The files detailed back-room business deals, favors, and other illegal doings, but nothing pointed a finger at Roy Darnell Carver specifically.
Walter felt his anger rising. It’s always the same thing. He’s complicit in the crimes, but there’s no evidence he pulled the trigger or set the wheel in motion. It’s as if every single person in this town is willing to sacrifice themselves to protect him.
How do you stop someone from committing evil deeds when innocent people stand between you and the perpetrator?
The sun was going down when Janie and Walter shut the case files. Janie wrote down the names of people who had committed crimes and shoved the list into her pocket.
There wasn’t much left to do but grab a root and yank on it. Walter shoved the files into the black backpack and slung it over his left shoulder. “Come on,” he said to Janie. “We’ve gotta brief the chief.”
She stood and motioned to the door. “After you,” she said in a low voice. Walter walked ahead of her and rapped on the door of Chief White’s office.
“Come on in,” he yelled.
Walter turned the knob and walked in. White motioned for them to sit in the chairs in front of his desk. A white board sat next to it. He had written notes on the case in purple, and a timeline of events in pink. White taped pictures of the missing girls to the edges, and he had taped Sue Anne’s photo in the center of the board.
Janie counted seventeen girls taped to the board. White and Walter watched her as she traced the lines of each girl’s face with her finger. White cleared his throat and asked, “Did you have any luck?”
Walter nodded and replied, “There’s enough evidence to put away several key citizens of Angie in prison for a long time, but none of it points to Roy Darnell Carver. He’s smart. It’s all circumstantial evidence at most.”
White sighed and shook his head. It was always the same thing in these small podunk towns. The person, or persons, behind the mess kept their hands clean and hired the locals to carry out their plans. When justice called, only the locals had their hands in the cookie jar.
“For now, we let it lie. Gather evidence, I don’t care how small or trivial it might seem, and add it to the file. I want Roy Darnell Carver and his corruption out of this town, but that means we need solid evidence to charge him with.”