Monday, August 10, 2009


“Any luck?” Chuck waited for Danica on the front porch.
“Probably about as much as you. No, scratch that. I know I didn’t have as much luck as you.”
The exterior of the home looked much different under the light of day. No one would have ever guessed that a few short days before, a vibrant young woman had been brutally beaten and murdered inside. The detectives slipped on gloves and booties, and walked through the lower level of the home and took closer notice of items that seemed of little significance to them on the night of the murder.
Tonya spared no expense in decorating her home. The family room, located in the rear of the home, appeared to be the hub. Everything was more relaxed than the other rooms they had to pass through. The state of the art wall of electronic devices stopped Chuck in his tracks.
“This is the life.” He looked up and down the shelving. “I mean, not the being murdered part. You know what I mean.”
Danica was listening, but she was more intrigued with the other wall. She had never seen such self infatuation. There were over one hundred framed photos of Tonya’s smiling face as she posed with notables from around the world.
“Let’s take a few of these pictures with us,” Danica smiled. “I think they might come in handy for our interviews.”
Chuck opened the back door. The large yard was professionally landscaped with plants and flowers that Chuck would never see in his modest backyard. He stepped onto the wraparound deck and listened to the peace and quiet of the community. If Tonya had an argument and fight with one or two people in the middle of the night, someone should’ve heard something.
“Hi there,” a voice from the next yard said. She waved to him. “Over here.”
When he looked at her, he knew it was Hope Freeman’s mother.
“Are you putting the house on the market? It should go fast, but you better take that tape down fast.”
Chuck laughed. “No ma’am. I work for the police department. My partner and I are investigating what happened here the other night.”
“It’s such a shame. No one deserves that. Not even her.”
“So I take it the two of you weren’t buddies.” Chuck pointed to her rose garden. “I thought she’d want your award winning secrets.”
“Are you kidding me?” she stripped off her gloves and brushed the hair from her forehead. “If anything, she’d be the one to pour bleach on the soil and blame it on the paper boy.”

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