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Her Last Word

Her Last Word

Page 12

“Someone sent her flowers. They came with no notes. At first she thought they were from me. I assured her they weren’t, but I don’t know if she believed me.”

“Do you know which florist delivered them?” Quinn asked.

“No.”

“Where were they delivered?” Adler asked.

“To her home, I suppose,” Keller said.

“When you dated, what was she like?” Quinn asked.

“Driven. Quiet and moody at times. Other times fun.”

“Was she safety conscious?” Adler asked, remembering the three dead bolts on her front door.

“Yes. She said you could never be too careful.”

“Any reason why?”

“Once I showed up late. She’d started drinking without me and was a little tipsy. She was looking at old pictures and pointed to one taken when she was about sixteen. She was grinning from ear to ear in the picture. Jennifer said it was the picture of ‘the girl she’d been.’ She spoke about herself as if that girl had died.”

“Did she explain the comment?” Adler asked.

“No. We ended up in bed and distracted. It was an amazing night.”

“Can we see her cubicle?” Quinn asked.

“Sure.” Jeremy led them through the cubicles overlooking the woods behind the building.

There were three stacks of papers on her desk. Three pencils were lined up to the right, as if standing at attention and waiting for orders. On her wall were her diplomas and professional designations.

Adler sat at her desk and opened the middle and side drawers but found nothing that caught his attention. Behind the desk on the credenza were a potted cactus and a picture of a smiling Jennifer standing arm in arm with her sister, Ashley.

“Call us if you think of anything else, no matter how inconsequential,” Adler said.

“Absolutely.”

Jeremy escorted them to the reception area. Instead of leaving right away, Adler turned to the receptionist. “Did Jennifer ever receive any mail or deliveries that may have upset her?”

The receptionist glanced toward her boss, and when he nodded, she said, “She did receive a letter. She opened it in front of me and slammed it in the trash without saying a word.”

“Remember what was on the envelope and letter?” Adler asked.

“There was no return address. Plain white envelope. Handwritten. Block letters. I thought the sender had been a draftsman.”

“Postmark?”

“Richmond.”

“Good memory,” Adler said.

She shrugged. “Hand-addressed letters are out of the ordinary and stick out.”

Adler leaned toward her a fraction. “Did you look at the letter after she threw it in the trash?”

She looked sheepishly toward Jeremy.

“Tell them,” Jeremy said. “It’s all right.”

“Yes, I looked at it. I never look at personal information, but her reaction made me worry for her. It was just a hand-drawn heart.”

“In pen, pencil, ink?”

“Red ink,” she said.

“Any similar letters?” Adler asked.

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