Detective Taylor was in better spirits the following morning. The idea of being present at the crime scene placed things in an optimistic light for him; he was sure he would be able to unravel overlooked evidences. Any definite pointer would have been greatly helpful; he knew that his team felt as though they were pursuing a lost cause. Most of the times, a lost cause resulted in a lost case. The very thought made him more determined.
As was his custom, he reached half an hour before the team arrived. It was 6.30 in the morning, a light mist still hung around the greens. He opened the iron gates, carefully to avoid creaking, and let himself in. Walking through the wide driveway, he noticed how the high hedges almost blocked the view from the neighboring houses. If Mrs. Turner could give a statement about the guest, she must have been in the garden, which meant he came in from the left. He smiled to himself. They finally had a start.
Detective Taylor walked up to the door, scrutinizing the gardens. The walk from the driveway to the building took almost five minutes. A good amount of time to notice someone, or at least have a flash of the face, if someone was present, he thought to himself. Why wasn’t anyone present? The mansion was huge and well-maintained. Surely, there must be lot of people behind it.
He walked up to the camera to get a proper look at it. The placement was strategic; there wasn’t any angle the camera would miss, no matter where the person approached from. To have his face covered properly, the intruder would not have had just a wide brimmed hat, but a high collar too. This also meant that he had a good knowledge about the security system out here. Detective Taylor nodded to himself slowly. Still, he thought, a slight part of his face would be visible. Even this would be crucial. He made a mental note to re-view the security tapes today.
He donned his gloves, and turned the door knob slowly with his forefingers. He pushed open the door slightly, and glanced around. The living room seemed not lived in, except towards the end of the room, where there was a sofa placed in front of the mantelpiece. The carpet was upturned, a vase lay broken at the floor and the side tables had been moved from where they were supposed to be. But only that portion of the room.
Looks like she didn’t try to escape, or didn’t have the chance to, Detective Taylor thought to himself, crossed the yellow tapes and walked up to the setting.
The sofa had also been moved from its position. The one kept next to it, had also been shifted closer. An intense conversation, thought the Detective. He bent down to see if there was something underneath the sofa, or anything relevant that was fallen on the floor. When he found nothing, he walked around the mantelpiece. It was sparsely decorated- a photo of a young girl with a slightly older woman, a bronze soldier, and an hourglass, kept next to the clock.
He walked back to look at it all. The lady was terrified, and yet she made no attempt to escape. There were scratches on the arm rest of the sofa; the cushions were on the floor. The vase that had fallen down had cracked, a sure sign of it being thrown off with force. “Strange,” he muttered, and turned around. His eyes fell on the spot where the white carpet was scrunched.
Detective Taylor straightened out the carpet with his foot. The carpet was stained a deep shade of crimson; the detective flinched at its sight. The investigation team had just begun to get in. He signaled for Hailey, the investigation head, pointing towards the stain.
“Is it-”, he asked as Hailey approached him, and Hailey nodded gingerly, even before Detective could complete his question.
“Blood. According to the reports, it belongs to Ellery,” Hailey replied. Detective Taylor furrowed his brows. Everything was supposed to get clearer, yet as they delved deeper into the case, with every step they took, it felt as though someone was letting in more fog. He had only a couple of cases where his team could not track down the culprit, but even in those, he didn’t feel as crippled as he did now. The case was not complex, it was absurd.
He pulled his mind off the thoughts, thinking about the next course of action. The very moment Detective Anderson entered the house.
“Detective Anderson,” he called immediately, pointing to the stain, “why wasn’t this reported yesterday?”
“Gregory handed me the reports only this morning. I wanted to make sure before it was reported. I didn’t quite feel that so much blood could flow from a pinprick wound,” Detective Anderson explained.
Detective Taylor stood silently, arms crossed, waiting for an answer.
“It is the victim’s blood on the carpet,” Anderson continued, nervous.
“I know Anderson. Hailey told me about it. At least you were supposed to bring this to my notice. The Gilberts have requested for the burial tomorrow morning,” Detective Taylor said all in a breath. His hands were balled up in fists; he was using all his concentration to contain his anger.
Anderson stood there looking at his feet.
“It is alright, Detective Anderson. There was nothing much you could have done anyway,” Jillian Torres patted his shoulder. She looked at Detective Taylor and smiled slightly, “Good Morning, Detective Taylor.”
“Good Morning Jillian. Have you got–”
“The reports are here, sir,” Jillian replied, cutting him off. She handed over the reports to him.
Detective Taylor sighed loudly, thankful to have someone on his team, who had enough brains. He looked through the reports, and they had been comprehensively done. “You come in good time. There have been some interesting developments,” he said to Detective Torres. He was almost feeling sorry for being too hash on Detective Anderson. Everyone must be feeling the same, as if someone had been purposely muddling everything.
“Like a pool of blood from a wound too small to spurt out that much?”, Jillian replied nonchalantly.
Detective Taylor was taken aback. “How did you know?”, he asked, looking again at Anderson. Detective Anderson just shrugged.
“There was an eerily similar case that happened back in 1885,” she said, handing over another file to him
1885. Too old to be the same person, Detective Taylor thought. “Coincidence?”, he thought out loud.
“I don’t think so. The past is staring back at us,” Jillian said, bending down to look at the stain.