Park City Morgue
Walking the corridors of the Park City Morgue, the administrator resolved to have the matter of the missing corpse settled before the police arrived. He knew full well that it was indeed a police matter, but he would do it anyway.
If he failed, and damaged anything that could be used as evidence, he would certainly incur the hospital’s wrath. It was a Jane Doe that was brought into ParkCityHospital and the police wanted that body checked for evidence. They believed that it was removed from a crime scene by the meat wagon without permission from the crime scene detective.
That didn’t make sense. The administrator was certain that permission was conveyed and that his department did nothing wrong. He was also certain that the lead detective would be furious if he found out that he was handling that business on his own. However, there could be no business if the body doesn’t reappear.
The administrator could sense his attendants, his two best, tensing as they sat in his office. They were preparing to react if the administrator made accusations that were not true. They had respect for their boss, but they didn’t want to be accused of body snatching.
When the administrator walked in and closed the door behind him he felt jumpy. For a moment, he thought that his employees were going to attack him. They certainly looked as if they wanted to.
“I am just going to ask questions.” His tone was serious, but not threatening. He didn’t want the attendants to feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless uncomfortable they felt. They were suddenly growing red in the face.
“The lead detective told me to pull the body!” shouted the attendant sitting to the right. “He gave me full permission.”
The other attendant nodded.
“Okay, now where the hell is it?”
“I’m telling you Harold, I don’t know what happened to that Jane Doe!”
The administrator was silent for a moment.
“He’s telling you the truth boss, and you’re crazy if you think we had anything to do with removing that body,” added the other attendant.”
The administrator ignored the outburst, keeping his own tone even. “A corpse just doesn’t get up and walk out of the Park City Morgue. It has never happened before. You two were the last ones with the body. You guys tagged and stored the Jane Doe. Which, I will point out, you signed the storage card.”
“That doesn’t mean anything,” replied the attendant on the right.
The administrator eyed that attendant. “I will find out what happened to Jane Doe B-126A. Make no mistakes about that.”
The attendants remained defiant. But underneath the defiance, the administrator detected something else at work. He was no crime detective and he wasn’t a body reading expert, but he knew his own men. He would have sworn, on a stack of Bibles, that he understood that certain something behind their eyes. The only word that came to mind was truth. He believed and without a shadow of doubt, that they were telling the truth.
A knock came to the door.
“I’m busy,” the administrator shouted.
“The police are here.”
He paused briefly. “Send them in.”
The lead detective walked in with a female partner. They were surprised that the administrator had company. They really just wanted to speak with him.
“We need you alone,” said the lead detective.
“Of course, my men were just leaving.”
“Harold, we had nothing to do with it,” said one of the attendants as they were walking out of the office.
Watching the man’s eyes closely, the administrator could see that same flash of something, truth. God honest truth. He wasn’t going to let the detectives take them without a fight. He was prepared to go down with his men and if it meant losing his job, so be it.
“Jane Doe is missing,” said the administrator.
“I know she is,” said the lead detective. “We got her.”
“A ParkCity morgue security guard and intern were caught trying to sell the corpse to the local University.”
“I spoke to you earlier,” the female detective added. “I told you that the Jane Doe was removed from the crime scene or from the morgue. And that we needed to view the body over again to completely rule out foul play.”
The administrator was confused.
“The Jane Doe,” the female detective continued. “Is no longer a Jane Doe. She had a weak heart and according to the medical examiner’s report which came from your office, she died of heart failure. Her family wanted to view the body, but those two criminals stole it and tried to sell her.”
The administrator grunted softly. “Oh, I may have misunderstood our conversation.”
“We have the body with us, and we would like you to change the toe tag.”
“Of course we will, of course.”
“Her name was Lissette Torres,” added the lead detective.
“And the two men will face criminal charges for removing the corpse and trying to sell it without going through the proper protocols,” said the female detective.
“Understood,” replied the administrator as guilt filled his heart for not believing his men right from the start.
“You better keep a tighter leash on your bodies here under your roof,” said the lead detective. “Or it may not be your roof anymore.”
The administrator didn’t understand the reference. But he understood from the lead detective’s tone that it was meant as a warning.
He just nodded.
© 2013 Frank Atanacio
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