The Four Maids. WIP.

Arriving at the scene, Corina got out the car, and pulled on the white suit, plastic over shoes and gloves.
“Okay Tim what have we got here?” she asked the exhausted young man standing on the business side of the police cordon. “Blunt trauma to the head marm, and they’ve made a real mess of her, no teeth, hands or feet.” He replied shivering.
Scech! Carina thought, this case was ringing alarm bells already. “Have forensics got a time of death yet.” She asked. An irritated voice from inside the tent retorted, “No I only just got here but looking at the state of rigamortis I’d say at least a week.”
Taking Tim’s coffee out of his his cold hands she thought to herself it was time she got herself a nice sensible job, 9 to 5….

“Marm, did you notice the position she is in ” Tim’s voice jolted Corina back to the cold, smelly, damp here and now. “Yes” she replied finishing his coffee, “ugh! That was terrible it had sugar in it!” Tim just pulled a face at her!
They both went back into the forensic tent. There was the body of a female about 15 to 17 years, prone, but deliberately placed to look as if she was dancing. Arms above her head, and legs bent . Dead flowers scattered all around her. Her hands and feet gone, and her teeth too.
“Well we can rule out suicide” Mark, the dower pathologist said as they entered. “You think?” Corina replied.
“Yes whoever did this does not want us to find out who she is, no finger or toe prints to check and dental records are out of the question!” Mark finished talking and went back to checking the body.
What a mess, Corina hated it when the victims were young, and this one looked as if she’d suffered. Shaking that thought from her head she turned to Tim. “Okay she’s young so its unlikely that no one is missing her. Get someone to check missing persons, for any likely matches….” Corina thought for a second, “check and see if there are any matches for this M. O. Somehow it doesn’t look like a one off to me” She paused then added, “Tim , get us some hot black coffee no sugar!”

As soon as Tim left the tent, Mark looked across at Corina and said “Does this ring any bells with you?” Taking in a sharp breath she nodded. Mark pushed his glasses back onto his nose with the heel of his hand and carried on. ” Do you remember those three murders back in 1998 I was in med school and you toying with the idea of police or customs? ” Nodding her head Corina agreed, ” I do , that case “The Three Maids” the tabloids called it, they had open season with it. But if I recall only the fingers and toes and teeth were missing then”
Mark looked back to the body and then said, I am going to pull out any records there might be on that case when I get back to ‘the office’ Corina winced she hated the way Mark always referred to the mortuary as ‘The Office’.
“Good idea, I’ll do the same back at the station it was August, no hang on, September as the bodies were each overed in leaves” Corina looked to Mark who was nodding in agreement. ” We’ll discuss it tonight over a bottle of red, I bring a take away in as I will be last home as usual” Corina smiled, Indian/ Chinese? “
Just then then a young policeman stuck his head into the tent, “we’ve found some tyre tracks Marm by the look of them they driven through cement. “
Corina smiled as Mark muttered “That will give you something concrete to work on” Turning to go she laughed “my sentiment too” As she left the tent she came face to face with Tim carrying the coffee. She took the the one marked B.N.S. Tim stuck his head in the tent and said , here’s your’s Mark.” Putting the cup on an evidence bag outside the tent he followed Corina to the car.
Mark’s voice called after him, Indian, tell her Indian ” Tim went to answer him but Corina shouted over her shoulder, “Okay” As she reached the car he turned to Tim and said”this coffee’s cold! “

Driving back to the station Corina’s mind was working overtime trying to remember anything about the ‘Three Maids” case. Was it even reasonable to think they were connected. Something was screaming at her but…. Suddenly Tim yanked the wheel and shouted “Brake! brake” Corina in an instant saw the red light, and managed an emergency stop. “Didn’t you see the lights change ” Tim snapped then remembering himself he added “Marm”
Corina took a deep breath it hurt her ego that Tim had had grab the wheel, it hurt more that he was right.
The lights changed, Corina pulled away carefully, and decided to consentrate on the road for now. …”Sorry, Tim , I’ve not had a decent coffee yet!” she muttered. “Not for want of trying on my part” Tim grinned. They both laughed. The rest of the journey she explained to Tim what was on her mind, the case from 1998 and it’s similarities to the one in hand.
Back at the station Tim offered to get the team together so they could get organised, “Okay while your at it get Karen and Sasha to pull any information on 1998 ‘Three Maids’ case. Corina called disappearing into the loo. As the door shut behind her she thought, coffee next the I’ll see the team and we can sort the wheat from the chaff.

Corina sat in her office, sipping a hot strong black coffee. Turning the mornings scene over in her head there were things there that were screaming for her attention but it was like she needed someone to turn on a torch.
The door opened and Tim stuck his head in and said “I have got everyone organised for 1pm Marm we should have some photos back by then so we can start a board.” Corina nodded as she stood up and removed her jacket and hung it on the bracket on the wall.
Tim went to leave but stopped and turned back “have you eaten Marm can I get you anything I’m getting a bacon roll” Corina thought for a moment, poured another cup of coffee offering Tim one. “Yes a sausage sandwich with brown sauce, here I’ll pay, and for yours too. Coffee now or when you get back with the sandwiches.?”
On his way to the canteen Tim smiled to himself, she’s paying he thought. That’s not like her, must be feeling guilty about the lights!
As they sat eating the sandwiches and drinking Corina’s special blend of Columbian she asked “have Karen or Sasha had any luck with the old records?” Tim was just about to answer when the phone rang.
It was forensics, when the body had been moved they had found a blood stained slipper underneath it.

1pm prompt every one was sitting or standing around the three white boards set up in the corner of the main office. Tim was pinning up photos of the scene and the dead girl. Who had been named Darcy because she was posed like a dancer. Corina had just asked if Darcy’s photo photo had been circulated, it had. There was nothing back on the tyres or the slipper yet but it was early days and the lab was about as speedy as a snail going backwards these days.

Tim pinned the last photo up turned to face everyone , getting their attention was never that easy so he raised his voice and banged the nearest desk loudly and announced, “ready Marm”

As soon as everyone had shut up and was looking in her direction Corina laid out everything they had. Not a lot right now to be honest but they were only seven hours in. “Has anyone come up with anything interesting yet” Corina asked. Karen slid off the desk she was perched on and said “yes, Sasha and I traced that old case you mentioned and Hammersmith are sending us over what they have buy currier asap. So hopefully we can get started on that in the morning.”

“That’s a pretty clear photo of Darcy and we sent it nation wide, she’s young and pretty and hopefully she should be missed by someone.” Said Sandy Kapoor from the back of the room. His preferred place, out of sight.

“Anything else anyone, anything?” Tim asked, silence. “Okay, let’s get moving and get on to forensics and see what they’ve come up with.”

It was four o’clock when Mark rang with a preliminary report, “do you want to come in now” he asked. Carina agreed and signalling to Tim to follow left her office.

As usual there was pink Floyd playing in the background when they arrived at the mortuary Mark and his assistant Jools were busy weighing and measuring Darcy’s stomach. She looked tiny on the stainless steel table. The Y incision looked so harsh an a body so small and emaciated.

“This lass has not eaten properly for weeks, possibly never! ” “Why” said Tim stepping forward. Mark put down the stomach he was holding and said ” There’s hardly anything in here, and looking at her you can see she is little more than skin and bone. She is so emaciated .

“This lass has not eaten properly for weeks, possibly never! ” “Why” said Tim stepping forward. Mark put down the stomach he was holding and said ” There’s hardly anything in here, and looking at her you can see she is little more than skin and bone. She is so emaciated, looking at her bones, especially her hips, I’d say she’s no more than 16yrs. I bet she’d not even had a menstrual cycle.”  Corina looked across to the four men discussing the poor little scrap of humanity and felt sad and annoyed all once. Stepping forward to join them she said, “Well what do you think Anorexic, abuse or runaway?” Looking her straight in the eye Mark replied, “Any, all three but definitely anorexia looking at the state of her ousphagus and throat. Looking at the liver there are early signs of abuse so also plenty of alcohol too. This little lass has had a rough life.” 

Keeping her voice steady Corina asked “Anything else yet” Mark looked a Jools and asked what did you make of the jaw. ” I believe the teeth were removed antemortem and within the last ten days. The bruising to the face and damage to the gums was considerable. It suggests someone with no dental knowledge, just brute force” Mark inturupted Jools there and aske. “Do you see these marks on the forehead and these on the chin that’s where he/she would of secured the head so she couldn’t move, and here do see those bruises on the plate an tongue? They are form some sort of of implement to keep the mouth open.”  Corina was horrified, she hated the dentist at the best of times! Mark continued, “The implements used were not dental equipment, that’s why I’m saying this was not done by a dentist. “

“Bloody hell” Tim muttered, that must of been hell”  ” Yes” replied Jools, ” hopefully she’d of passed out, but not necessarily!”

Just then Corinas phone rang. It was Sasha, the boxes from Hammersmith had arrived should they start on or have a fresh run at them tomorrow. Corina looked at her watch it was half six already. ” No” she said “get  off now have a break we can start tomorrow, fresh eyes and minds and all that she said. ” She hung up.

“One other thing” Mark said before she could say anymore, “What” Corina sighed, ” her feet and hands were hacked off, postmortem” ” Thank God for that at least” Tim added. 

“We need to go” Corina said to Tim. “See you about eight Mark , Chinese?” She added with a wink. Mark scowled ” Indian”.

Back at the office it was quite apart from the distant sound of a cleaner hoovering. She’d dropped Tim off at the local to join the other’s  for a quick drink. So she had some quite time with the board and her thoughts. The temptation was too much she undid the ties on the first box and started to look through the evidence, reports and photos. 

Two cups of coffee and a whole box later she suddenly noticed it was dark outside. Her phone rang, it was Mark , shit she thought it was 9.30pm. She answered the phone, “Hi, I am sorry,” Marks voice cut across hers, “And I am starving, don’t bother explaining get out of the office get some food and get home”  the phone went dead. Bollocks she thought grabbing her jacket and bag.

The TajMahal was packed as Corina patiently waited for her order to be ready, finally it was and she headed for home. 

As she put the key bin the door it swung open and Mark gave her that long suffering look that brooked no arguement. She followed him into the kitchen, where the table was set and the wine open. “I started without you” he said pouring her a glass of Shiraz. 

The Alarm went off at 5.30 am and Corina woke with a start, headbanging from too much wine and discussion into the early hours. No good she thought I have to get up. Feeling around the bedside table she found some paracetamol, took two and headed for the shower. 

When she came out the shower Mark was up, smelling fresh coffee she got dressed and put on some makeup. That’ll do she decided, bring it on. She went down stairs, to her suprise not only was Mark up he was ready for work. Handing her a coffee he asked, “Scrambled egg and bacon, all ready” Corina opened her mouth to say no, but smiled, took her coffee and sat down. Mark joined her saying, “I will check out the old case notes on ‘The Three Maids’ I am amazed that they are in our records, I shall let you know any test results as soon as.”  For a moment they ate in silence. 

Corina’s phone rang. It was Tim, “Morning Mark, we had a call from  Glasgow. From a D.S. Copeland from Govern Police station” “Glasgow really in connection with what” Corina asked, “Seems like they’ve just had a young girl reported missing. A, Kirsty Mackintyre she has been missing three weeks ” “What, how long?” Corina choked on her coffee, “Three weeks Marm. But she a match for our Darcy.” Reaching for the kitchen roll Corina knocked Mark’s coffee over, “Shit sorry love, are you okay” Mark had moved quickly avoiding the spill. Swerving out of the way of the coffee dripping off of the table he muttered ,”I still got the moves” 

“What Marm” Tim’s confused voice broke across the chaos. “Err sorry Tim not you” Corina said, furiously mopping up coffee scrambled egg and bacon, “I am putting you onto speaker, carry on “

“Well it appears she’s always running off usually for a day or so often as long as a fortnight. Seems like they’ve only just really wondered where she was!” Tim stopped for air.  Corina jumped in ” How old is she Mark” “16 years and a match for the photo, .. Marm are you still there.”

“Yes ” Corina replied, “sorry it a bit of a mess here” looking at the carnage that was breakfast she picked up the plates and scraped them into the bin.” Where are you now Tim. “I’m just pulling into the station yard why” Nothing really I shall be in in half an hour, when did you speak to that DS, Copeland, did you say?”

“Yes Marn, about an hour ago he’s emailing the details through to us pronto” Corina finished what was left of her coffee and said “okay see you soon ” 

Turning to Mark she said , I need to go I’ll speak to you later.” Mark smiled and pulling her to him gave her a kiss, “go on he said leave the mess for me to sort , you usually do” 

She didn’t need asking twice, she put on her coat and grabbed her keys and bag and was gone. 

As she reached her car she looked up to wave at Mark. But he was not at the window he was running down the front steps  with her phone.

Corina parked her care in her space and headed up to her office,as she crossed the carpark she felt the new chill in the air it seemed to have gone from Summer to Autumn overnight. Hurrying in she heard her name, she turned around to see Detective SuperIntendent  Rob Myers heading her way. “Corina, morning, how are you doing” he asked,  smiling at her. “I hear you’ve been busy digging up an old case” 

” Yes sir, the body of a young girl was found yesterday and it was just like the three maids case from back in ’98.” Corina replied.  Really any leads on who she is yet?” asked Rob. 

“Not yet sir but we’ve had a call from Glasgow about a highly likely match.” Corina turned to walk with Rob matching her step with his. At that moment his phone rang, looking at the screen he said “Keep me informed” he said stopping to take the call. Corina left him talking and hurried up to the office. 

“Morning Marm ” Tim said, offering Corina a cup of coffee and a file. “This is the info DS. Copeland sent by email this morning. I’d say she is our Darcy! “

Corina took the coffee and the file into her office. Setting the file and coffee on her desk she slipped off her coat  and dropped her bag to the floor. Opening the file she was immediately struck by the likeness of the girl in the photos to Darcy. 

“What do you think, Marm” asked Sandy from the doorway. Looking up Corina smiled.Sandy was such a nice bloke, quiet and unassuming but he was always bang on with his work. Snapping herself back to the present, she nodded and said  yes I think she is our Darcy. So her name is Kirsty Mackintyre. She looks younger than her sixteen years.

Putting down the phone and finishing her coffee Corina called out to Tim to join her. As he entered her office she said, “That was D. S. Copeland from Govern he has a file as thick as my head on the girl and her family. I have cleared it with ‘Jock’ and we are going up there tomorrow. We are taking the early train up and a late one home, sorry couldn’t swing an overnighter!” She ended with a sad face. “It will be a long day Marm but we always work best under pressure” Corina smiled, “We do that, we do! Can you get Karen to book our tickets, I will get Mark to drop us off at Euston, bring a change of clothes just incase”  Tim turned on his heels and trotted off to find Karen, whistling as he went. 

The house was damp and dirty evidence everywhere of neglected and heavy drinking. Carole sat at the kitchen table smoking, she was wearing the same jumper she had put on two days ago, her partner Frank was sleeping on the sofa in the lounge daytime T.V. babbling away from a 55′ Samsung on the wall. The woman opposite Carole at the table was smartly dressed in comparison, hair tied back in a ponytail, a mild look of disapproval on her face. “Carole,” she said gently” When did you last see Kirsty, actually see her to talk to her?” Carole stubbed out her burnt down cigarette out and lit another. ” D’ya want another coffee, you can have black I’m outta milk and the kids ain’t back from school yet to go and get it.” Mrs Gemma Stone waived her hand in answer and repeated herself. ” Kirsty, Carole, when did you last speak to her? ” Her voice rose noticeably at the end of the sentence. 

Carole looked visably shocked. She took a long drag on her cigarette and then replied. “First week in September, I remember I asked her to get the kids from school, first day at big school an all, but she didn’t, bitch and I not heard hide nor hair of her since! ” Gemma looked at Carole, “That’s over three weeks ago, what made you suddenly miss her yesterday?” She asked feeling any professional care slipping away from her. Carole looked her in the eye “Didn’t it was Frank who rang the polis I don’t give a flying F*** about her she’s always clearing off leaving me to cope. For some reason she seems to have Frank wrapped around her finger.” 

Just then the door burst open and the twins came in Kierra shouted from the door “I got some milk mum, didn’t get caught either and a ready meal for tea.” Gemma looked at Kierra and Bobby and how clean they looked, all down to Kierra, and decided she hadn’t heard the part about shoplifting. “Hello Gemma” it was Bobby,he put his arms around her. He was trusting and lovable, thank goodness Kierra who looked after him so well.  It used to be Kirsty who looked after the twins, the whole family actually.  Everytime Kirsty disapeared Kierra stepped up. Good job too, Frank tried but Carole she was a dead loss.  Just then Bobby stopped hugging Gemma and moved toward Carole his arms out stretched but she pushed him aside, “Not now Bobby, not now!” Kierra took Bobby by the arm and said, ” Come on Bobby, let’s go and get changed.”

When the children had  gone Carole lit another cigarette and put the milk and meals in the fridge. Gemma smelt the open fridge before she saw the contents. Low on food, high on alcohol. Shaking her head she decided the children would have to be moved, shame but Carole was hopeless and Kierra deserved to be an eleven year old. 

It was lunchtime, Karen stuck her head around the door of Corina’s office. “Marm I couldn’t get you a train for tomorrow that got in to Glasgow  before 11ish  but I have got you both on the 23.30 that will get you into Glasgow Central at 8.20am I afraid you’ll have to change at Carlisle and it’s an hour and forty five minutes wait but you can have breakfast?” Her voice  trailed off. Corina was looking and some papers on her desk.. “did you catch that Marm?”

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