**Please read Delicate Decisions before reading this chapter
**To start from the beginning, go to From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas
The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas
Rovas and Berrak went through the file together, past lunch and well into the afternoon. They looked at the photos of the beach, the walk home the children should have taken, and all the odds bits of potential clues that the investigating team had hoped would turn up as a clue. None had offered any information that was of any use.
They had several sketches of the tall blond man from the various witnesses on the beach that day. No one seemed to agree on anything except he was tall, on the thin side, and blond. Very blond. Facially, the facial features different widely. No one had gotten up close for the details needed.
One woman, a Mrs. Foley, had gone over to talk to the eldest child, Janice. Yet, she recounted, when she drew near the man skipped away, laughing, and the children followed him, their laughter echoing his. She, too, never got a good look at the man.
Berrak was taking notes on multiple sheets of paper, putting any information into categories. They did not have a white board to chart the details. “Not yet, anyway,” Berrak answered, after Khazarian lamented that they had to work without one. He looked at her, adding another quality to his mental list of things about Berrak he had sometimes taken for granted all these years.
They went over every particular numerous times, coming back to one facet or another. Berrak questioned Khazarian “rather astutely,” he thought. Sure she had run out every iota of Khazarian’s memory, matching up with the notes, pictures, reports, Berrak would then asked Khazarian to question her, to allow her to brainstorm with him like he would with his old squad-room partners. Hours later, one of those rang their bell.
“Sargent Detective Katsaros, how nice to see you again,” Berrak said as she let him in.
“A pleasure, Mrs. Rovas.”
“Please, after all these years. Call me Berrak, won’t you? It’s one thing when ‘Zarian was in charge. Now…things are different, in some ways.” She smiled. “Others, not.”
Shaking his head and smiling, Katsaros said “What is with you two with first names?”
“Berrak, please, Sargent Detective.”
“If that’s the ‘order,’ then it’s Gil. Not sure how comfortable I’ll be, but ok, Berrak.”
“Thank you, Gil”
She led him into the kitchen where Khazarian was bent over her notes. “Sit. Sit. I’m glad you came.”
Gil’s eyebrow shot up a tad when Berrak sat next to the Rovas. He took a third seat, giving Rovas a questioning look.
Rovas took this in, glanced at Berrak, and then sighed. “Berrak has been a great help all day. She has me looking at things from a different perspective. It has been a good thing, Gil. A good thing.” He nodded at his wife. “I called to ask you to come over after work once we attacked the file fifty ways to Sunday.”
Rovas saw the “but” forming before a sound was made. Gil’s face flashed his concern.
“I know it’s not regulation. This is not regulation. I’m…retired, for better or worse. This has the chance to bite us in the ass, but it also has the chance to catch a break and close this. Find out what happened to those three children.”
Straightening up, Gil replied: “Well, let’s dig into all this…” he waved an open palm over the paper strewn table.
For the next two hours plus, Berrak and Khazarian went over all the details and thoughts about the missing Palmont children.with Gil. Berrak brought out bread and sandwich fixings while they talked, coffee being their main choice of working beverage. Berrak made the first batch. Khazarian the next two.
Physically exhausted, but mentally stimulated, a decision was made. They would return to the scene and walk it all through with fresh eyes.
“Tomorrow is my day off, as you well knew, Sir.” Gil got a frown, but continued on. “I’ll pick you both up at ten.”
“To the beach,” Berrak said.
“Back to the beach,” Rovas answered.
They sipped their coffees as they made their plan of attack.
The next morning found the three of them trudging through sand. An early summer day, the beach was not crowded, but by lunch time they knew they would be fighting for a good space to scout. Rovas, who had walked this route so many times after the children went missing, assigned the three of them equidistant locations for them to observe the throngs. Cell phones made these type of stakeouts easier in the long run, as long as the reception signals were good. At this location, the reception was spotty, but it was the best they could do. After going over their plans one more time, and Rovas warning his wife not to take any action-again-they went to their spots.
At 12:17, Gil rang Rovas, who was at the southern tip of their perimeter. “Sir, I spotted a tall blond guy. He came along the beach north of me. At first I thought he was alone, but a boy of about 9 or 10-the right age for Gerald Palmont, came up from the shore line and took his hand. They are walking away now, off the beach to the parking lot. I’m following.”
Rovas ran as fast as he could, which was not easy for him. Winded, he spotted Berrak and went to her. They set off at a fast walk, almost trot, while he told her what Gil had said.
“No. He said nothing about the girls,” he panted. “Let’s get in Gil’s car and pick him up. I hope we’re not too late.”
When they got there, Gil was red-faced with anger. “I missed them. I missed them. He was parked right on the edge of the sand. I thought I would have enough time. It was white, a sedan. Not new. I wasn’t close enough for the license plate or make. “
Rovas had his hands balled into fists, laying them on his hips. His head swiveled frantically over the few roads that left the area. He saw no sign of any white car in any direction.
Berrak headed back to their car. “I think we need to try searching. Futile or not, it’s moving forward. Yesterday, we didn’t even have this much to go on.”
They got in the car and went up and down the streets, hoping to spot the Palmont boy and the blond headed man.
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?
As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:
The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.
The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.