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For two weeks, detective Nathan Chambers worked backward on Adriana Thompson’s last hours, learning that on the night of her murder she was picking up baby formula for her fifteen year old daughter’s infant. They had no place to go so they stayed with her at a local run down motel near the Bridgeport and Stratford town line. Robbery was one motive, but it wasn’t the primary motive. Rape was the motive that clearly stood out. Taking the twenty two dollars and fifteen cents was just an added bonus.
The crime scene was largely the bottom part of a steel fire escape on the side of an old brick building. The victim slumped over several plastic milk crates. Her shirt and bra ripped off with such force it left deep wounds. Her face was marked by a dozen or more stab wounds and Chambers had no idea why that was done. On the ground near the back entrance to the Garden Spring Chinese Restaurant, were the contents of the victim’s purse. Confirming the secondary motive. Sadly, beyond that, there was no physical evidence in the alley. There were no fingerprints, and there was nothing leading anyone to this brutal attack. The crime scene had nothing Chambers could use to help find the perpetrators. He knew without physical evidence and witnesses he was in for a long haul. Adriana Thompson’s life simply met the constant battle of the daily grind and lost.
Adriana’s daughter seemed frozen with fear as Chambers expressed his condolences. She said a soft “Thank you,” and brushed away welling tears.
She was strong for a fifteen year old girl, but she had to be strong. She was raising a child of her own, Chambers thought.
The crime scene was dim and dirty. It was once a meeting place for all manner of underhanded, slightly shady, and outright unscrupulous sorts. This piece of paradise was situated just off of Bridgeport’s Barnum Avenue. As for the smell, no one was entirely sure just what it might be. At times, it seemed to defy normal description. There was a rancid smell of garbage, sweat, mixed with free floating smoke from cigarettes and Marijuana. You could also add to that, a dust of blood and vermin waste. Now it was simply the resting place for Adriana Thompson’s soul.
In the months since the murder, nothing turned up. No one was knocking down the police doors to confess. It was such a disgrace to society and humankind, but Chambers knew that there were many cases like this one. In fact there were too many cases left unsolved.
Finding her murderer ended without even a dying fragment of hope. The reality was simply pale, starved and weak. The case would never go cold, but it would remain open long after Chambers was soaking in his pension.
Detective Nathan Chambers meandered down the hallway of the Congress Street Police Station. He stopped and pressed his back against the flaking plaster watching a uniform shouting at a young black man in dreadlocks. He also heard the desk sergeant screaming at the coffee machine demanding his money back because only a half cup of coffee came out. Then two young rookies were talking about the late basketball game that went into over-time. The chatter was scattered all around the police station as if to indicate, “Life goes on.” Maybe it should go on, but not for Adriana Thompson, who probably deserved better. Chambers closed his eyes for a brief moment. After that, the crowded police station was strangely silent.
© 2013 Frank Atanacio
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