Ronan knelt beside the body of the young woman and felt her neck, searching for the carotid artery. He found a faint irregular pulse. She was cold from the water, but alive, though only just. He checked over her body quickly, finding no injuries except her left shoulder. It was broken. He stood and went to where he had dropped his coat, reached into the pocket and got out his phone.
Dialling 911, he told them who he was, where he was, and about the young woman he had found, and who she was. “Never mind calling the police, I’ll call the detectives who were working on her case with me. Tell the EMR guys to watch for a flashing red light near the river. The road in will be about a quarter of a mile from where they see it.” The dispatcher agreed and they hung up. He then called headquarters and connected with detective Timmy Hannigan, gave him the information and asked him to collect Tommy Harris and Calvin ‘Caw’ Wilson, his old partner, and bring them out.
Going to his car, he opened the trunk and took out a blanket, which he carefully wrapped around the young woman, bunching some up under the left arm to support the injured shoulder. He paused then, and looked at her again. Yes, it was Laura Anne Dianne Yarborough, the ‘cold case’ he had been thinking about. He shook his head and turned back to the car, wondering where she’d been for the last seven years, and what she had gone through.
Reaching into the trunk again, he took out a duffle bag, opened it, and then stripped off his wet clothes. He quickly towelled himself dry and put on the clean underwear, pants, shirt and socks that were there. He gathered his wet things, spread them on the floor of the trunk replaced the duffle bag and closed it. Then he reached into front seat and lifted out a red police light, set it flashing and placed it on the roof of the car. He turned back then to Laura, slipping into his shoes as he approached her. He could do nothing more, but he knelt and checked her pulse again. All he could do now was monitor her, and hope the medics would arrive soon.
It wasn’t long before he heard the siren out on the main road, and stood to watch as the EMR unit slowed, looking for the turn off. Satisfied, he went back to Laura and knelt again, many questions running through his mind. Very shortly after that, the EMR arrived followed in a couple of minutes by a dark sedan carrying the three other detectives. While the medics worked over Laura, the detectives gathered around Ronan to speculate about what had happened to her, and make plans.
“Please bag her clothes as soon as you can, or ask whoever takes on the case at the hospital to do it. There could be DNA or some traces of where she’s been kept for seven years on them.” Ronan said to the medics, who agreed, knowing how important that sort of thing could be in solving the case.
Once the ambulance had departed, Ronan picked up the lifebuoy and put it in the back seat of his car. “You do pick an odd way of spending your day off, Raw,” Timmy laughed. “Just take a drive in the boondocks and find our cold case girl!” Tommy laughed and agreed. Ronan growled, but chuckled. “Nancy had an emergency call at two this morning so I didn’t even get to sleep in!” he exclaimed. “I had to get the kids off to school and the baby to Grandma’s. I was fully awake by then and my mind was grinding away at the case, so I decided to come out here. I do some of my best thinking here, watching the river and the ducks drift by.”
The others looked around for a few minutes, enjoying the peace and quiet. “Yeah, I can see how it would help,” Calvin ‘Caw’ said. The two Ts sighed in unison and agreed. It was nice to be away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, and the station. “Hey, Raw, would you mind if we came out here for some peace, sometimes?” Tommy asked.
“Of course not,” Ronan said. “After all, I don’t own the place, and I don’t often get out here myself. I can guarantee it will help slow your mind down so you can think more clearly, if you give it a chance. Now we’d best get back to headquarters. You guys go ahead, Calvin and I will stop by the hospital and see what they have to say, and pick up Laura’s clothes.”
Timmy and Tommy headed for Tommy’s car while Ronan and Calvin climbed into Ronan’s. Soon the peace and quiet returned to the little grassy bay as the two cars disappeared down the road. Once they all gathered at headquarters, they took the lifebuoy and the clothing to forensics, asking for them to be made a priority. Then they gathered in Ronan’s office to go over the files and notes once again. Finding Laura on that river gave them a whole new area to look into. There had been no indication that Laura had ever been to any of the properties that backed on the river, so they had never gone there. If forensics came up with any traces of earth, plant or other material that would identify which farm it was, that would be a good starting point to look for clues as to who her attacker was.