Doc Perkins wheeled out the covered gurney that held Whitney. The forensic team followed close behind. Whitney C. Adams, 18, was loaded into the back of an ambulance and transported to the morgue.
The county morgue bordered the city limits of Fredericksburg, Mississippi. It was a multi-leveled building. Doc Perkins, former science teacher, now the current Medical Examiner, worked on the second floor. Well, his office was on the second floor. The victims of horrendous crimes was housed on the first floor.
Valerie and Michael Adams watched as the ambulance and forensic techs left their home. Both cried, their lives forever altered by the actions of a murderous scumbag.
“Come on, Val. Let’s get out of sight before the gossips come calling.”
Valerie nodded, and the couple walked into the kitchen. Photographs hung from the hallway wall and depicted of a happy family. Whitney had graduated from high school only weeks ago. Their last photograph was of her in her robes.
“Look how beautiful she was, Michael.”
“I know, Val. It don’t do no good to look at these pictures. Our daughter is gone. Somebody took her away from us.”
“How can you be so cold?”
“Maybe your old high school boyfriend can find out who did it. It’s not like he doesn’t owe me one for taking you out of his life.”
“Excuse me? You’ve got some nerve…”
“Whatever, Val. You left me. You’re only here because you found out someone nailed Whitney to the floor. Or maybe you showed up for Tate.”
Valerie Adams reared back and slapped Michael with all her strength. Michael’s head twisted from the blow, and he swung a backhand in Valerie’s direction. It connected and knocked her to the ground.
“Oh God, oh baby. I didn’t mean to hit you, Val. I was just trying to scare you.”
Blood trickled from the corner of her mouth. She brushed her blonde hair from her eyes and licked her lips. Her blue eyes clouded with rage as she pushed herself to her feet.
“That’s it, Michael. I’m done. You will not get another opportunity to strike me. As far as Alex Tate goes, you could never compare to what I had with him before he shipped off to war. A war that your rich daddy paid buttloads of money to keep you out of.”
“Shut your mouth, you dirty w-“
Michael Chase Adams never saw the kick coming.
Sheriff Alex Tate and Deputy Angie Robert (pronounced Ro-bear) walked into the Sheriff’s office. Desks sat in the center of the room, to the left of the main room was a counter where the desk sergeant greeted those who had business with the Sheriff.
Tate’s office was in the rear of the main room. Every eye was on him and Angie when they walked in.
“Hey guys, I know I haven’t had time to address you. I’m Alex Tate. Some of you may have heard I served in the Army as a reconnaissance scout. Others might have heard I worked in the FBI. Both are true. I look forward to working with each of you. We will have a short meeting at the end of the day and talk about what my goals are for us to accomplish together. That’s all.”