Chapter 8: Cohen
The Alpha strutted into the crime scene where his Enforcers found the dead body in one of his buildings on the land. Cohen bought this building about three years ago when it was near bankruptcy because the owner involved in gambling. It took about six months of renovation to restore everything in the building. There were thirty apartments in each building. There were a hundred and twenty apartments in four buildings. They occupied all the apartments in four buildings except for this one.
A powerful stench of blood stained the air in the apartment as he walked into the living room. A heavily mutilated body sprawled on the dark carpeted floor with the heart crushed next to it. If Cohen didn’t consider the fact he had handled many cases like this one, he probably vomited his guts out. There was nothing could compare to the gruesome scene unfolded before him.
“The owner of the apartment was Rebecca Julliard, deceased three weeks ago because of an animal attack,” Liam said as he squatted down next to the corpse. “And, this poor guy here is Monty Olsen.”
Cohen recalled the name Rebecca Julliard from somewhere. She was one of the fifteen transferred pack members from Blue Moon Pack to proceed with her training as a nurse on his land since two years ago. About three weeks ago, someone found her body a few kilometers from the border of his territory. According to the autopsy, her assailant tortured her and raped multiple times before killing her and dumped there. The case was still under investigation with a few pieces of evidence showed that Monty Olsen as the prime suspect. His whereabouts were unknown until today. It looked like he could no longer cooperate with the investigation. A human couple who went hiking in the area found Julliard’s body. They lodged a report to the local precinct, and the humans got involved with the investigation. The only reason the coroner ruled her death as an animal attack. Cohen and his pack knew better. For now, it was best for the human police to think her death caused by an animal attack.
“I remember Monty Olsen,” Dalton said as he joined Liam to investigate the corpse, “Yeah, this is him. The Council wanted him for twelve murder cases, but I don’t think I see Julliard’s name on the list.”
The Beta raised an eyebrow. “You assume it was a mistake?”
As the Commander and Beta exchanged a few words, the Southern Alpha strolled in the apartment in quest of something peculiar or out of a place. This was the second time he showed up to this apartment, but his memory still maintained a clear detail of how the apartment looked like three weeks ago during the investigation. Everything remained intact except for one strange thing that captured his attention instantly. He knew Rebecca’s parents cleaned out her stuff from the apartment last week. There was no way they left behind something deliberately. He even read the report they sent to him.
A photograph of Rebecca in her nurse outfit. The background showed someone took this photo at her workplace.
He reached for the photograph and flipped it as if he could tell something behind it. He was right. There was something on the back of the photograph.
“It wasn’t a mistake,” Cohen told them. He showed the back of the photograph to them. “A life for a life.”
Liam took the photograph from his Alpha. “I’ll send this to the forensic to see if there is fingerprint or something.”
Cohen nodded, thinking about the case. Someone knew Rebecca’s death connected Olsen to the case. That was unfortunate because someone else had better resources and information about this case more than the Werewolf’s Council or Cohen’s pack. The more he thought about it, the more the case pointed to one direction. There was only one person he remembered could do well in the field. For now, Cohen kept his assumption to himself.
“I say whoever did this surely have impressive claws.” The Commander pointed to the wound on the corpse. “The wound is too deep even for an Alpha’s claws and the flesh turned black. You can see the black liquid oozed out of the wound.”
“Silver and wolfsbane?” Liam wondered.
Cohen disagreed mentally. Silver didn’t make the flesh to turn black or having black liquid came out of the wound. These two characteristics would only happen if the silver mixed with the wolfsbane. He doubted this because he couldn’t pick the smell of wolfsbane or silver anywhere around the corpse. Usually, the two substances produced pungent scent, but not turning the opened wound black. It was an extremely lethal combination and could kill an average wolf within a few hours. An Alpha could survive it for a day or two but never further than that.
The Commander shook his head. “Something’s different and very strong than the combination of wolfsbane and silver. I’ll send this to the lab and see what the team can get out of it.”
He took a sample of the black liquid and put it inside an empty vial he grabbed from the forensic team earlier.
“Anything’s suspicious around the area?” Cohen kept on searching and inhaling the air around as he tried to find a certain lilac scent.
Nothing similar to a certain lilac scent at all. Maybe the scent of the black liquid overwhelmed her scent if she was really here before. Someone’s scent could linger in a confined place like this for many days unless there were other factors affecting it.
“Nothing so far,” The Beta said. Then, he pointed to the front door. “There is no forced entry. The doorknob is intact and everything.”
Dalton looked like he was thinking about something familiar. Cohen recalled the Commander spoke about Mira’s escape from the highly guarded rehabilitation camp fourteen years ago. If she could pick the lock to make her way out from that facility, breaking into this apartment without a trace was no different to her.
Brandon came in. “I went to check the security tapes and found this.”
He showed the electronic table he brought with him and played security footage of several cameras around the building. The footage showed Olsen entered the building with someone. The other person was a woman, but the cameras couldn’t capture her face. Something caused the cameras to distort every time she stepped closer to each one.
So, Olsen followed his killer willingly and presumably didn’t know he would die in her hands. Cohen pinched the bridge of his nose. He found the first possibility. There was still another possibility. Someone could ambush them somewhere in the building. Olsen got killed, and the woman fled away from the killer.
“The same thing happened to the cameras on previous six cases,” Liam said.
“Any lead with the witnesses?” Dalton questioned.
The Gamma shook his head. “No, everyone was in bed when this happened. The security guard in the lobby went to the restroom when Olsen and his guest came.”
“Well, the killer was definitely hiding their identity but wanted us to find the body,” The Beta concluded.
Cohen exited the apartment, standing on the balcony. He proceeded on searching for clues about the case. Then, he spotted a familiar figure sat on a black motorbike parked on the side of the street. It didn’t take a genius to figure it out it was the famous Mira Red was looking upward to his direction. A small smile stretched her lips as if he amused her that he found the dead rogue. It was a hint telling him someone involved her in the case despite Cohen was adamant not to rule her as the killer of the rogue just yet. She put on her helmet and pulled the visor down before her hands revved the motorbike. She sped into the busy traffic before her figure gradually disappeared in the distance.
“Do you think it’s her?” Dalton stood next to him on the balcony.
It was easy to point figure on the only person they could think of and accused her of the murder case she might or might not involve with. In a world like this, they often blamed the rogues for the unsolved cases.
“We have no proof showing that yet,” Cohen replied before re-entering the apartment. “Get the Julliard’s family to my office in two hours.” He instructed one of his Enforcers on the crime scene.
“Yes, Alpha.” The Enforcer replied.
Everyone knew contracting an outlaw to do their bidding could mean serious repercussion. It never able to stop them from doing it. There were many cases like this where the victim’s family contracted an outlaw to find for the killer.
“We’ll hear what the Julliard’s family has to say about this,” Cohen told Dalton.
His statement nearly came out as a challenge to the Commander. The Alpha wanted no one to accuse Mira easily just because it looked that way. He wanted to conduct a proper and thorough investigation before ruling out the conclusion. He had seen the way the Werewolf’s Council was handling cases like this. Even when the evidence wasn’t enough to support the cases, they still ruled out the first suspect as the prime suspect. It didn’t matter the suspect was guilty or not.
Cohen didn’t want to do it that way. That was not how he worked in handling serious and heavily cases. It was against his nature to make the conclusion on the first look. As long as someone hadn’t present solid and strong evidence to him about this case, he couldn’t conclude Mira as the one and only suspect.
He didn’t do this because she was his mate or trying to protect her from charges. It was just how he worked. Even if she was the actual killer, Cohen doubted she cared much about it. If she cared about the repercussion of her profession, she wouldn’t have done it.
“I’m leaving this case in your hands,” The Commander said as they left the apartment.
Cohen planned to sort this out. Mira wouldn’t come willingly to confess to him about her crimes. No rogue ever stepped forward to confess something they had done.