Lilly pulled away from the scene and started for the morgue. Hollingsworth, unused to riding with a demolition driver, muttered curses under his breath as he was tossed back and fro in the back seat. Konan pushed his feet into the floorboard and held on for dear life.
“Dear God,” he muttered after Lilly nearly took out a passenger bus. From the back seat, Hollingsworth uttered prayers and curses with panache.
“Nobody appreciates backseat drivers,” Lilly snarled at Hollingsworth. Satisfied the officer had been chastised appropriately, Lilly guided the car into the gravel parking lot of the morgue.
Hollingsworth left the back seat and fell to his knees. The kid vomited right next to the tire. “Pansy,” Lilly said as she shook her head and started for the door. Konan patted the kid on the shoulder and followed his partner into the building.
Molly waited for them in her office. Lilly knocked on the door, Molly motioned for them to follow her to the victim. He lay upon a metal table and Molly had covered him with a sheet.
“Detectives, I know you want answers right now, but I have none to give you. Um, the perp is Bradley Freeman. From what I have seen, and I just got him here, Mr. Freeman was multiple fractures. I haven’t seen anything like this since the war. Given the mangled state of his body, I’d say he’s been beaten and dragged behind a car. Then…”
“It’s okay, Molly. You don’t need to say anything else,” Lilly said. She wrapped Molly into a hug and pulled her close.
“They ran over him,” Konan said. “They got tired of beating on him, so they chained him to a car and dragged him down the road, then they ran over him.”
Lilly stared at Konan her eyes wide and the veins in her neck taut. Konan shrugged as if to say ‘what.’ Molly nodded.
“Yes. That’s exactly what appeared to have happened.”
“Jesus,” Lilly said. She shook her head at Konan, still unable to believe how calloused her partner could be. She loved Konan dearly, but he could be so dense at times.
“Thanks, Molly. We’ll let you get back to work. Let us know as soon as you can nail down the time and cause of death.”
“Will do, Lilly.”
Hollingsworth sat behind the wheel of the vehicle when Konan and Lilly walked out. Lilly climbed into the front seat, Konan in the back. She turned to Hollingsworth and told him to go through the drive thru at the Donut Hole.
While Hollingsworth placed their orders, Lilly turned to Konan.
“Do you think the murder of Bradley Freeman is racially motivated,” she asked. Konan shrugged.
“I don’t know. We don’t have enough facts to say one way or another.”
“Well, I think it’s racially motivated. Freeman was a black man, and given the types of wounds he sustained, I figured it for a hate crime.”
“What wounds are speaking about, Lilly? Molly isn’t even sure what caused his death. We should wait until she tell us before…”
“Look, if you don’t want to back me up it’s not a big thing. That man was tortured.”
“…we jump to conclusions,” Konan said finishing his sentence. “I understand why people might think it’s racially motivated. But we have a responsibility to have the facts before…”
“You are being dense, Konan. The fact is that black men and women are hunted all over…”
Konan took his coffee from Hollingsworth and put up his free hand. He took a sip and let out a satisfied ‘aaah.’
“You’re right. Okay. Let’s drop it right there. This is fantastic coffee.”
Lilly threw her hands up and took her coffee from Hollingsworth. Nothing else was said on the way to the station. Konan leaned his head back and closed his eyes.
“God, please don’t let this be a hate crime. This town would bust apart at the seams.”