Adam opened his eyes and looked around as he tried to remember where he was. He was in his office. He had come to the office after dropping Ese and Tola in their houses and had dozed off on his chair. He could not imagine sleeping on his bed anymore, all he could think about was Kate and all the evil things the killer could be doing to her.
He looked at his door and noticed one of the junior detectives standing there.
“Hey, what are you doing? When did you enter?” Adam asked, sitting up.
“I knocked and you told me to come in.” The detective said, surprised.
“What do you want?”
“We have brought in the family of the boy sir.”
Adam nodded and waved him off. He had asked for the family of the boy who Kate had hit to be brought in, one of them could be the killer.
He picked and dusted the jacket that hung behind his desk, it was almost always there, for days when he forgot to pick another from home. He walked out of the office and towards the conference room. The chief was still a suspect, he could not rule him out but he doubted if the chief would have anything against Kate personally. This family had something against Kate but why would they kill the other girls?
He opened the door to the room and entered. Tola was already seated. He wondered how long he had slept for. A bald headed and stocky man sat next to a boy Adam assumed was the one who had the accident. He had a couple of modern and given the way they looked, expensive crutches next to him. He was seated in between his father and mother. The mother was a thin woman, she had a permanently anxious look on her face.
“Good morning, I am Detective Adam Ademola, I’m sorry we had to bring you in this morning, we just need to ask you a few questions.”
“What kind of questions?” The man answered with a smile.
“We want to ask about the accident.” Adam said, nodding in the direction of the boy.
“You should be asking the governor and his daughter…” The woman started.
“Sir, we will answer all your questions.” The husband cut in, he fired his wife a warning look.
“By the way, I leant you have an older son, why isn’t he here?” Adam asked.
“He was not too cooperative.” Tola replied in a whisper. “We separated him from the family, we’ll question him later.”
Adam spent twenty minutes asking them about the accident. He watched as they answered his questions, they were prepared for them. The wife attempted to show her true emotions a few times but she was brought under control by her husband. The husband sounded truly content, Ese’s theory about a payoff was not off point.
“Do you know any of these ladies?” Adam asked showing them pictures of the first two victims of the church street killer and watched their faces for their reactions.
“No, we don’t know them.” The husband replied. “Who are they?”
“They are the victims of the killer.” The son said, barely audible.
“Keep quiet, what killer are you talking about?” The father said.
“No, leave the boy alone, let him speak.” Tola said.
“I saw their pictures on Samson’s phone, he told me about them.” The boy said.
“Who is Samson please?” Adam asked looking at the mother, who looked away.
“His brother, my son.” The father answered, bowing his head and looking away.
Adam removed the pictures and stood.
“Thank you for answering our questions.” He said to the family. “Tola, come please.”
He nodded at the boy and walked out of the room, Tola followed him.
“I’m going to talk to this Samson and I want you with me, send in Benjamin here, make them – the family, comfortable because we might have further questions for them.”
“Okay. The other son is in Interrogation Room three, he had to be arrested and restrained. He hit one of us so be careful with him. I’ll be in in a minute.” Kate said handing him a file containing all they knew about Samson.
Adam walked towards the interrogation room, he glanced through the file, it was a thin one. He was a twenty six year old man, never been arrested, at least there was no record of any. Whatever devil had entered the man, it had not been in for long.
He opened the door of the room and entered. The man looked up at him and looked away. Adam told the policeman who was standing in the room to leave, hung his jacket and sat in front of Samson.
He brought out the pictures of the victims and spread them on the table.
“Samson, why did you kill these girls?” Adam asked looking as concerned and sincere as he could.
“I don’t know them and I did not kill them.” Samson replied without looking at the pictures.
“Samson, I know you know them, you have their pictures on your phone. I just want to know why you killed them, did it have something to do with your brother’s accident?”
He flared up at the mention of the accident. “They had nothing to do with my brother’s accident. The one person who had something to do with it is the one who should have died.”
“Are you talking about…?”
“I am talking about the governor’s daughter, Kate! That useless drunk almost killed my brother and she still drives around town in her flashy cars while my brother lives in pain.”
“Your parents, even your brother don’t seem to be as angry as you are, why are you so angry?”
“You want to know why? After knocking down my brother, some men showed up, paid all the hospital bills and even though my dad denies it, paid off my dad and walked away. The little trash didn’t even show up, neither did her father, they did not even offer any personal apology.”
“I understand your pain, but why take it out on these girls?” Adam asked. He was careful not to mention Kate’s kidnapping in case he had nothing to do with it.
The man looked away.
Tola entered and sat quietly beside Adam.
“Why do you have pictures of these girls on your phone? Give me a good reason and you’re free to go.” Adam said.
“I downloaded them off the internet, there was no reason.” The man replied, avoiding making eye contact with Adam.
“Samson, you will remain here for a long time if you keep lying, you are a suspect, I hope you realize that.”
“Okay, I’ll tell you what I know. After my brother’s accident, I registered a twitter handle, I was trying to use it to get justice for my brother. A few people supported me for a while but after a few weeks, nobody had any interest in the case anymore. Well, until yesterday when I got a follow from guess who, Kate herself.”
“Kate?” Tola asked. “What’s the handle?”
Tola handed him a paper and a pen. He scribbled the handle, Tola brought out her phone and checked to confirm what he said.
“It’s legit. Go on.” She said.
“I was livid and tweeted her a lot of insult but she replied saying she was getting the justice she deserved and sent a link along with the tweet. It was a newspaper article about the church street killer. I downloaded the pictures from the article. They were not the only pictures I downloaded, I saved everything on that page because I believed there was something I was supposed to see.”
“Did you find anything?” Adam asked.
“Nothing important. If there was anything to see, I didn’t find it.” He said, shaking his head. “You know that girl is really lucky she’s the governor’s daughter and her father can pay for all her excesses. That girl once had a liver transplant and still she drinks with reckless abandon damaging an organ that wasn’t even hers in the first place.”
“Did you just say she once had a liver transplant?” Tola asked.
“Yeah, way back when she was younger. Shouldn’t that kind of person be more careful with the way she lives her life?”
Adam stood and tapped Tola beckoning for her to follow him. He turned to the man and said “I have more questions for you, I’ll be back.”
Adam and Tola stepped out of the room and headed towards his office.
“Obviously the killer tweeted him that page, so there must be something there, don’t you think?” Tola asked.
“Yeah, it’s possible but I’m more interested in the fact that Kate once had a liver transplant. That is definitely not a coincidence. The killer collects livers and he said his kidnap of Kate was personal.” Adam said as he entered his office.
“So what do you think happened?”
“That’s the problem, we‘ve found a connection but we don’t know how the connection matters. Another thing bothering me is why he contacted the brother of the accident victim. I’ll find out from the governor but the liver transplant happened a long time ago because I didn’t even know about it, so what does it have to do with this accident?” Adam asked.
“We need to find a connection between the two events. Right now, Mr. Samson in there is the one connection we have.”
“He didn’t do it.” Adam said.
“He didn’t?” Tola asked, surprised.
“The killer is smart, smart enough to have eluded us for this long while keeping in contact with me. Mr. Samson in there, cannot do that.” Adam replied.
“We should keep an eye on him though, the killer might contact him again.”
“We keep him here for now. Call Faruk, give him the phone from earlier this morning and inform him about the twitter post, find out if there’s a way we can trace any of this.” Adam said.
Tola nodded and left his office.
Adam leaned back in his chair and sighed deeply. He had to call the governor to ask him about the liver transplant but he was not sure he wanted to talk him. The governor had given him an ultimatum, an ultimatum he was trying his best to ignore. If the killer was true to his word and killed Kate before the end of the day then it was the end of him, not even catching the killer would make up for the loss.
He sat up, picked his phone and dialed the governor. It had barely rung when he picked it.
“Do you have my daughter?” The governor asked.
“No sir, we…”
“Then why are you calling me for Pete’s sake!”
“Sir, did your daughter have a liver transplant at any time?” Adam asked.
“Yes, she did, it was a long time ago. Why are you…?”
“Sir, we think…”
“Wait, the killer collects his victim’s livers, right?”
“Yes sir, he does.”
“What does this mean?”
“I don’t know yet sir. Was there anything that happened at the time of the transplant? Anything that could have angered somebody?”
“I don’t know…” The governor’s voice trailed off. “Is it possible that this is political? You know we never found the person who shot my wife, maybe they have come back to finish the job. Take my wife, take my daughter and I have nothing to live for.”
“Sir, I can assure you this isn’t political. The other victims had no political connections, this is just a crazy nut-job who will be stopped sir.”
“You know, I never understood why my wife didn’t come back the day before she was shot. I keep wondering if she would still be alive if she had returned when she was supposed to.” The governor said in a whisper.
Adam shut his eyes tight, trying to block memories of the assassination.
“Sir, we cannot dwell in the past right now, and I promise you we will find Kate sir.” Adam said, his eyes still shut.
“You have to Adam. The chief of police just left my office and he suggested I bring in the federal people into this, he said they’ll do a better job than you are doing right now.”
“He said that!” Adam said snapping his eyes open. “Sir, I’ve been on this case for long, anybody coming now will be starting afresh. The chief… well, I’m sure he meant well but sir, I will find Kate.”
“I know this isn’t just a case for you, you care about my daughter, please find her Adam.”
“I will sir. Last question sir, was the transplant done here in Nigeria?”
“Yes, it was done in Lagos.”
“Send me the contact of the doctor who handled it and anybody I can talk to about the transplant.” Adam said.
“I will, just find me daughter.” The governor said and hung up.
Adam sighed, closed his eyes and said a short prayer, first for Kate, then for himself.
Adam looked at his watch, it was after seven pm. He was starting to get scared, he was not any closer to finding Kate that evening than he was in the morning. He had called the doctor and even though it had been a long time since the transplant, he remembered Kate. According to him, quite a number of people could have been offended by Kate and her family. They were rich and had gotten a lot of favours but he did not see why any of those people would go on a killing spree because of that.
He relaxed his back in the chair he was sitting on. He was viewing surveillance footage taken from cameras outside the CIB gate. The camera showed Kate come out of the gate and the taxi pull up in front of her. The plate number of the taxi was not covered, so it was safe to assume it did not belong to the killer. The camera did not capture the driver of the bus at all and he disappeared from the range of the camera after going forward a few metres.
His phone rang in his pocket and Adam brought it out. It was Faruk.
“Hey man, where are you?” Faruk asked.
“Still at the office, going over some surveillance footage. Did you find anything?”
“Phone, completely clean, nothing in it except for one number; the one that called Tola. My guy tried to get some stuff, even the deleted ones but we found nothing. The twitter thing was a dead end too.”
“The day’s almost over, I am so confused Faruk.” Adam said.
“Yeah, I feel you, especially now that the kidnap is all over the news.”
“What did you say?” Adam said, jumping up from his seat.
“Guess who broke the news…Ese’s station.”
“She promised! I’ll call you back.” Adam said and hung up.
He dialed Ese and started pacing.
“What the hell Ese? You promised.” Adam said, as soon as she answered the call.
“I didn’t break that news Adam, I swear I didn’t. Someone else did, Richard did.” She answered.
“How on earth did he know about the kidnap? Did you tell him?”
“No I didn’t. I have no idea how…” Ese started then stopped.
“You have no idea how? Ese, I said you guys have a snitch here and you denied it, well I don’t have time for you now. Whatever comes out of this publicity you have created for this killer, you are going to bear the grunt of it.” Adam said and hung up.
He turned to leave the room when his phone rang again. It was Faruk.
“Guess who I just saw driving down your street?” He said.
“Who?” Adam asked.
“Your police chief. He was once again driving himself. What’s he looking for on your street?”
“It’s a free world Faruk, he can be anywhere he wants. Question is what are you doing on my street?”
“Are you serious? I’m on my way to your house, I’m crashing with you tonight.”
“Sorry pal, but I’m not sleeping in that house till Kate is found.” Adam said, and added quietly. “I doubt I’m going to be sleeping at all.”
“No problem, I stole a key off your bunch last time I was at your place. Are you coming in in the morning at all? Should I leave something for you to eat?”
“Something to eat? Looks like you don’t understand what’s… goodnight Faruk. Call me if…” Adam said but was cut off by Faruk.
“Adam!” Faruk yelled. “Get down here now!”
“What? Why?” Adam asked feeling a sudden dread at Faruk’s voice.
“I just saw a body, a frigging dead body.”
“Holy crap! Where?”
“Your front door.”