Further examination of the body showed that the deceased, Trevor Burbrige, was otherwise intact minus a cauterized strip between the bicep and triceps. An excess of blood lodged in the throat and lungs proved the victim drowned on his own blood during his tongue removal.
“So, let me get this straight,” Seth muttered. “Our coffee-maker drowned; in his own blood, no less, when the killer cut out his tongue? That doesn’t make sense to me. Why wouldn’t he just spit out the blood?”
“I can answer that.”
Seth, Kim, and Angela all jumped. They’d been so focused on the body and cause of death; they never heard Detective Crash slip silently into the room.
“Argh! You have got to stop doing that to me, Bill! How would it look if your MDI died while working on the case?” Kim reprimanded. “Especially if you were the cause of death?”
“Sorry, Kim, I didn’t realize you didn’t hear me come in. I thought I’d stop by and see how things were going. One of my guys said you thought you’d found something under the victim’s fingernails so I figured it was best to hear the facts from you instead of playing Whisper Down the Lane with the officers.” Bill answered.
“I guess I’ll let you slide, this time.” A playful smile cut across her face as she gave him a wink. “We did find some skin cells under the victim’s finger nails but I might have been his own. There were gouges in the palms of his hands and in his thighs.”
“That’s disappointing. I was hoping…Oh my God! Seth, are you okay? You look like you just saw a ghost. C’mon, let’s get you outside for a little fresh air.”
Bill tugged Seth out the door and into the sunshine. A cool breeze tugged at their lab coats and returned some of the color to Seth’s pale cheeks. Seconds later, Kim and Angela followed.
“Are you okay? One second we’re talking about a lead on the murderer and the next you’re ready to face-plant on the slab, next to the corpse.”