Most criminal investigations can be time-consuming and complicated exercises in futility. Sometimes detectives just can’t seem to catch a break as a purported lead can direct them right into an impenetrable brick wall.
The path to seeking out the truth is often tangled in a web of lies, and it’s up to the determination of tenacious law enforcement to sort out the details. Such was the case at the Joseph Osborn funeral.
Clad in jeans and t-shirts, their firearms safely holstered at their sides, the two partners quietly braked to a slow stop up the hillside from where the funeral was currently taking place.
“Don’t park behind the tree, I can’t see,” Andrew asked, so Dan pulled forward a couple feet.
“Thanks,” Andrew grinned as he pulled the binoculars from the case and held them to his eyes.
The officer’s sat comfortably in Dan’s new pick-up truck and watched the proceedings. They were only about 200 feet from the burial site, as they sought to maintain a low profile.
Having parked behind the attendee’s, the duo had a good view of their backsides, and some profiles as well. It was highly unlikely that anyone in attendance would recognize them.
“Anyone look familiar?” Andrew asked as he continued to scan the area.
“Not really,” Dan replied, his own bino’s held securely to his eyes. “Why do people always wear black to funerals,” Dan mused as his eyes glanced here and there among the group.
“I don’t know, maybe in solemnity?”
“It’s dumb, why not just wear bright colors and celebrate.”
“Dan, get real. Maybe they’re mourning the loss of a loved one.”
“And you can’t dress in colors and grieve at the same time?”
“Maybe its just not done,” Andrew offered.
“Just another stupid tradition,” Dan scoffed as he kept watch. “Man, that priest is a long-winded son of a…”
“Biddy,” Dan substituted, and Andrew just rolled his eyes.
“Whoa, wait a minute,” Andrew said just then.
“What? What’cha got,” Dan asked, perking up. He hoped his partner had some viable information, because literally there was nothing more boring in life than a stake-out. Even one like this that promised to be rather short-lived.
“The broad…er, I mean the woman on the end.”
“Right…the right end, standing next to that tree.”
“The brunette? In the…black dress with the see-through sleeves?”
“Yeah, that’s the one,” Andrew confirmed.
“What about her.”
“I’ve seen her before.”
“That’s not going to help us very much, now is it?”
“Gimme a minute, Temple,” Andrew stated, his ire rising. “Where have I seen her…where…” he spoke, his voice low, and thoughtful.
“I’ve got it.”
“I know, now give it to me,” Dan chuckled.
“I don’t know her name, but she works at City Hall.”
“Andrew, a lot of women work at City Hall, can you narrow it down a little?”
“Yeah, she’s his secretary.”
“Why would she be here, at Osborn’s funeral?”
“Maybe she knew him.”
“Well, partner, you asked,” Andrew said, as he ably returned verbal fire.
Just then, the brunette turned away from the proceedings, which seemed to be ending. The woman appeared to be walking to her car, and consequently right toward the two undercover deputies.
“There’s only one other car parked up here, that little red Miata, of all the cars and all the places to park, she parked up here?”
“Guess so,” Andrew shrugged.
But the young woman didn’t approach the Miata, she walked right up to Dan’s opened window.
“You cops?” She asked, and then added that inherently female gesture of giving a brief toss of her head, which sent wayward brown tresses cascading back over her shoulder.
Dan and Andrew merely looked askance at each other before Dan turned back to her.
“Yes,” he hesitantly admitted. “Why.”
“Are you undercover, on 7 or anything, or on duty?” She continued questioning, having noticed the men’s casual attire.
“On duty. Why?”
“This funeral is a farce,” she stated.
“What?” Dan asked, his interest now keenly piqued.
“I came here out of curiosity. I had heard that Joe Osborn’s funeral was today, so here I am. But I just left Joe Osborn a couple hours ago. Even though he’s a certified prick, I agreed to have lunch with him.”
“He’s got money and connections,” she flippantly explained.
“Oookay. But what about this funeral?”
“Look sugar, I don’t give a damn one way or the other. I don’t know who’s in the box, but I’m telling you right now, it’s not Joe Osborn,” she explained, and she seemed to be quite certain of what she was saying.
“Why are you telling us?” Andrew questioned, as he carefully studied her every nuance.
“Because whatever is going down here is wrong, that’s why.”
“And you’re just all about law or order, right?” Dan commented, disdain dripping from his tone of voice.
“Sometimes, but more often I’m about money and connections,” she replied, and the guys had to at least give her credit for her honesty.
“Riiight,” Dan hedged, still unsure if he was completely willing to believe her.
“Okay, thank you. Could we get your name and contact information please?” Andrew asked, as he removed a small notepad and pen from his chest pocket.
“Also, and I’m just curious, why did you approach us? Why did you think we were cops?” Dan asked.
“You look like it,” she shrugged. The woman provided what they hoped would be solid information, and then she turned on her heels and off she flounced.
Once again, Dan and Andrew cast a curious glance at each other, and Andrew found himself mouthing the words: ‘we look like it’?” And Dan just shrugged.
“Well, that was certainly weird,” Dan commented, taking a deep breath.
“That’s for sure, but then we haven’t gotten our quota of weirdness for the day.”
“Come on, buddy,” Dan said as he swung the truck door open. “Let’s go see what’s in the box.”