by Morris J. Marshall
Chapter 6: First Contact
Krista met Bill at Keele subway station for the ride downtown to the 53rd Police Division. He was sitting on a bench on the subway’s upper level when she arrived at nine. A cane and brown leather briefcase were leaning against his knee. He got up when he saw Krista and they hugged.
“I didn’t know you use a cane, Bill.”
“I didn’t need it at the funeral or at home because I was sitting most of the time.”
The eastbound subway came roaring into the station and slowed to a stop. Bill and Krista found a double seat. It was nine-thirty by the time they walked into the 53rd Division at Yonge and Eglinton.
A heavyset uniformed officer with white receding hair was sitting at the front desk. He was entering information into a computer and looked up just as Bill and Krista came in. “Can I help you?”
“We’re here to see someone about the Gavin McLeod case,” Krista said.
“Aye,” Bill spoke up. “I’m Gavin’s father.”
The officer checked his computer, picked up the phone and punched in some numbers. “Tran, you’re wanted at the front desk, please.” Then to Krista and Bill: “Take a seat. He’ll be right out.”
Krista scanned the waiting area. A few seats away, a bearded guy in a black leather jacket had his legs handcuffed to the leg of a heavy oak chair. He glanced over at Krista and smiled, revealing a mouthful of decaying teeth. She looked away.
“I’ve got to use the washroom,” Bill said, standing up.
Minutes later, the door to the offices opened. “Hi, I’m Haiyuan Tran. Would you please come with me? My office is being cleaned. I hope you don’t mind meeting in an Interrogation room.”
“That’s fine with me,” Krista said. “But my friend is in the washroom.”
“Don’t worry,” Tran said. “One of our clerks will make sure he finds us.”
He led Krista out of the waiting area, through a grey door, into a hallway. The interrogation room was at the end of the hall, directly across from a small jail cell that was currently vacant. He unlocked the door. Two plain wooden chairs sat in front of a long, dark brown hardwood desk.
There was a mirror on the far wall, similar to the one they’d had in the psychologist’s office at the hospital where Krista had first been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “Is anyone behind there?” she asked.
“Let me check,” Tran replied, walking over and tapping on the glass. “If there is, no one’s answering.”
“I’ve never been in an interrogation room before,” Krista said.
Tran smiled. “Don’t worry, I’ll take it easy when I’m questioning you. What did you say you were charged with again?”
“I... I haven’t been charged with anything.”
“I know. I was only joking.”
Before Krista could respond, a knock sounded on the door. When Tran opened it, Bill was waiting, leaning on his cane. He sat down beside Krista.
“I was responsible for Gavin’s case,” Tran said. “Mr. McLeod, I’m very sorry for your loss, but I don’t understand why you’re here. The coroner ruled your son’s death a suicide. There was no evidence to support any criminal involvement.”
Bill looked at him. “I don’t believe that, Mr. Tran. I know my son, and he wouldn’t have killed himself.”
“Please call me Haiyuan, both of you. I like to communicate on a first-name basis. Is that okay with you?”
“Aye, thank you. I have something I’d like you to see.” Bill rested his briefcase in his lap, removed Gavin’s note and passed it to the detective.
“What do you think your son was talking about?” Tran asked. “What did he find out?”
“I’m not sure, but it must have had something to do with his employer, DBC Financial.”
Tran stood up. “I want to help you, Bill, but there’s nothing I can do without concrete evidence of a crime being committed.”
“Aren’t you a corporate crimes investigator?”
“I am, but—“
“Why don’t you investigate DBC Financial?”
Before Tran could answer, Krista said, “Wait! Listen to this.” She played the message Gavin had sent her.
“All Gavin’s note and phone message tell me is that he was distressed,” Tran said. “Who knows why? I need specifics.”
“How about these?” Bill said, waving a pair of airline tickets in the air. “My son and his girlfriend were planning a trip to Cuba last week. Why would he kill himself if he was going on a trip?”
Tran sighed. “I understand your frustration. It’s terrible losing someone you love at such an early age. But my hands are tied.”
The detective escorted Bill and Krista to the front exit, where they exchanged cell phone numbers. “Keep me updated. If anything changes at my end, I’ll contact you.”
“I’m doing my own research, Haiyuan,” Krista said. “When I have more information, I’ll call you.”
“Great. I’ll launch an investigation once I have enough evidence,” Tran liked how Krista pronounced his personal name. It almost sounded Vietnamese. He shook hands with her and Bill and, as he watched them walk east toward Yonge Street, he wondered if he would ever hear from them again.
Copyright © 2017 by Morris J. Marshall