"I'm his partner, remember? Besides, he's gone to Elly Patterson's funeral." Jill opened the folder and began to scan the contents.
"Oh, sure. Heh -- surprised you didn't go too. I guess half the town went."
"Not my kind of freakshow, Tom. Besides, someone has to pretend we have other cases besides hers." She arched her eyebrows as she read the attending Coroner's name. "I would have thought the Chief Coroner would have done this one -- it being so high profile and all."
"I guess he's in trouble with the hospital administration over something. Not sure what. Anyway, he's on 'medical leave' while they discuss it."
"Gotcha. Hrm... 'subject was a healthy human female approximately 177.8 centimeters tall and between 58 and 62 kilos though significant decomposition--' so, she was a woman and she was like 5'10" and probably in pretty good shape. Why can't they just say that."
"It's science, right?"
"Right... oh-ho... 'dentum matched to records on file yield a 97.9% likelihood identifying the victim as Hanneke Caine neé Van Rijn." She looked up at Tom. "Gavin Caine's first wife." She looked back down, skipping down to physical remarks. "'Death was apparently by suffocation secondary to drowning--' Drowning? In a basement? Hrm. '--with some signs of ligatures on the shoulders and neck... plant matter in her lungs....'" Jill frowned. "She was definitely murdered, and whoever did it moved her into the Caine's basement."
"And plant matter in her lungs probably means that she drowned in natural water. A pond, lake or river."
She flipped through the rest of the report, smiling when she came to one of the later sections. "Detritus under the victim's fingernails consistent with human skin cells and some blood, probably accrued during a struggle. She didn't go quietly."
"And we have something we can run DNA tests on. Whoever's skin that is -- that's our killer."
"Maybe, maybe not. The lab's running tests on her clothing. Just because she scratched someone doesn't mean that someone was the killer."
"Yeah, right. Care to bet whether or not the DNA tests match Gavin Caine?"
Jill half-smiled. "I don't take stupid bets."
"Do we confront him now? His lawyers are screaming their heads off over the possession of stolen property thing. I doubt we can hold him more than another night."
"Not yet, no. We need to get some other information first. I want to talk to Anthony Caine again. It was a long time ago -- like, mid-eighties long ago -- but I can't believe someone as anal retentive as Caine won't remember a lot of details about when his mother disappeared."
"Why wasn't this ever reported?"
Jill closed the folder. "That's what we find out next."