The Body In The Ditch - A Murder Mystery (Hashi & Manic) IC
They say that the first 48 hours after a murder are the most crucial and that the odds of that murder being solved are cut in half after that time. The young woman's body had been found early in the morning of November 6th by a jogger and her dog. Today was November 9th, and the woman hadn't even been identified yet.
This was the first case of murder the sleepy little town of Stoneyvale had had in about 25 years. In fact, this young woman probably wasn't even alive when the last murder had happened.
And it was definitely murder. The body had been found in a drainage ditch along a lonely stretch of road that lead from the town's center out to the farm land that surrounded it. It was wooded with no houses for about 2 or three miles in every direction. The body itself had been clothed in a pair of fitting blue jeans, a speghetti strap tank under a trendy new looking sweater. Her blonde hair had been cut off in what looked like a hasty manner, leaving uneven chunks to spill out on the ground around her. Her fingernails were finely manicured with acrylic french tips, one of which was missing off her index finger. There were deep strangulation marks around her throat, red and painful looking, even in death, however, that wasn't what had killed her. The cause of death was, in fact, a stab wound in her left thigh deep enough to puncture the artery. She had bled out.
Stoneyvale is one of those small, quiet, but sprawling towns tucked into the beautiful landscape of New England. It had no historical importance either. The people who lived there had lived there a long time. While Stoneyvale boasted a fairly sizable population, rivaling that of the county seat of Manchester, strange unfamiliar faces, like the face of this girl, never went unnoticed. However, no one seemed to recall ever seeing her before.
She had no identification on her. No wallet or cell phone. No purse. Nothing but an empty locket around her neck and the initials CV & CT engraved on the back.
It wasn't much to go on.
It was the first case Detective Locke DeCine had been given since he had been reassigned to Stoneyvale almost a year earlier. It was ironic that his first case would be something so sensational. However, his superiors seemed confident that Locke was the right man for the job. Locke wasn't sure if they meant it or if they were handing him something so difficult on purpose to show up the detective from Manchester. Give him an unsolvable case as a way to put him in his place.
Locke tried his best to not let the pressure get to him, but his frustrations were mounting. He'd just come from the medical examiner's office who confirmed the cause of death. Stoneyvale had that cozy small town feel, but it definitely did not have that rural backwater approach. Its police department had pretty good equipment, not quite state-of-the-art, but Locke hadn't even had that in Manchester, despite what others may have thought. The M.E. had run the woman's finger prints, but had gotten no matches. She wasn't in the system. A photo of her had been sent to Manchester to be run against the legions of missing persons files. If someone somewhere was missing her, they would find her.
Locke wasn't all that optimistic. Even if they were able to put a name to her face, so much time had passed. The rain that had fallen the night before she'd been found hadn't helped much either. The case wasn't even a week old and it already had all the makings of being a cold case that would sit unsolved for decades.
Locke left the M.E.'s office and pulled his jacket tight around his neck. A chill wind ran up the street finding any hole in his wool armor it could to stick its icy fingers in. Locke pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. He selected one from the pack and lit up. It was a bad habit, he knew, but it helped him to think.
He made his way down the street towards where he had parked his car, a thin trail of smoke following after him, his mind lost in thought.