“What guy?” Kate asked.
“Tall, thin, dark hair. Well dressed.”
“How old?” Kate asked.”
“Midthirties, maybe. I didn’t know him, so I asked Rebecca if he was a friend of hers. She said no.”
“Did you believe her?” Kate asked.
“Funny you should ask,” Emma said. “I never caught her in a lie, but that time I got an odd feeling.”
“You think she knew the man?” Kate said.
“I asked her later again, but she shrugged it off. Said for me not to worry.”
“Did you ever see the guy again?” Kate asked.
“No. Not after that day.” Her brow knotted. “Do you think he killed her?”
“He could have just been a guy standing on the street corner,” Kate said.
Mazur scrolled through his phone and found Bauldry’s picture. “Is this the guy?”
Emma studied the phone a long moment. “It’s an older picture of him, but yeah, I’d say so.”
“Ninety percent.” Emma was frowning when she looked up at him. Tears glistened in her eyes. “Did he kill her?”
Mazur knew in his gut he was on the right track but kept his voice even and his expression blank. “He’s a person of interest.”
A sad smile tipped the edge of Emma’s lips. “I still can’t believe she’s gone. She had so much life ahead of her.”
“Do you have security cameras?” Mazur asked as he tucked the phone back in his pocket.
“I don’t. But the restaurant across the street does.”
He texted the information to Palmer. “I’ll have my partner check.”
“She had a locker in the back if you want to look inside it,” Emma said.
“Lead the way,” Mazur said.
They followed Emma to the back, where she pointed to a locker with a combination lock. She rattled off the numbers before she returned to the front. “That was one of my rules. I needed access, seeing as she’d been an addict. I didn’t ever look in the locker, but I could if I wanted.”
Kate opened the locker and gazed at the contents, which included postcards featuring Hawaii, colored beads that looked as if they had been tossed from a Mardi Gras float, a small mirror, a hoodie, a hairbrush, and lipstick.
“She doesn’t exactly fit the profile,” Kate said softly. “The Soothsayer’s other victims were all prostitutes and drug abusers.”
“How did you catch the Soothsayer?”
“I sensed he stalked his victims before the kill. Anticipation is just as strong for males like this as the murder itself. The local cops dug through hundreds of credit card receipts from each of the businesses near where the girls worked. His card appeared multiple times at one store nearby. With that same card, Carter also bought a carving knife at a cooking store and duct tape at the hardware store. An identical knife matched the nick marks found on the victims’ rib cages.”