Forgotten in Death (In Death #53) by J. D. Robb



As she spoke, she ran her hands over the victim, checked for other wounds, offensive, defensive. “Just the two strikes to the head. Back of the head when she’d turned away, right temple on her way down, to make sure. Take the book, the backpack, check her pockets and take whatever she has. Get the sheeting—has to know where to find it—wrap her up, carry her over to the dumpster, drop her in.”

“Why not just leave her where she fell?”

“Somebody might come by, find her. You’ve got to get away, ditch that pack, destroy that book, and clean up. You got blood on you, you got spatter. Nobody’s going to find her for hours. Likely a couple hours more than the wit did because of the sloppy.”

“She said to me once, she had to take care of New York because New York took care of her.”

“That’s just what we’re going to do, Officer. We’re going to take care of her.”

Rising, Eve called for the sweepers and for the morgue.

“Stay with the body,” she told Urly, then boosted herself back into the dumpster.

Urly gave her that hint of a smile again. “Those are really nice boots.”

“Well, they were. Describe the book.”

By the time Eve swung out, empty-handed, Peabody was waiting for her.

“The wit just started working for Singer Family Developers, and on this job,” Peabody began. “His uncle’s one of the crew, got him in for the summer. He saw the blood, thought there was an animal in the dumpster, maybe just hurt, so he took a look. Saw the body and, in his words, ‘went freaked.’”

“Did he touch anything?”

“He says no. Too freaked. But he called it in, then tagged his uncle.”

Peabody shifted on her pink boots, careful to keep them away from the dried blood.

“The wit was one of the first on the job this morning—trying to make good—and his uncle was just pulling up. Uncle took a look, too, and they waited for Urly and Getz. While they waited, the uncle—Marvin Shellering—contacted the foreman, who contacted Singer. That’s Bolton Kincade Singer, who took over from James Bolton Singer, his father, about seven years ago. Singer is cooperating. I’ve got security discs, but am told they don’t cover this area—just the buildings. Nothing back here that needs security according to Paulie Geraldi, the foreman.”

Peabody glanced down at Eve’s now scarred and filthy boots. “You know, the sweepers would’ve done that search.”

“Yeah, and they’re going to do another. I had to see if the killer tossed any of her stuff in there with her. Or the murder weapon. Any human security on-site?”

“Not at this point. They have the fencing, the cams, and right now it’s a lot of demo. When they start bringing in new materials, they’ll add to security.”

“A job this size has more than one boss.”

“Right now, it’s demo, and that’s Geraldi.”

“All right.” Eve pulled a wipe from her kit to clean her hands. “We’re going to fan out, find the kill site. The trail leads that way before it stops—or before she started to drip. I’m leaning toward somewhere along the other side of the security fence line, but out of the lights.”

She started along the trail of blood. “We need to run Singer, the foreman, and anyone else who has access inside the fence after hours. We start there and—”

She broke off when a woman—eighteen, maybe twenty—called her name as she ran over the rubble.

T-shirt, Eve noted, jeans, boots, candy-pink hair spilling out of a fielder’s cap.

Eve concluded one of the crew, and wondered if someone had found the kill site for her.

“Lieutenant Dallas.” Her breath whooshed out; sweat streamed down a pretty face nearly as pink as her hair.

“That’s right.”

“I recognized you, and you, Detective. You have to come. You have to come right away.”

“Where and why?”

She pointed. “A body. There’s a body.”

Eve gestured behind her. “That body?”

“No, no, no. Manny—um, Manuel Best—told me about the woman, and I’m sorry, but that’s how I knew you were right here. And I told Mackie I’d run, I’d run right here and get you.”

“You’re saying you found another body?”

“I didn’t, not exactly. Mackie did. Or some of one, and he said work stopped and call the cops, and I said how you were here, and he said go get you. You have to come.”