TEASER TUESDAY: A Month of VOICE OF THE DEAD

Haunted CastleNick stood behind the glass as Lauren walked into the interrogation room. Sitting behind the table was a heavy-set young woman with short, mousy brown hair and pale skin. Her eyes red from crying, she hands held tightly to a glass of water.

Lauren pulled a chair over and sat down beside her.

“Ms. Nixon,” Lauren began, “I am so sorry for your loss. I know you two were close.”

“Like sisters,” Becki answered as her voice trembled. “I’m an only child. I needed Riley.”

The emotions choked her as she leaned forward and sobbed into her hands.

Lauren put her hand on Becki’s back.

“I told her not to go!” Becki shouted as her head rose back up abruptly.
“Go where?”

“On that God-forsaken camping trip!”

“Tell me about that,” Lauren encouraged.

“Riley is not the outdoorsy type. When she said she was going, I told her she was crazy. It was all to impress this guy that she’d hooked up with.”

“Did you ever meet the guy?” Lauren asked with hope welling up within her.

“No. Riley wouldn’t bring him around anyone. I kept telling her he was either married or had a girlfriend. A guy that doesn’t want to meet your friends and your family is hiding something,” Becki bit out.

“How did they meet?”

“Through school,” she answered, placing her hands on the metal table. “She worked in the admissions office. I guess the guy came to install computer stuff and they started talking.”

“Did she ever tell you his name?”

“No. She refused to tell me anything about him, which was odd. She had always told me everything.”

“What else can you tell me about the relationship?” Lauren asked.

“About a month and a half ago she told me that he invited her to go camping. I kept trying to tell her not to go because I knew she hated stuff like that, but she wouldn’t listen. In fact, we argued the day she left.”

“Did she tell anyone else she was going camping?”

“She emailed her folks. She told them she’d be back, but didn’t say when. When she didn’t come back after two weeks, I just knew something had happened to her. I never dreamed…” Becki sobbed again, trying desperately to keep herself together.

“Did you ever see a car?” Lauren continued. “Did he ever come to pick her up?”

She shook her head as she brushed the tears off of her cheeks. “No. She always went to him.”

“Is there anything else you can remember? Anything that might help us?”

Again, she shook her head. “I can’t remember anything else. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. You don’t have to be sorry,” Lauren replied.

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