The Knife part 2

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The Bartlett house was in a nice neighborhood. Each house on the block had a perfect front lawn and white picket fence. The Bartlett house was the only one alight at twelve forty-five in the morning. When Alicia and Felicity walked into the house, they both knew that Kimberly was definitely not involved in a gang or something like that. All around were pictures of her wining awards or at a variety of social functions. In the living room, a set of grief-stricken neighbors sat. Alicia made a mental note to interview a few of them later. At the moment, they had to pay attention to the parents.

The couple sat in their brightly lit kitchen. Adam and Ruth Bartlett were a handsome couple, both in their early fifties. Kimberly had been their only child and both had loved her with all their hearts, souls, and bodies. Ruth sat on one of the stools pushed up to the counter while her husband consoled her. A friendly neighbor was there assisting them. When they walked in, Felicity asked softly, “Could we have a moment with them please?”

The neighbor left and the couple looked up. Instantly Alicia recognized the same pair of eyes as Kimberly in her mother’s face, although they were filled with grief. Adam Bartlett held onto his wife’s shoulder as he asked, “Who are you?”

Alicia responded, “I am Detective Alicia Scott. This is my partner Detective Felicity Allan. We’re investigation your daughter’s murder. We’re very sorry for your loss.”

Ruth Bartlett let out a small cry and her husband rubbed her shoulder. His black eyes burned with anger as he asked, “Do you have any idea who could’ve done this to Kimberly?”

Felicity said, “We don’t have any leads right now but we would like to ask you two a few questions separately. Mrs. Bartlett, could I please talk to you in the dining room?”

Ruth Bartlett obediently stood up, wiping her eyes, and went into the adjoining room. Alicia sent Felicity a thankful look as she walked out. Alicia had no patience for sobbing mothers. Adam Bartlett looked at Alicia expectantly. He saw the attractive young detective as an inexperienced new detective and asked immediately, “How long have you been with L.A police force?”

Alicia took the question with annoyance, although she tried to hide it. She hated feeling that she was thought of as a rooky. “I’ve been here for six years with my partner.”

Adam Bartlett look reassured. Alicia started asking the questions. “Mr. Bartlett, first of all why was Kimberly alone in the park this late at night?”

Mr. Bartlett’s eyes clouded over as he said, “Kimmy was upset, but I don’t know why. She had stayed in her room all day as soon as she got home and then at about eleven thirty she ran out of the house hysterically. I was going to call the police but my wife made me not. You’ll probably get more information from her.”

He looked at his wife who was clearly visible in the next room. She was talking urgently to Felicity. Alicia continued, “Is there any one who might’ve wanted to harm your daughter?”

“No. Kimberly went to a good school, she was a cheerleader and class president. She was a good kid.” He said and tears spilled from his eyes. He self-consciously wiped them away and Alicia looked at him pityingly. She didn’t want to press but she asked, “Did you or your wife have any enemies that would want to hurt you or your family?”

Adam Bartlett laughed a humorless laugh. “Detective Scott, both my wife and I are high school teachers. We have angry parents and moody teenagers to deal with everyday but I don’t think they would want to hurt Kimberly or anyone else in our family.”

Alicia had one final question, “Has anything strange happened recently?”

He shook his head. Alicia looked over at Felicity and hoped she would get a better lead from her. Just then, Felicity and Mrs. Bartlett stood up and came back into the room. Adam Bartlett enfolded his wife in his arms and Felicity quietly mumbled to Alicia, “I didn’t get anything and judging from your face you didn’t either. I’m guessing we’re going to have cast this as a hit-and-run.”

Alicia had a feeling that this was more than that. She approached the grief stricken couple and said, “Thank you for your help, Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett. We’re going to do all we can to catch whoever did this to your daughter.”

Ruth Bartlett sobbed into her husband’s shoulder and he turned to the two detectives and said, “We’re expecting you to. Bring the horrible person who did this to justice before he ruins another family’s life.”

Alicia and Felicity were just about to leave when the phone rang. Ruth Bartlett ran to it and checked the caller ID. Her face contorted in sorrow as she said, “Adam, it’s Kylie Simmons. How are we going to explain this to her?”

In Alicia’s mind, something stirred. The name Kylie Simmons sounded familiar to her. She looked at Felicity and saw the same feeling in her. Alicia asked, “Kylie Simmons, the name seems familiar.”

She noticed that Adam Bartlett stiffened but Ruth remained oblivious. “Kylie Simmons was my daughter’s best friend. You might remember her father, Hector Simmons, who was a notorious drug dealer and was shot five years ago.

The memories fled back into Alicia’s memory. She had been there when Hector Simmons had been shot. She faintly remembered that he had children but didn’t remember him having a daughter named Kylie. Of course Kylie had been only 12 when her father died but surely Alicia would’ve remembered her. She remembered the son Luke who had been ten and another daughter named Jasmine who had been sixteen but nothing on Kylie. Felicity grabbed Alicia’s arm and said, “Well we have to be going. We’ll be in touch. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

They were out the door just as soon as Adam Bartlett said, “We are too.”

Alicia was sure that Kylie Simmons had a bigger part of Kimberly Bartlett’s murder than anyone guessed.





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