Home > Lost & Found (PASS #4)(9)

Lost & Found (PASS #4)(9)
Author: Freya Barker

“I’m here. Wanna meet me at the Columbine Valley station?”

“No. I wanna go straight to the scene.”

“Let me give the Jefferson County sheriff a heads-up. They have roads blocked off. How far out are you?”

I look at the sign coming up on the side of the road.

“Next exit is the 470.”

“Take it. Follow it until you hit the exit for the 121 South. First right is Deer Creek Canyon Road, stick to it for about eight miles. It’ll take you straight to Switzer’s Gulch. I’ll head out there now.”

As soon as I hit the 470, I keep my eyes peeled for a gas station. I’m running on fumes and don’t want to waste time stranded dry. The next exit has one so I quickly pull off the highway.

“Last chance to hit the head or grab a coffee,” I tell the guys. “Get some water, granola bars, anything wrapped and easy. I don’t plan on breaking for meals until we have Bree.”

Near twenty hours she’s been gone. It’s almost inconceivable. Twenty hours by car could have her halfway across the country. Hell, she could be well across the Mexican border by now. I don’t even want to think about a plane, which could have her halfway across the world.

I resist the temptation to take the half tank I’ve filled so far and get back behind the wheel. I may need every drop of gas I can squeeze in.

By the time I’m done, Hutch is back with coffees and Dimi is coming out of the convenience store attached to the gas station with two full grocery bags. His ass barely hits the passenger seat when I pull away from the pump.

Almost twenty minutes later, I see the roadblock up ahead. A sheriff’s deputy stops me and I roll down my window.

“Yanis Mazur for Detective Bill Evans.”

The deputy nods and waves us past. I pull into what looks like a rest area on the side of the road and park behind a police cruiser. Evans is already walking up to us when we get out of the Yukon.

“What’ve you got?” I ask, not wasting time on pleasantries.

Bill doesn’t seem to take offense and launches into a briefing.

The crime lab is already working on identifying a fresh set of tracks leading away from the limo still parked up ahead, as well as fingerprints they lifted from the vehicle. The medical examiner will autopsy the body first thing in the morning, but was able to report he estimated the time of death to be between five and seven yesterday morning.

The driver was identified as fifty-seven-year-old Louis Cirillo. He’d worked for Destination Limo for over twenty years, was married with two adult kids. It was the company that apparently tracked the vehicle down after his wife called in, wondering when he’d be home for dinner.

“Any connection to Bobby Lee Rose? Had he driven her before?”

“Not according to her personal assistant. My colleague spoke with her earlier. At this point there’s nothing to indicate this incident has anything to do with Ms. Rose.”

It’s possible, I guess. The driver could’ve been the target and Bree an unfortunate bystander, but I doubt it. I’ll leave that up to the cops. For now, my only concern is getting Bree back.

“Any signs of a struggle?”

Bill shakes his head.

“Nothing we’ve found thus far.”

“What about security cameras at Bobby Lee’s house? Has anyone looked at those?” Hutch chips in.

When Bill looks at him lifting an eyebrow, I realize I haven’t made any introductions and quickly correct that.

“Jake Hutchinson and my brother, Dimas Mazur, they work with me.”

“Working on it,” Bill answers the original question. “We have to go through Boulder Records and haven’t been able to contact anyone there.”

I already have my phone out. I have Glen Delbert’s cell number, Boulder’s VP of security.

“I’ll call.”

“It’s fucking four thirty in the morning, asshole,” he growls when he answers. “What the hell is so important you call me out of fucking bed? Normal people call—”

“Bree’s missing.”

I hear rustling at the other end and then a door close.

“Talk to me.”

“Yesterday morning around six twenty an airport limo picked her up at Bobby Lee’s place. At nine forty-five last night, Destination Limo recovered their missing limo a few miles from the house, driver dead behind the wheel, Bree’s stuff still in the back of the vehicle, but no Bree. Estimated time of death of the driver was between five and seven in the morning.”

I’m trying hard to keep the emotion out of my voice but I’m not sure I was successful.

“What can I do?” Glen asks immediately.

“I need the video feed from the front of the house. Can you access it?”

“Yes.” I hear clicking on a keyboard. “Doing it right now. Want it sent to your phone?”

“Yup.”

“Working on it. Anything else? I can round up a few guys.”

“Stand by on that. We’re gonna need a fucking lead first.”

A text notification sounds on my phone and then another one.

“You should have the link to the feed and the password. Keep me updated.”

I don’t bother acknowledging and end the call, pulling up the video.

“I’ve got the security feed,” I announce.

The small group gathers around me as I fast forward to the six fifteen time stamp. On the small screen I see the gate at the end of the drive is open. At six eighteen the limo pulls in off the street and drives up, rounding the rotunda in front of the house. It’s impossible to make out the driver, who remains behind the wheel for a few minutes until the driver’s side door opens and he steps out. Dark suit, chauffeur’s cap pulled low over his face.

He’s at least six feet tall by the look of it, comparing the height of the vehicle to his body.

“That’s not the driver,” Bill observes. “Our vic is five nine at best.”

On the screen we can see Bree walk into view, a ball cap and her signature ponytail visible from this angle. She’s wearing dark, casual clothes and running shoes. A vast difference from the way she’d been decked out the night before.

The driver opens the door for her, she climbs in, and he appears to lean into the back seat for a minute. Then he straightens up, closes the back door, and climbs in behind the wheel.

“What was that all about?” Dimi asks.

I rewind and we watch it again.

“Stop. Right there.” Hutch points at the guy’s hand. “Back up a little and don’t watch Bree, look at the guy’s hand.”

We watch as he opens the door and as Bree walks into view, slips his free hand into his jacket pocket and comes out holding something. I move forward frame by frame.

“Not a knife,” Dimi grumbles.

“Small, my guess a syringe. The only way Bree wouldn’t have been fighting like hell is if she was incapacitated,” Hutch offers.

“Send it to me.” This from Bill, who wears a grim expression. “This needs to go to Russel, he’s the lead.”

When I forward the video, I notice the time on my phone. It’s coming up on five. She’s been out there for almost twenty-three hours. A dark desperation takes hold of me as I realize the likelihood we’ll find her alive diminishes by the hour.

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