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Authors: Alexa Grace

Tags: #romantic suspense mystery suspense crime drama police procedural

Profile of Evil

Profile of Evil

by Alexa Grace

 

Smashwords Edition

 

eBooks cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement
on the copyright of this work.

 

 

Profile of Evil
Copyright ©2013, Alexa Grace

 

ISBN-10: 0985593954

ISBN-13: 978-0-9855939-5-7

 

Cover design by Christy Carlyle of Gilded Heart Design

Formatted: Marissa Dobson

 

This ebook is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Acknowledgments

 

I extend a special thank you to Lt. Adrian Youngblood of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, who generously gave his time to answer my questions and reviewed the book for accuracy.

 

My gratitude goes to Agent Kyle Worthington of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, City/County Investigative Bureau for his wealth of information about the drug Methamphetamine, and for apprehending those who make it.

 

My appreciation goes to Police Chief Patrick Flannelly, of the Lafayette Police Department, who keeps me straight on law enforcement in Indiana. And to Bob Mueller and Wally Lind at Crime Scene Writers for patiently answering my questions.

 

Thank you also to Nate Kitts, who helped me stay accurate in the facts of computer technology.

 

Any mistakes here are entirely mine.

 

A warm thank you goes to my editor and friend, Vicki Braun. And to Adele Brinkley of With Pen in Hand.

 

My appreciation also goes to Diana Barrios Tan and Christy Hilton-Hall, who won the use of their names in this book. And to my good friend, Nancy Carlson, who approved the use of her name in this story.

 

Much appreciation goes to the Beta Reader Team who devoted their personal time to review each page of this book: Anna Coy, Sandy Galloway, Carmen Odum, Sylvia Smith, Lisa Jackson, Jo Lynn Guillory, Barrie MacLauchlin, Debbie Perry, Phoebe Weitzel, Diane T. Brennan, Barbara Vorwalski, Nate Kitts, Gail Goodenough, Melissa McGee and Sue Stiller.

 

Finally, I want to express my appreciation to my family, friends, readers and street team. Without their encouragement and support, this book would not have been possible.

Dedication

 

For Carly Maitlen Long

Thank you for your unconditional love and support

 

This book is also for the men and women in

law enforcement who pursue sex predators who prowl the Internet,

thus keeping real children from being abused.

Chapter One

 

Brody Chase, Sheriff of Shawnee County, did what he did every day. He entered the sheriff's office lobby, and stopped before the wall of photographs of fallen county police officers. Focusing on a large portrait of former sheriff, Lillian Chase, he whispered, "Morning, Mom. I'll try to make a difference today." He remembered a time, when as a child, he'd begged his mother to stay home with him. When he'd asked her why she had to go to work, she'd responded, "To make a difference, Brody. We must live each day to make a difference."

He blinked at the memory. Although seventeen years had passed since his mother's death, Brody still missed her.

Navigating the labyrinth of cubicles, he said good morning to every officer in sight. He had almost reached his office when he noticed a female deputy sitting at a desk that had been moved outside his office. Damn. He’d forgotten it was the first day of Deputy Gail Sawyer’s desk duty. Scanning her face, he decided she was as happy about the prospect as he was.

"Good morning, Deputy," Brody said, as he noted the large black boot she was wearing on her right leg.

"I’m reporting for desk duty, sir," Gail responded as she pasted a polite smile on her face. “Actually, I was hoping we could talk about my skipping desk duty altogether."

"You’re kidding,” Brody said incredulously. “Your right foot is broken."

"No, sir. I can still drive with my left foot."

"Not on my watch."

"No one would have to know. I’ve practiced driving my patrol car with my left foot and my driving is fine."

"
I’d
know,” said Brody. “In addition to the twenty-nine officers from my team and thirty from the visiting state police team, who witnessed you dropping your gun and shooting yourself in the foot at the gun range on Saturday. Oh, and don’t forget the mayor and commission president were there to witness the event."

A hot wave of embarrassment washed over Gail. "Well, there’s that."


Yeah, there’s that. So count on being on desk duty until your doctor releases you.”

"What are my new responsibilities while on desk duty?" Gail asked.

Brody paused a moment. He’d forgotten about her desk duty and had no clue what to assign to her. Finally he said, "You’re in charge of the lobby. No one should enter the building without your knowledge. You can help me prepare for commission meetings. I’ll also have some Internet research for you to do from time to time."

"Yes, sir."

"To start, I’d like you to visit every officer and detective in this office and find out what work they have for you. I’m sure they can use your help."

Brody’s cell phone vibrated in his pocket. Fishing it out, he looked at the display, noting the caller was his brother and lead detective, Cameron Chase.

"Hi, Cam. What's going on?"

"We've got a car fire on Indiana State Road 32 near Perrysville!"

"So handle it. Why are you calling me?"

"You need to get here fast, Brody. There are two bodies inside the car."

Brody slammed the cell phone back in his pocket and raced to the front door. Nausea and fear filled him as he prayed the two bodies were not preadolescent females, like the two unsolved murder files on his desk. The last two years like clockwork, the body of a young girl had been found in his county. Both murders remained unsolved because of a lack of identification, but Brody knew that each girl had family members somewhere. Why in the hell hadn’t anyone reported them missing?

There was either a monster living in his county, or using it as a body dump site. Both options were unsettling, and people were getting nervous. He was sick of being asked why the murders hadn't been solved, and how close he was to finding the killer. The avid crime television viewers watched every week as crimes were solved and tied up with a ribbon at the end of the hour. That it was taking two years to solve the girls' murders was unacceptable to them, and they weren't afraid to voice their opinions — to him, and to the County Commission President, Bradley Lucas, to whom Brody reported. Bradley Lucas could be a horse's ass when he wanted to be, but to his credit during this investigation, he had remained supportive as long as Brody briefed him frequently. Not that there was anything to report.

Though he hadn't voiced his theory out loud to anyone but his brother Cameron, Brody believed the two murders were related. Although two murders did not fit the definition, he thought a serial killer was at work. He hoped he was wrong. Because if he was right, the knowledge of a serial murderer at work in Shawnee County would obliterate the tranquility and security most residents had known their entire lives. Their county was still a place where people left their doors unlocked at night.

Crime had been at an all-time low since he became sheriff. If he were correct and a serial killer had set up shop in his county, the sick bastard would live to regret it, because Sheriff Brody Chase would stop him if it was the last thing he ever did.

The drive to Perrysville from his office in Morel usually took fifteen minutes, but Brody made it in ten. Gray curls of smoke in the morning sky and the flashing lights signaled the crime scene ahead as Brody drew closer. Seeing parked vehicles belonging to the coroner, fire chief, crime scene techs, and Cameron's unmarked car, Brody pulled off the road and leapt from the vehicle. One of his deputies guided him down a dirt lane with a corn field on one side and woods on the other. He lifted his hand to cover his face as the pungent smoke from the burned car and charred bodies assailed his nose.

Deputy Jim Ryder, lining the area with yellow crime scene tape, greeted him as he approached the immediate crime scene. "Sheriff, the car is over there."

Brody nodded and said, "Thanks. Make sure only law enforcement gets past you."

"Yes, sir," muttered Ryder, as he tied the yellow tape around a tree.

Following the deep tracks of the fire engine in the soft earth, Brody reached the scene where a red, late model Toyota Corolla was in the early stages of a fire that was being extinguished by a firefighter. Brody figured the fire truck must have gotten there in record time to arrive before him. Because the department was largely volunteer, it sometimes took up to an hour or more just to get the fire truck manned before it could leave the station.

With his hands clasped behind him, Brody scanned the perimeter. A new red plastic gas can lay inside some brush, and a crime scene tech took photographs of it before she stored it in an evidence bag. The car's body was charred, but the numbers and letters on the Indiana license plate were visible. He moved closer to the front of the car, where he saw a body hunched over the steering wheel in the driver's seat. He headed toward the back where Cam, Fire Chief Wayne Lansky, and a couple of crime scene techs were huddled around the open car trunk, but Brody couldn't see inside.

As he approached them, his chief detective, Cameron, moved aside. What Brody saw in the trunk made his stomach churn as bile rushed to his throat. A small, burned body lay inside the trunk in a fetal position. The acrid smell of burning flesh nearly overwhelmed him as he moved closer to examine the body, with Cam close behind him.

Sweet Jesus, what kind of a monster could do this to a child who should be curled up and asleep in bed, not charred in the trunk of a car?

"We got lucky, Brody," said Cameron.

"I doubt the victims would agree with that."

"I meant we're lucky the car didn't burn any more than it did. We need all the evidence we can get."

"Who called it in?"

"Wally Johnson. This is his property. He saw the smoke from his farmhouse down the road around seven-thirty this morning and headed down here. Tried to put it out with a small fire extinguisher he keeps in his truck, and then called in the fire."

"You doing a background check on Mr. Johnson?" Brody asked.

"Hell, yes. What was that thing Mom used to say about never leaving a stone unturned? Besides, it wouldn't be the first time the guy who lit the match is the one who called it in."

"So what's your take on this, Cam?"

"I think it's pretty obvious. The killer tried to cover up a murder with a car fire, but I think this one is an amateur, as far as the fire goes."

Brody glanced at his brother and asked, "Why do you say that?"

"We found a piece of the rope he stuck in the gas tank that wasn't burned all the way through. The fire chief thinks he stuck the rope in the gas tank and lit the rope first before dousing the entire car with gasoline. Overkill. And who leaves his gas can at the scene?"

"Agreed. The prick's an amateur, at least as far as the fire."

"What about the killings?"

A voice behind him sounded, "That's where I come in."

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