“I’m just wondering why she hid her disease from her husband and stopped seeing her doctor.”
“Fear. Vanity. Who knows?” he said.
She frowned. “Did you ever find out the cause of the car accident that killed the first Mrs. Sanchez?”
“Let me check with Palmer.” He dialed her number, and when she picked up, he switched to speakerphone. “Palmer, I have you on speaker with Kate Hayden. Any more information on the first Mrs. Sanchez?”
“She died twenty-one years ago in a car accident on I-35. According to the police report, Selena, aged thirty-nine, was driving late at night when she lost control, ran off the road into a ravine, and hit a tree. The medical examiner reported she didn’t die right away. She suffered major internal injuries. Took her several hours before she expired.”
“Detective Palmer,” Kate said. “Was there a life insurance policy on Selena Sanchez?”
“There was. Fifty thousand dollars.”
“Not a huge sum,” Kate said. “And Martin Sanchez married Gloria eight months later.”
“Correct,” Palmer said.
“What did he do with the insurance money?” Kate asked.
“From what I can tell, he started the dealership with it.”
“Did anyone check out Selena Sanchez’s vehicle to see if it had been tampered with?” Kate asked.
“The police report didn’t indicate a problem. But I doubt they’d have been looking for one. The car was all but destroyed, and she didn’t have the kind of clout to trigger an intense investigation.”
“Okay,” Mazur said. “Thanks, Palmer.”
“Here to serve,” she said.
After he hung up, he angled his head toward Kate. “So what’s the connection?”
“Right now, I don’t see one.” She rubbed her eyes. “I suspect something is off about Gloria’s illness, but I’m just not seeing it.”
“How about a break? I’m starving. I’m getting a burger.”
“I assume you eat meat.”
“Good. You can eat, too.”
She rubbed the back of her neck. “You’re always trying to feed me.”
“Call it self-interest. You can’t think if you’re exhausted and starving. When was your last meal?”
“The crap from the vending machine?”
Shaking his head, he pulled into a drive-through and ordered two number-three burgers, fries, and sodas. As he pulled to the next window, he fished out his wallet.
“I’ve got this,” Kate said.
“You get the next one.” He paid, accepted the bag of food, and parked in a nearby spot. He handed her the bag.
When she took a bite, he nodded. “Not sure I would totally trust a vegetarian.”
She pulled off a pickle. “I eat everything but vegetables. Though if they came in vending machines, I might try them.” She took another bite. “Eating hot food is a moment to be celebrated.”
He smiled and took a bite of his burger. After a moment, he asked, “Do you think Martin Sanchez knew about Gloria’s cancer?”
“He looked surprised when you told him.”
“You think he killed her?” Mazur asked.
She pinched a piece from the bun. “If he really didn’t know about the cancer and he thought she had many more years to live, Sanchez could have hired someone to kill his wife.”