Almost an hour later, a State Trooper car pulls into the driveway. We stand so the officer can see where we are located. He walks slowly up the hill towards us, looking all around the area as he comes. I have met him before and he seems to be a nice, fair person, not prone to jumping to conclusions.
He has a camera and takes an occasional picture as he comes up the hill. I am sure we are all well represented in the photos for future reference. He introduces himself and asks us each our name, age and place of residence. He also has a recorder going, so nothing will be missed. He asks each of us how we came to find the body and if we know the deceased. I swear his ears perked up when Shari said it was her ex-husband.
An ambulance and another State Trooper car pulled in and he motioned them on up. Trooper Douglas relaxed a bit and the 2 Troopers walked around the body and took more pictures. Will pointed out where the rifle was and more pictures were taken in relation to where the body was. Measurements were taken and finally the body was turned over.
A quick guestimate on time of death from air and body temperature set the time of death as less than 2 hours ago, give or take a half hour. So the shot we heard was probably the one he died from. Will told them the time we heard the shot and they checked his watch with theirs for time.
As the body was being loaded, something fell out of the body’s hand that had been fisted around it. Shari gasped again and fainted. Will knelt down beside her and gently smoothed her hair back from her face. The ambulance people came at once and had Will move back as they hooked her up to take her vitals. She slowly blinked and opened her eyes wide. Staring around at all of us, then the police and the ambulance and out she went again.
She slowly came around again and the look on her face was so tragic I wanted to cry. The EMT unhooked her and asked her a couple of questions and she nodded. He said something else to her in a low voice and helped her sit up. Will bent back down beside her and the EMT quietly spoke to both of them, then went back to the ambulance.
I think I guessed what Shari was going to say before I got back over to where she still sat on the ground. Her arms were protectively wrapped around her middle, like she could shield herself for the future. The looks on their faces was a study in scared and joy. The EMT had confirmed what she had thought for a while, she was pregnant. The murder of her ex in her yard, was terrifying. Just the thought that he may have been here while she was alone in the house brought shivers down my spine. Maybe this is why Will hovered all the time.
The Trooper came back over and knelt down beside Will and Shari. When he opened his hand, he held a small delicate cross on a chain in his hand. This was what had fallen out of the hand of the corpse. It had a lot of meaning for Shari and she could hardly take her eyes off it.
“The last time I saw that, it was in my jewelry box in the house, just this morning.” She said.
I offered to stay here with Shari while Will and the Troopers went to the house and check it out.
I heard some cursing as they got to the door. The house had been trashed. The door was broken off the frame and inside the house looked like someone had intended to ruin everything in it. The Troopers went back to the cars for evidence kits and Will again came back and sat down by Shari. She turned her face into his shoulder and sobs shook her small frame.
We were only away from the house a little over 2 hours. So much destruction in such a short time. Of course we have no idea how many people were involved, but anger and hatred screamed out from the havoc they had created in such a short time.
When the Troopers come back out of the house, they ask if there is any place that Will and Shari can stay for the night, so they can get some help out from town. One of the Troopers will stay while the other goes in for the people and materials they will need to process the crime scene better. They do not want to leave it unattended. I am not sure whether they think we will move or touch anything or if they think someone else is still hanging around and may return and remove or change some evidence.
I offer to let them stay in my little guest cabin. It is more of a storage shed, but does have a bed in it. I lived in it until I had enough of my cabin built to move into it.
We are allowed to leave and on the way to my place, we pull in at The Hit & Run to let them know what has happened and to watch out for strangers hanging around and keep their doors locked. They offer some clothes for Will and Shari until they can get in and salvage some of their own. I don’t have anything that would fit either of them.
We pulled down to Noah’s camper to let him and his Dad know and left him a note, as he wasn’t home.
After we got settled at my place, I fixed a quick meal that none of us much wanted. We picked at it and tried to get some down.
A short time later we all wandered off to our beds, locking all the doors as we went.