Press’d Into Action Excerpt


Tidewater Branch Coroner’s Office

Norfolk, Virginia

Day 1

9:30 AM

The Bureau had had the body delivered to Gladys Williams about thirty minutes earlier—just after she received a call from her supervisor in Richmond. Somehow, the Bureau had involved the Virginia Beach police in their case and she would be assisting them by doing the autopsy. She wondered if that meant…well, she’d find out soon enough.

She knew better than to argue. Politically, her boss would bow to the FBI every time—whether she already had a heavy workload of her own or not.

But why Tidewater specifically? The girl was found in Richmond—where the State Coroner’s main office was located.

God knew the main office had people perfectly fit and available to do the girl’s autopsy. Something was going on and she’d just have to wait to find out what it was.

The girl was hers now and Gladys would do her best for the vic—always did. Gladys Williams, Chief Coroner for the State’s Tidewater Branch, looked at what was left of Melissa Parkway. Her heart was breaking.

Well, Gladys, she thought, here’s hoping they put someone good on this one. Whoever did this damage is one sick son-of-a-bitch. She’d seen some of the worst cases in the State, but nothing like this.

Most who worked with Gladys knew what a soft heart she had. On the job though, it didn’t pay to wear your heart on your sleeve.

Gladys was highly respected—could always be trusted to tell things just the way they were. In addition, she didn’t play politics.

She was very much loved by all those who worked with her. There was one detective that she was very close to—one very talented detective. She caught herself grinning at the thought of the man his fellow cops nicknamed Super Dick.

Preston Andrews was an extremely good cop. Maybe her hunch was right and he was the reason she and Tidewater were being involved. She certainly hoped he got this case. There were reasons he shouldn’t have to—wouldn’t want to—but he’d figure out who did this. Hell, Super Dick could solve anything as far as she was concerned. After all, that’s how he got his nickname.

She turned on her recorder and began. “June 2, 2010. Autopsy of Melissa Parkway, a Caucasian female, age twenty, height five-foot-three-inches, weight,” she looked up at the scale reading, “one-hundred-fifteen pounds.”

For the next two hours, Gladys cut, weighed, recorded, documented lacerations on a body chart, and took samples for testing.

Melissa Parkway had suffered—a lot!

When she was done, Gladys gently placed the body in a drawer and pushed it closed. She found herself standing there just looking at that closed drawer.

She hoped with everything she had that the family would not be coming to her morgue to do the identification—but, of course, she knew better. They would come. It had to be done.

Per the instructions from her supervisor, she would complete her reports and send the samples to the FBI lab, but she would not report to the local police. She would wait for the FBI’s Special-Agent-in-Charge to contact her.

Wonder what the FBI is up to? 

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