For chapter 15 click here: Chapter 15
(Author’s note: This chapter has multiple pages. Please click the number at the bottom to continue reading the next page)
Officer Martindale of the Miami police came late to work. The traffic had been bad and some crazy person tried to cut in front of him, narrowly missing. He had kept his cool. He needed a hot cup of coffee.
Amelia, his secretary, was talking to someone on the phone. He wanted to ask her if the autopsy report for the hit and run involving Dr. Owen Martin had come. He walked past her to the small kitchen, lifted a Styrofoam cup from the stack and poured himself black coffee. He preferred it without the cream and sugar, especially today.
As he walked past Amelia she raised her right arm, continuing to talk on the phone. Why do these ladies have to talk so early in the morning? Martindale said to himself. He was not in a mood for small talk. As he passed her desk she stopped talking, placed the phone on the base pad and looked up at him.
“Anything important in the mail?” he asked.
“You mean the autopsy report for the Martin/Ibori case?”
“Let me know when it comes in”
“Sure, will do.”
Martindale walked to his desk and turned on his computer. He cursed the Miami police department and wondered why they were so far behind in getting new, faster equipment. When it finally did come up he clicked on the email. There were a few inquiries on some past cases he had worked on. A message from the Mayor inquiring about the Martin/Ibori case said:
“A respected doctor from our community dies in a hit and run accident. The alleged driver, a Mr. Demond Ibori, flees to New York. No motive is evident except the discovery of marijuana in the car rented by the driver. Do we have proof that the doctor was a customer of Mr. Ibori? If there has to be a court case Ibori may have to be extradited to Miami. What is the latest on this? We need to answer this to the public as soon as we can. It has been a month and a half already.”
Martindale was aware of the importance and urgency of closing the case as soon as possible. He had requested FBI’s assistance. A lot depended on feedback from agents Connor Flaherty, Mike Garrison and John Banks. Connor had interviewed Dr. Ashley Wilkins of the University of Michigan. Mike and John were in New York talking with Ibori.
“I like the challenge,” Martindale said to himself. An email from the coroner’s office said he can expect the autopsy report on Owen’s death that afternoon. Martindale thought of calling Connor, Mike and John but decided against it. He spent the rest of the morning reviewing Owen’s file and his notes from the interview with Agnes. The local FBI agents had obtained a search warrant for Owen’s computers.
Agnes had erased Owen’s diary from the computer, but the hard drive still contained the data. The FBI forensic lab found a wealth of information there. The computer from his office had only patient information and data from his website.
Earlier entries in Owen’s diary had described his work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, Africa:
“I’m really enjoying my work at the Malawi clinic. Ms. Kagiso takes me with her to distribute the mosquito nets to the poor families. I think these families need more guidance on hygiene.”
“I’m really disappointed that Demond sold the nets given to his family. Apparently the money was more important to him than their health.”
More recent entries showed issues with a chronic back pain and his attempt to alleviate the pain by using marijuana.
“I should heed Kaylee’s advise and visit the hookah bar in New York.”
“Such a big surprise to meet Demond at the hookah bar after all these years. Brings back memories of bygone days. Demond has promised to supply me with the substance. I have to be discreet though.”
“The good doctor was indeed a customer of Demond Ibori for the supply of cannabis, albeit for health reasons.” Martindale murmured.
He read the report about the physical examination of the car that Demond had rented. It stated that the underside of the right bumper had grass clippings and shreds of plastic. Demond had hit something. The FBI concluded that he must have hit a bag full of grass clippings. It was too late to examine the bags because they were already picked up by the trash collectors. The bumper had no trace of blood.
Martindale closed the file at noon and walked over to the Burger King in the strip mall across the street. He wanted a quick-lunch. Not that he had to make up for coming late that morning, but he had so much on his plate.