On the Fire Escape

The scene was crawling with uniforms and ringed with vehicles parked alongside a line of yellow caution tape when Cherie and her associate, Dean, arrived.

“The body is over here,” waved Chief Sortaz. Cherie and Dean followed the short, stocky man and spied a form up on the fire escape over his pointy police hat.

“How’d he get there?” Dean asked, astonished.
“She,” corrected Sortaz, “and we assume she was a druggie, trying to fly or something.”

“Well, let’s ask her.” Cherie grabbed the bottom rung of the fire escape and pulled.

“Homicide victims rarely talk to police, Cherie.” The humor was lost on Dean.

“Really? What makes you think this was homicide?”

“I meant suicide.” Dean ran his hand through his hair, something he did when he was uncomfortable.

“Well, Dean, you were right. This was homicide, but she wasn’t shot, Chief Sortaz.”
“Hit in the head? Strangled?” he guessed.

“No. Judging by the emaciated state, I’d say she was starved and left for dead.”
“Maybe she was homeless?”

“Her hands are bound.”

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