The next day, Scott was eager to begin working on the case. He got the call from the superintendent at noon.
“Coroner says he died at around midnight, the same night that I called you in. Also, he confirmed that the victim was drowned.”
“Pretty much what I expected.,” said Scott. “Did you ID the body?”
“Yes, actually. We found a wallet on him with money still in it. We can rule out robbery and a spur of the moment murder, then. It‘s most likely that it was planned. Name’s Mike Kirkwood.”
Yes, that was it, the detective thought. He’d gone to high school with him in senior year. He couldn’t remember exactly how the man had been in high school, but he knew that he had been a jock, one of those that always pushed people around. He’d never actually spoken to him. He hadn’t spoken much to anybody, for that matter. Needless to say, he had been a lonely child, quiet most of the time. That’s the way he liked it, though. He usually didn’t enjoy speaking to people.
“I see,” said the detective. “We’ll have to question his family, get all the facts straight. Maybe they saw him the day before his death. Do you know if they’ve been alerted? Or, better question, does he have a family?”
“Yes, actually. We did a background check on him earlier today, and he has two sisters, both of whom have been informed of his death. Both parents died years ago.”
“Do you know where the sisters live?”
“I’ll find out and keep you updated.” He hung up.
Later that day he called him once more, telling Ward that he’d gotten two addresses to both of Kirkwood’s sisters. He would pick him up and drive him there later that day.
After they arrived to one of the sisters’ homes, Mary Kirkwood’s, they knocked on the door. After a minute, a woman came out, sobbing hysterically.
“Yes?” She barely managed to the word out before bursting into tears.
“Are you Mary Kirkwood?” Asked the detective.
“Yes, I am. Are you the police?”
“Yes, actually. I’m Detective Scott Ward, and this is Colonel Mark Johnson, superintendent of the Virginia State Police. May we come in and ask a few questions?”
“Yes, of course. Come in,” she said timidly, struggling to get a hold of herself.
She ushered them inside, leading them to the living room on the left side of the house, and gestured them to sit down on the chairs scattered around the room. There was a coffee table in the middle, and to the right of the room was a hallway which led to a kitchen. Adjacent to the hallway was a staircase that led upstairs, below which was a broom closet. As they entered the living room, which had portraits of famous artists hanging askew on the walls, their eyes drifted towards another woman who was sitting in one of the chairs. She looked tired, her eyes bloodshot and a grim look on her face. She greeted them.
“Hello,” said the woman, who had blond strands of hair hanging sloppily around her head, “I’m Lily Kirkwood. I presume you’re the police?”
“Yes,” replied Ward, introducing themselves once again. “We’d like to ask you both a few questions, please.”
“Of course, of course,” said Mary, who was looking nervously at the policemen. She had brown, curly hair that fell down to her neck. Her eyes were red from crying.
“First of all, where were the both of you yesterday evening?” Asked the detective.
“We were both here, having dinner together. Usually Mike has dinner with us on Sunday nights, but he called to say that he couldn’t make it,” said Lily. She looked stiff. Both sisters had melancholic expressions on their face, and both looked genuinely sad, Mary much more than Lily, however. Lily had a strange look on her face. A slight hint of contempt, maybe? Scott disregarded it and continued.
“And do you have any idea where your brother was?”
“No, we don’t,” said Mary, “All he said was that he had something else to do. He didn’t tell us anything else.” She was still sobbing.
“Well, do you have any idea whatsoever what he might have been doing?”
“No, I’m sorry,” said Mary.
Scott stopped for a moment, discouraged. Then he said, “Were the three of you close as a family?”
“Yes, we were always very close. We shared everything. That’s why we were so confused when he called us to say that he couldn’t make it. He usually doesn't do things like that, especially not at the last minute,” said Mary.
“Were you aware of any negative relationships that he developed, any adversaries, enemies? Anyone he wasn’t particularly fond of?”
“Well, no, not as far as we know,” said Lily. “I mean, in high school, he did used to be a bully. He used to push kids around a lot. I always tried to get him to stop, telling him that it wasn’t good for him nor for anyone else. He was very stubborn and wouldn’t listen. Many times he even got in fights, beating up a lot of kids. But he’s matured over the years. He hasn’t hurt anyone since high school, and I highly doubt he’s had any sort of disputes since then.”
All of this, of course, Ward already knew, save for the part that he’d matured over the years. He’d seen him bully kids all the time.
“So no one comes to mind?”
“No, no one at all. I’m sorry.”
“Well, I think that’s all of it. Thank you for your time, we do appreciate it. If anything comes up, feel free to call us.”
“Thank you, I’ll keep that in mind,” said Lily.
Mary showed them out, and they left.
Scott had a good idea of who the killer was.