OLA and Smith watched from the monitor has Victoria sobbed. She was clearly guilty and remorseful but the deed as been done, she had to face the music. Her phone rang and it was the lab, she had been expecting their calls all day.
‘Yes!’ She said into the phone
‘D.O, the technicians are free now, where do you need them?’ The H.O.D said.
‘In the victim’s house, Smith will join them soon. Is that all?’
‘No. We found the gun, napkin and glove in the bin you brought in, we are running test on them.’
‘Good. The laptop?’
‘We are still working on it.’
She was a bit disappointed that was all they had for her, she thought they we’re calling to give her the good news that the victim’s laptop had been cracked. She turned to Smith saying;
‘The technicians are ready to go to the house and I want you to follow them and monitor things. I’ve already marked some places I think the diary might be hidden, I’m sure it’s in one of them.’
‘Okay. Will be back soon.’
Smith handed the files he was holding to Ola and walked towards the lab while Ola entered the room Victoria was. Victoria looked up sharply as the detective entered the room. The first thing Ola did was to offer the suspect her handkerchief, Victoria took it and wiped her face and nose.
‘Thank you.’ She said
‘You are welcome. Do you need water?’ Ola asked. She was not being sympathetic towards Victoria but she needed her composed to answer her questions and that was the reason for the care.
‘Yes please.’ She replied and Ola called for water on the intercom. After the suspect had drunk her fill, she blew her nose again and she looked ready to talk.
‘So why did you run Vic?’
‘It’s a long story.’
‘You are here, I am here and we have all day. I’m listening.’
‘I was born and raised with poverty but I didn’t want my child to grow up in it and that was the reason I did all I did. I’ve been stealing for a long time but it got worst when madam began drinking. I stole her check book, forged her signature and collected the money. The bank didn’t suspect a thing because they knew me, I usually collect money on her behalf. I started drugging her to make things easy for me because she kept most of the valuables in her room and the vault. I didn’t mean to go that far but he told me if we stole enough we can settle down.’
‘Who told you to steal from your boss?’
‘I can’t tell you that, I’m sorry. He’s the only hope my son has a left.’
‘Vic, we can’t help you if you don’t tell us the truth, I mean everything.’
‘I’m sorry I can’t.’
‘Okay, where did you get the poison and drugs from?’
‘The poison you gave to your boss?’
‘It wasn’t poison, it was just sleeping tablets I gave her!’
‘Do you know the drugs you’ve been giving her is a slow poison that will eventually kill her?
‘My God! I swear I didn’t know! He said it will make her sleep not kill her!’ She said alarmed.
‘I assume your son’s father gave you the drugs too?’ Ola asked but Victoria did not answer. She looked down fidgeting with her hands.
‘If you didn’t kill her Vic, why did you run?’
‘I gave her overdose yesterday because I needed to move lots of jewelry I stole. I thought it was what killed her when I saw it on the news this morning. That’s why I ran.’
‘We know quite well that someone who lived in that house or knew the house very well took the security camera receiver hard-drive. Was it you?’
‘Yes.’ Victoria said dropping her head in shame.
‘Why? Do you realize we won’t be here if you didn’t take the hard drive? We will easily identify the killer!’
‘I didn’t know someone would kill her, I took it to cover my theft.’
‘So where is it now?’
‘I burnt it, I never wanted it found…’ She said with regrets.
‘Hmmmmm. Where’s your son now?’
‘He’s in school.’
‘Which school is that?’
‘What’s his name?’
‘Ayo. Why are you asking?’
‘You are here and not going anywhere, who will pick up your child from school? Is there anyone who he can stay with or should I call the child care department?’ As Ola asked her questions about her child welfare, she broke into fresh tears.
‘Call my sister on 07154789022. Her name is Mary.’ She said amid tears.
‘Take this sheet and write your statement, I will advice you to tell us the name of your son’s father so we can help you to get reduced sentence, if you don’t cooperate, you may be charged for murder.’ She said dropping the papers in front of her and left the room.
She believed Victoria, she was just a thief who bit more than she could chew. She understood her, she had seen many criminals who went into crime because they wanted a better life but it did not excuse the act. She was working and making good clean money, only if she was contented. She needed to know who the man was though so they could arrest him and find out where he bought the banned drugs from. She called the welfare on phone and asked them to pick up the boy from school, then she called the child care department to come over to her station. She could have called Mary but her instincts told her the boy will suffer, it would be better if the government had him. She called a judge and explain her situation to him then asked for a warrant to carry out a DNA test on the boy which the judge gave and promised to mail to her as soon as possible. An incoming call was on call waiting as she talked to the judge, she checked it and it was the lab, she called back.
‘D.O, didn’t you check your mail? I’ve sent four mails!’
‘I’ve been busy with the suspects. What’s up?’
‘We cracked the victim’s system and backed up the footage on a CD. We are lucky we cracked it today, it would have disappeared by tomorrow!’ The H.O.D said with pride.
‘Thank you! That’s why you are the best.’ She almost screamed with excitement.
‘We have edited the video and cut away where there’s no activity because I don’t think you have time for forty-eight hours of nothing but the original full footage has been stored in our database. We have dubbed it in three CDs and they are on your table.’ He explained.
‘Lunch is on me as soon as we clear this case! Talk to you later!’ It was a custom to celebrate when difficult cases got solved and she would be happy to pick the bills on this particular case as everyone had worked very hard and fast. The other two suspects would have to wait till she watched the footage, she thought as she went to her office.
THE three CDs were lying on her table, they were labeled, “kitchen”, “security room” and “Junior’s room” with the same date and time on the three CDs, telling her the recordings were simultaneously done. Even though Ola had never met Joy, the video she had of her made it seemed she knew her. Unfortunately, it did not have an audio so she could not hear what was being said but she could see the people in it clearly. It was sad that she could not see the way she lived her life past a day but that was all she needed to solve the case and catch her killers. She started with Junior’s room footage, she wanted to forward it to the timeline of her murder but she disciplined herself to watch it from the beginning.
IT started with Junior sleeping peacefully in his room, she checked the time stamp on the video and it was quarter to six in the morning, few minutes later, Joy entered the frame, she stood for a while looking at her son sleeping then knelt down beside the bed and rubbed the boy’s head, the boy woke up and hugged his mother who showered him with kisses, they talked for a minute before they both headed for an adjacent door which she assumed was the restroom because it was out of frame. Three minutes later, Victoria entered the room and immediately headed for the door mother and son entered. The victim came out and left the room. Few minutes later, Junior and Victoria also came out and the maid dressed him up, they exited the room and that was all for the morning. The time stamp changed to afternoon, four-thirty to be precise, the door opened and the boy entered his room, took off his uniform, went to the bathroom, came of looking wet, dried himself, put on a different clothe and rushed downstairs. The timeline changed again to six o’clock, Victoria entered the room, headed for the wardrobe, packed some clothes into a bag, straightened the bed and left the room. An hour later, she came back for the bag of clothes and that was all the footage in the CD named “Junior’s room.”
Ola picked up the CD labeled “security room” and slot it into her computer. Its time stamp started at two in the noon, Victoria came into the room wearing gloves, she went straight to the security camera receiver hard-drive, she took it out before going to the vault. She took money and jewelry out and dropped it in the black bag she dropped the hardware she took earlier. She closed the vault and left the room. Several hours later, after eight in the evening, Grace, who was dressed in black from head to toe, rushed into the room, headed straight for where the hard drive was supposed to be and looked surprised when it was not there. She started looking for it, after a minute of checking through the room, she hit the door in frustration and left the room and that was the end of the video recording.
SHE looked at the last CD labeled “kitchen”, it might hold the truth but she did not want to get her hope up too much, she slotted it in her laptop and watched the last living hours of Joy. The timeline was five-thirty in the morning, Victoria entered the kitchen and started taking things out of the freezer and warming it in the microwave. Then she cut fresh vegetables and fruits before heading for the coffee maker where she added coffee and water in the kettle then plugged it in and left the kitchen. She returned after six with junior on her arms, she poured milk for him and served him breakfast, as she was doing this, Joy entered the kitchen, went to the coffee maker, poured herself a cup and added two cubes of sugar to it, she sat beside her son and they talked as they ate. Victoria was in the background packing food and drinks into a lunch box. The trio looked at the door at the same time like they heard something then Junior sprang up, hugged his mother, snatched his lunch box and ran out of the room. Victoria and Joy exchanged few words while Joy drank her coffee. Victoria left the room and the moment she left, Joy went to the alcohol bottle and poured some in her coffee, she sat there for a while before serving herself breakfast. She ate while she adding more alcohol to her coffee as she did, she left the kitchen with her cup leaving the unfinished food on the kitchen table. Victoria came in, cleared the table and left. The timeline changed to four in the noon and Victoria came into the kitchen, she took a cup from the cabinet and poured some alcohol in it, she brought out a plastic from her pocket and picked a tablet from it and dropped it in the drink, she swirled it around and watch it dissolved, she took two steps forward then seemed to change her mind. She stopped, took another tablet from the plastic and added it to the drink then left the kitchen. The time stamp changed to fifteen minutes to four in the noon and Victoria entered the kitchen carrying grocery bags, she set them aside and started cooking, the timeline jumped to eighteen minutes to five and Junior came into the kitchen. He went to the fridge, took a box of juice and drank it while taking a seat. He was served food and he ate, he left after clearing his plate and Victoria cleared the table as usual before leaving the kitchen.
The time stamp changed to eight in the evening and Joy entered the kitchen looking furious, her eyes was red and her cheeks looked swollen. She went to the window and waved for few seconds then bent over the zink and washed her face after which she took a cup and pour water in it, she squeezed lemon into it and drank a little from it. She went to the third cabinet, opened it and brought out a black book which Ola guessed was the infamous diary and began to write in it while she drank her infused water. Some times later, her phone rang, she looked at it for few seconds before picking it up, the call lasted for less than thirty seconds before she dropped it. She hide the book where she picked it from, downed the remaining of her water in one gulp. She brought out another bottle from the cabinet, drank two shots from it then put it back in the cabinet while she brought another bottle, she went to the fridge, brought out a juice box and a bowl of fruits, she mixed all of them together and sat at the table sipping it. Joy stood up all of a sudden and went out of the kitchen, she came in few seconds after with Grace who was dressed in black. Ola could see that the sisters were having a heated conversation, it went on for a while then Grace dropped to her knees in front of her sister crying, Joy pulled Grace up and guided her to a seat and took the chair opposite her. They had some more conversation before Grace held her head in her hands, then Joy left the kitchen leaving her drink on the table. The moment she left, Grace dumped a liquid she brought out from her pocket into the drink and mixed it together, Joy came back and handed something to Grace who threw it in her mouth, Joy threw the same thing in her mouth and drank the remaining of her drink too. Then she saw Joy swayed, she quickly sat down and held her head, few seconds later, her head dropped on the table and her eyes closed. Grace stood up, shook her sister but Joy did not move, then Grace bent over her sister for some minutes and when she stood up, her face was wet and she cleaned it on her arm as she left the kitchen. Few minutes later, she came back to the kitchen, shook her sister again then left the kitchen.
The time stamp changed again to after nine and Joy was still limp on the table, then Kev came into view, he approached her gently, he appeared to be calling her then shook severally. He carried her arm and dropped it, he carried her body away from the table but she slumped back on the table. He rubbed his right hand on his head then began pacing the kitchen, he brought out a gun from behind his trousers and pointed it at her head, then he dropped his arms and sat on a chair in the kitchen. He shook her violently again but Joy did not budge, he stood up and tried to shoot her again but did not go through with it. He then looked up and saw the pan-rack and took the frying pan from it and without flinching, he hit her on the head three times. Ola could see blood trickling down Joy’s face and a tear rolled down her left cheek as she became emotional. She cleaned it off and continue watching as Kev attempted to clean up the crime scene and stage the scene. He washed the frying pan, dried it with a napkin he took from the rack and placed the pan back where he took it. He went out of the kitchen frame and came to the kitchen ten minutes later, he then shot Joy on the head once and wrapped the gun in the napkin he used to clean the pan earlier and left the kitchen. The screen went blank.
OLA was not an emotional person and hardly got involved emotionally in cases but this was different. It was like she was in the room with Joy and she could not help her as she watched her got killed by people who should love her. To some extent she understood why Grace would want her sister dead but she did not know what Kev had to gain but she was about to find out when her office intercom rang.
‘We have Victoria son ma’am, he’s been crying. He wants to see his mother.’
‘Okay, I’m coming.’
The boy looked distressed truly as tears were falling down his eyes freely. He must have heard horror stories about the police for him to look that scared. Something strikingly looked familiar about the boy, like she had seen him before but she could not place her hands on it. She approached him with a smile.
‘Hi Ayo. I’m detective Ola.’
‘Good afternoon ma’am.’
‘Why are you crying dear?’
‘I don’t know what I did, I’ve not done anything wrong, I’m a good boy.’ He sobbed.
‘Why do you think you have done something wrong?’
‘My teachers says the police station is for criminals.’
‘That’s not true my dear. Police is your friend. You are here because your mommy is here and won’t be able to pick you from school but your aunt Mary will soon be here.’ She explained and the boy relaxed.
‘Why is my mommy here?’ The boy asked looking scared again.
‘She’s helping the police. Let me introduce you to some of my friends.’ She said extending her hand to him. She thought about his future as they walked to the welfare building. It sadden her heart that the boy would go back to the poor family, everything Victoria stole for would go to waste, if she could help it, she would prefer to put the poor boy into the child care system till a worthy family could adopt him. She saw Junior playing with a dog at a corner under an officer’s supervisor and walked up to him.
‘Hey Junior.’ She said and the boy looked up. He broke into a big grin when he saw who was beside her, telling her the boys were acquaintances.
The boys said at the same time and hugged each other it was at that moment that she knew why Victoria’s son looked familiar to her. The similarities between the boys were glaring, they looked liked brothers, the same face structure and complexion. She looked from one boy to the other trying to justify the similarities but she could not. The police woman and conspiracy theorist in her was at alert. Did the boys have the same father? Was it the doctor? Was that the reason Victoria would not tell her who the father was? Her heart was racing as she called the lab.
‘Hello H.O.D, please send someone to the welfare building with two DNA kits now. It’s urgent.’ She dropped the call without waiting for a response.
The boys were already playing with the dog and she crouched to the boys level.
‘So boys, my friend is coming, when he comes, he will take small saliva from your mouth and I will give you lollipop.’
‘Why?’ Junior asked.
‘Is it painful?’ Ayo asked.
‘No it’s not painful and we need it to help the police.’ She answered both their questions as the lab technician reached them.
‘Ma’am, you requested for DNA tests.’ He stated.
‘Yes, please take their samples.’
The technician went to work on the boys while Ola requested from lollipops from one of the welfare officers who brought two to her and she gave it to the boys and promised the boys to be back. She caught up with technician who was still at the door.
‘Please that test is very urgent, I need it as soon as possible, in fact, within the hour.’
‘Will do my best but against whose sample are we testing the boys?’
‘First, I want to know if they are brothers, if they are, test it against the doctor’s and if it doesn’t match, run it in the system database, we might get lucky. If they are not brothers, we need to find Ayo’s father.’
OLA watched the two criminals from the monitor trying to make up her mind on who to approach first. She also thought of putting both of them together but she quickly ruled against it. Grace looked very tired, she was on the edge of breaking but Kev on the other hand looked confident but for a seasoned detective like her, she could see the fear behind his eyes, she decided to question Grace first.
Grace saw the knob moving and quickly pulled herself together unaware that Ola had been looking at her. She regretted not pursuing the law career her parents wanted for her. She was sure the way they arrested her was not legal or they might have made a mistake but she did not know the law to throw at them. The detective came in and sat across her, she had a silly smile on her face like she knew what she did but she was sure her tracks were covered and she had set up the doctor to take the fall for her crime. The only thing that could have put her in trouble was the security camera recorder but someone had beaten her to it and her crime was not recorded so she was safe.
Naturally, Ola would throw the facts at a criminal but she wanted to give Grace the opportunity to come clean so she asked;
‘So Grace, talk to me, what happened? Why did you kill joy?’
‘I don’t know why you are here accusing an innocent person instead of you going after the guilty person. I’ve not seen Joy in weeks and I don’t have a reason to kill my sister besides, why will I kill my own sister?’
‘Grace, I can sit here and let you dig yourself into a deeper hole but I don’t have the time. Are you aware that your sister have a wireless security camera in the kitchen and the security room?’ She asked and watched the blood drained from Grace’s face.
‘Then it’s safe for me to assume you didn’t know that, need I tell you I have that video? I watched you kill your sister with the poison you tricked Becky into giving you. Don’t look surprised, yes she gave you away. She was loyal to you, she trusted you and you lied to her thereby putting her in trouble! What I don’t understand is why? I am giving you an opportunity to explain to me and make sense of this heartless crime especially why you sent your fiancé to finish the job when you know quite well that the poison will do the job! Do you just like roping everybody into your crime?’ With every sentence Ola’s voice got louder and harsher as she could not contain her emotions.
‘I did everything you said but don’t include Kevin into this, he didn’t do anything nor help me with any of the things I did. Please.’ Grace said calmly like she knew it was over for her. Ola wanted to tell her what Kev did but she help herself back because it might not be planned truly and if she told Grace, se might want to cover for him. She kept the information to herself for time being.
‘So tell me what happened and why you think your sister’s death is the solution to your problem?’
‘My sister was selfish and she would not give me my rights, one of us had to go.’
…to be continued…
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Written by Olatorera.
Edited by Olatorera.
© 2018 by IBIOLAT VENTURES.