“This is consistent with the Samaritan,” Kate said. “Again, he sees himself as a good guy and doesn’t want to destroy property if he can avoid it.”
Mazur shook his head as he reached for his phone. He called Calhoun, and after a quick exchange they agreed she or one of her technicians would come straight away. “Did any of the people who reported stolen cars used in the Samaritan killings have any kind of trouble with the law?”
“No. I investigated them all. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk to the Thompsons.”
“Long-haul trucker would know his way around the interstates.”
“Yes, he would.”
Mazur and Kate drove to the home of Bob and Lynda Thompson. The house was a one-story brick home that looked no bigger than fifteen hundred square feet. There were toys in the front yard and a dog sitting on the front steps.
They walked to the front door. Kate stood to the right of the door while Mazur rang the bell. He moved to the left side. Both had heard of too many cops who had been killed making routine calls.
The front door opened to a plump redhead with a toddler on her hip. “You must be cops. You here about my van?”
“We are,” Mazur said, holding up his badge. “We found it. Are you Mrs. Thompson?”
“Yeah, that’s me.” She grinned and stepped out onto the porch. “Thank God. If I have to bum one more ride with my mother today I might go nuts. When can I get it back?”
“We have a forensic team going over it now,” Mazur said.
“That’s kind of intense for a stolen van, isn’t it?”
“We think the car was used in a murder,” Kate said.
“Murder?” Lynda shook her head, her eyes wide. For a moment she stared at them, like she expected a punch line. When one didn’t come, she asked, “Who would use a minivan for that?”
“Someone who didn’t want to look dangerous,” Kate said. “Is your husband home?”
“No, he’s traveling. He dropped us off this morning and then had to leave again when the boss called and had a last-minute load for him to deliver. Won’t be back until Friday.” The toddler grabbed her hair and pulled hard, making the woman frown and push his hand away.
“Where is he now?”
“Five hours from here. I never know where he is half the time. He works a lot. We’re saving for a bigger house with another baby on the way.” She set the toddler down. “Why’re you asking all these questions about us?”
“We’re just trying to determine who shot the victim,” Kate said.
“Well, if you need to blame anybody for that van being stolen, it’s me. I was distracted right before we took off, and I left the keys in the unlocked car. Bob wasn’t thrilled, but he knows I get spacey when I’m pregnant.” She patted her gently rounded tummy. “We headed out of town and didn’t realize it was gone until this morning.”
“Do you have security cameras around here?” Mazur asked.
“We don’t, but the guy across the street does. But you can save your breath. Bob already asked him for the tape, but the guy said his machine wasn’t working.”
Mazur looked over his shoulder at the brown stucco home with weeds and overgrown bushes in a front yard covered in scrub and red dirt.
The toddler tried to get around Mazur, but he laid his hand on the boy’s shoulder without a second thought. The boy looked up at Mazur, smiling.
“Thank you, Mrs. Thompson. We’re just trying to cover all the angles.” The edges of his lips lifted as he stared at the boy.
“When can I get my van back?” Lynda asked again.
“It’ll be a few days,” Mazur said.
“A few days?”
“Our forensic team may come by here and roll your prints.” Taking her prints was routine procedure, and given her open and relaxed demeanor, she wasn’t involved.
“To eliminate all the people who were normally in the van. Same goes for your husband.”
“All right,” Lynda said.
Mazur and Kate crossed the street, and he knocked on the neighbor’s door. As they waited, he stared up at the camera. No one came to the door, so he tucked a business card in the crease where the door pressed against the jamb.
After they settled back in his car, he stared at the small house for a long moment as Lynda walked her son inside.
His breath stilled.