt a cold shudder run down his spine.
Faruk climbed down from his car as Adam stopped in front of the house. Adam grabbed a flash-light, came down from the car and headed towards his front door without saying a word. Faruk hurried behind him. As he approached the door, Adam saw that the body was la!d in the usual position the killer adopted. It was face up and her hands were joined on top of her stomach. Adam held his breath as he got closer to the body.
“Adam…” Faruk called behind him.
He ignored him and moved close to the body. He beamed the flash-light on the body.
It was not Kate!
Adam dropped the flash-light, dropped on his knees in front of the body and covered his mouth with his right hand. His body shook as he tried to stop the tears that ran down his face. He expected to feel relief knowing that Kate was probably still alive but instead he felt fear, anger, and helplessness.
“Adam.” Faruk called him, lifting him up from the ground. “What are we going to do now?”
Adam dusted his trousers and picked up the flash-light. He walked away from the body and towards his car. He removed his phone from his pocket as he got closer to his car, he dialed Tola’s number and entered the car.
“Wait here, I’ll send someone to bring in the body. Don’t draw any attention to yourself, I want this under wraps.” He said, started his car and drove away from the house. “Hello Tola.”
“Adam, any leads yet?” Tola asked.
“Meet me at the office now, it’s urgent. Tell your husband we want to go over some old information we have. Meanwhile, call the coroner, Collins, tell him to meet us at the office.” Adam said and ended the call.
Adam drove slowly as he headed for the office. The killer had outwitted him. He had put policemen in every single church in the city, something he did not have the authority to do but had arm-twisted the chief to, but it did not matter as the body had been dumped on his own doorstep. If he was going to rescue Kate and catch the killer, he was going to have to outwit himself.
He swallowed as he imagined what the killer could be doing to Kate. He closed his eyes against the images running through his head and stepped on the accelerator.
“Kate will be fine.” He whispered to himself and tried desperately to believe it.
Adam met Tola at the door of her office. She was dressed casually in a sweater and a pair of jeans.
“What is this about Adam? Do we have any new leads?” She asked as she walked into her office.
“We have a new body, that’s what we have.” Adam said,
“Oh my God! Is it Kate?” She asked holding her face between her palms.
“Oh, thank God. What am I saying, another innocent girl is dead? When does this end?”
“Soon! Right now, we need to find out all we can about the latest victim, the body has been brought in.”
“Who found the body? Where was it found?” Tola asked.
“It was found in front of my house by Faruk. He was…”
“Wait a minute, your house?”
Adam opened his mouth to answer but his phone rang. It was Faruk.
“What’s happening Faruk?” Adam asked.
“There’s a reporter here Adam. No, not one, a press crew is here.” Faruk said.
“What do they want? Do they know about…?”
“Yes they know about the body Adam. How on earth did they know?”
“I swear, I will… Faruk, get them out of my place and don’t as much as cough while doing it. I’ll take care of that later.” Adam said and ended the call. “How on earth did the press find out about this so fast?”
“They’re at your house?” Tola asked.
“Yes they are. Who is leaking information to them? Only three people know about this, the killer, Faruk and myself.”
“I’ve been meaning to ask you something Adam; why do you trust Faruk so much?” Tola asked.
“What? Why shouldn’t I trust him? I’ve known him for years and he’s not given me any reason not to. You don’t trust him?”
“Well…” Tola started but was cut off by a knock on the door.
“I’m here sir.” It was the coroner.
“Sorry to drag you out of bed doctor, but we just found a new body and we don’t have time at all.” Tola said.
“I wasn’t in bed, I was…”
“Yeah, we understand, let’s go to your lab please.”
Adam watched with his arms folded across his chest as the coroner checked the body of the victim. Tola had pulled up a chair and was seated some distance away from the body.
“There are a few things that are consistent with the other victims; liver is missing, the starting and ending points of the cut, all these are consistent.” The coroner said.
“Okay, is there anything that is different? Anything we can use?” Adam asked.
“Well, there is a scar on her stomach, she has been operated on before.”
“If she has been operated on before, that could be a link to Kate. Maybe she had a liver transplant too.” Adam said to Tola. “The key to this is finding out who she is.”
“I can run her DNA through the system.” The coroner offered.
“Yeah, you do that, I wouldn’t hold my breath though. This is still Nigeria, remember?”
“Is that all? Nothing else to add?” Tola asked standing up from her chair.
“Wait a minute.” The coroner said. “There is blood on her thigh, it did not come from the cut on her stomach.”
“What are you saying?”
The coroner did not answer. He bent low and observed the body more closely.
“Sir, I think he had s-x with the victim. And she was a virgin.”
“I’m not sure yet if the intercourse was post mortem or not.”
“Why would he do that? He’s never done this before” Tola said, beads of sweat beginning to form on her face.
“Is he advancing his ritual? Kate! Oh my God.” Adam said with a sigh.
“What do we do now?” Tola asked.
“We go…” Adam started then stopped. He leaned against the wall and looked at Tola. “We need a miracle, that’s what we need.”
“Thank you for your help doctor. Please let us have any other information you have to add after the full autopsy. We might get lucky and get DNA from the killer.” Tola said.
“You are not giving up, are you?” The coroner asked as Tola and Adam headed for the door.
Adam looked back at him, smiled and headed for the door.
“Wait sir!” The coroner called. “I think I just found something.”
Adam turned back, the coroner pulled what looked like a piece of paper from the mouth of the victim. He straightened it and gently held it up against a lamp on his table.
“It’s an I.D. card of sorts.” He said.
“Let me see that.” Adam said and moved around the table.
It was a driver’s license, a photocopy. Fortunately the paper was not too wet, he could make out the name and the face on the paper. It was the victim’s. The license identified her as Tunmise Akinfenwa, twenty years old.
“Akinfenwa, isn’t that the name of the immediate past Accountant-general of the state?” Tola asked.
“I have no idea but the address listed here is located in the Judges’ quarters in Tanke.”
“Then it must be that Akinfenwa, his wife is a judge.”
“A judge’s daughter? I’m in trouble, aren’t I?” Adam said.
“At least we know who she is now, we can find out if she had a liver transplant, see if there’s a link to Kate.”
“That is easier said than done Tola.” Adam said and left the coroner’s lab.
“You know what the problem is now Tola, how do I break the news to the A.G. and his wife that their daughter has been murdered?” Adam asked.
He was pacing in front of Tola in his office. The A.C. was on but sweat dripped down his face.
“That is not the call any parent wants to receive, but they need to hear and we need to know about the liver transplant.” Tola said. “Adam, remove your jacket, you’re sweating.”
“I have an idea Tola. Let’s google her name, she’s the daughter of two important people, we might be lucky to find something about the liver transplant. If there was one.”
“Okay. What was her name again?” Tola asked.
Adam dipped his hand into the pocket of his jacket to get the license but his hand struck something. It felt like plastic. He brought it out and looked at it. It was an electronic device, he was sure of that and he knew he did not put it in his pocket.
“What is that?” Tola asked, looking at the device in his hand.
“I don’t know and I’m not sure how it got into my pocket.” He observed the device closer and his eye widened. “It is a listening device!”
“A listening device, a transmitting device. Someone has been spying on me? Ese!”
“What are you talking about?” Tola asked.
Adam’s phone rang before he could answer.
It was the governor.
“Adam, what is this that I’m hearing about a body found in your house?”
“Sir?” Adam mumbled.How did he know?Ese’s bug!
“Did you or did you not find a body?’
“We did sir but thankfully it wasn’t Kate.”
“Why haven’t you told me this? My daughter has been kidnapped by a notorious killer and this same killer kills another poor girl and you don’t tell me about it?”
“I’m sorry sir, I just thought I should find out more about the victim before I come to you with the information sir.” Adam said shaking his head. He could not believe that Ese had bugged him.
“What have you found out about this victim then?”
“We know who the victim is, we are working on contacting the parents of the victim tonight if possible or we’ll just wait till tomorrow morning.” Adam said, hoping the governor would not press further.
He was not so lucky. “Who is the victim?” The governor asked.
“The daughter of the A.G.?”
“I’m afraid so sir.”
The line was silent for a while, then the governor spoke again.
“I think you should pursue the lead you had on Kate’s liver transplant because the Tunmise also had a transplant.”
“She had a transplant?”
“She did and it was just a few weeks before Kate had her own. Same hospital, same doctor.”
“Thank you so much for that information sir.”
“Adam, I didn’t call you to give you information, find my daughter!” The governor said and the line went dead.
“We were right Tola, this is connected somehow to that liver transplant.”
“Okay, but what do we do now? The surgery was done in Lagos, not here.”
“I have no idea what we’ll do right now, but there’s something I have to deal with first.”
“What are you talking about?”
“That thing…” Adam said, pointing to the listening device. “It is a listening device, Ese and her partner have been spying on me.”
“You can’t be sure of that Adam.”
“Oh, I am sure. Tola, I think you should go home, there’s nothing for you to do here. Just keep your phone on, I will call you if I need to.” Adam said.
“Adam, be careful what you say to that lady. Whether you admit or not, the feelings you have for her are strong, don’t ruin it all over a suspicion.”
“The feelings I have towards her right now are strong alright but it’s totally different from what you are talking about.”
“What the hell is this?” Adam asked immediately Ese opened the door. He held the listening device up.
“What are you talking about?” She answered, stepping aside for him to come in.
“What am I talking about Ese? You don’t know anything about this?”
Ese kept quiet, walked away from him and sat down.
“I have done a lot of things Ese, one thing you cannot accuse me of is lying to you. How could you?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t…” Ese said.
“You know it’s a crime what you just did. And this is the one I found, how many are there?”
“It’s just the one and I didn’t…”
“How am I supposed to believe you Ese? You know for the past week or so, I actually believed we had made progress. Believed we could maybe have what we once had…”
“I believe we made progress too.”
“How am I supposed to believe all that wasn’t just to get me to give you free info? How could I have known that you were planting a bug on me when you were pretending to give me a hug?”
“Adam, just stop it!” Ese shouted. “You come to my house at eleven p.m. when I’m supposed to be sleeping and you think you can just keep ranting? Sorry, this is my house and I don’t have to listen to you.”
“Wow, so that’s it huh?”
“I didn’t plant the bug on you, maybe I knew about it and didn’t tell you but you have your job to do and I have mine. I never asked you to come to my house, I didn’t come after you, you came after me.”
Adam looked at her and shook his head. He was not sure what he expected but her reaction only made him more angry.
“I’m sorry I came after you, I wouldn’t have if I knew you were such a liar. Good bye Ese Johnson, have a nice life.” Adam said and walked out of the house.
Adam hurried up the stairs into the governor’s living room. He had been barely out of Ese’s house when the governor called him and asked him to come to his house immediately. He gave no reason, that was what bothered Adam. He looked at his watch, it was almost twelve a.m. Kate had already been missing for more than twenty four hours, chances of finding her grew slimmer by the hour.
He entered the room and was surprised to find the chief seated next to the governor. Then he remembered. Faruk had mentioned seeing the chief driving away from his house just before he found the body. He wondered what that had to do with the governor’s call.
“Adam, come here and have a seat.” The governor said, pointing to a chair opposite him.
Adam sat down without saying a word. He glanced at the chief who tried his best to avoid making eye contact with him.
“My daughter has been missing for over twenty four hours Adam, are you any closer to finding her?”
“Yes sir, we believe the liver transplant she had holds the key to who the killer is sir.” Adam answered, wondering where the governor was going.
“That is all you have?”
“Well, we still have a few leads we were pursuing before she was taken sir.”
“Adam, remember I offered you a chance to get off this case some time ago? And you declined.” The governor said, his face taking on a more serious look.
“Yes sir, I declined because I am committed to catching whoever the killer is sir.” Adam said, he was getting increasingly anxious.
“You remember I talked about the drinking problem I heard that you had?”
Adam looked at the chief and back at the governor. “I don’t have a drinking problem sir.”
“Do you ever drink on the job Adam?”
Adam shifted in his chair, he did not like where the conversation was leading to. “No sir, I don’t.”
“Remember this?” The chief spoke up for the first time. He placed a bottle on the table, Adam recognized it immediately. “We found that on the farm house close to where three of the recent victims were found.”
“Sir, I don’t know what… I didn’t…” Adam stammered.
“We have checked, your prints were on the bottle.” The chief said.
“You checked for my prints? Why would you check an empty bottle on the floor for my prints?” Adam asked, anger bursting through him.
“Adam, you have been drinking on the job? You are supposed to find my daughter Adam.” The governor said.
“And I will sir.”
“No, you won’t.” The chief said.
Adam glared at the chief and looked back at the governor, eyes pleading. The governor looked away from him.
“Adam, you are suspended pending an investigation into your… The chief will take your badge and give you more information as regards the duration and terms of your suspension” The governor said and stood to leave.
“Sir, who will find your daughter? Who will find Kate?” Adam asked, his voice shaking.
“We already have people working on it.” The chief said with a smile. “Enjoy your suspension.”