The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. My investigation into the serial killer known as the Brain Teaser, led me to a couple of med students, Virginia and Richmond. But Richmond became victim number four, and
The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. My investigation into the serial killer known as the Brain Teaser, led me to a couple of med students, Virginia and Richmond. But Richmond became victim number four, and Virginia went into hiding. My assistant, Lucky, and I went to Doctor Ashley Hudson, for information on where our missing person might have gone. The doc claimed not to know, but just as we were leaving, she got a call from Virginia.
Read the full details Here and the unfolding case below.
“Answer it.” I hurried back toward her.
Doctor Hudson tapped her phone and held it to her ear. “Virginia, I’m here with Detective LaGrange. Tell us where you are.”
Another tap and Virginia’s voice came through the phone’s speakers. “—can’t. I’m afraid. After what happened to Richmond, I just….”
“Virginia, my name is Angola LaGrange, I’m investigating Richmond’s death. I want to make sure that you’re all right.”
Lucky grabbed a seat nearby and started typing into his phone.
“I-I’m fine.” Her voice wavered, as though she were holding back tears. “I just need some time.”
Something’s not right.
I muted the microphone and turned to Doctor Hudson. “Does Virginia often confide in you about her feelings?”
“I wouldn’t say often, but we’ve talked about Richmond a few times.”
I nodded and unmuted the phone. “Virginia, are you alone?”
“What? O-of course.” She took a deep breath. “I just called to tell Doctor Hudson that I won’t be in for a while.”
The doctor nodded. “I understand. Take all the time you need.”
“Virginia, for your own safety, please tell us where you are.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t. Goodbye, Doctor Hudson.”
“No, Virginia, wait!”
It was too late, she’d already hung up.
I turned to Lucky. “Did you get all of that?”
He was still typing furiously. “Almost, hang on.”
“Doctor Hudson, I need you to think, where might Virginia have made that call from?”
“I’m sorry, but if I didn’t know better I’d have said her apartment.”
I slammed my hand down on a nearby table. The sound echoed through the empty auditorium like a gunshot. “Think harder, dammit. You heard how scared she was. The only way to help her is if we can find her.”
“I don’t know!” Doctor Hudson shouted at me. “Trust me, if I had any better information I would give it to you, but I honestly don’t keep track of where my students frequent outside of the hospital. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some uncomfortable conversations with the chief of medicine to attend.” She gathered up her things and left Lucky and I alone.
“Well, that was intense.” Lucky looked up from his phone.
“Are you done yet?”
“Yeah, I’ve got it all. She was definitely scared of something.”
“Come on.” I headed toward the door. “That call was goodbye. If we don’t find her soon, odds are we never will.”
We made a quick stop at the Royal Egrets Motel to see if anyone matching Virginia’s description had checked in. No dice.
From there we went back to the office for a deep dive into Virginia’s social media accounts. If she was hiding somewhere she felt safe, then there would probably be some reference or picture of it online. Hooray for the digital age.
On a hunch, I started with Richmond’s profiles, looking for any specific places where he and Virginia might have history.
There were very few pictures of the two of them together.
I scrolled back a year and a half to when Richmond had first moved to the city and started working my way forward. For the first year most of the posts were variations on a theme: “my job sucks.” Then about six months ago came the relationship status change. There hadn’t been any posts mentioning Virginia before that.
From then on, the tone of his updates changed. He was happier about his work, and occasionally he’d say something nice about Virginia, but he rarely posted pictures of her. After a few, I noticed that all the posts about Virginia came from his phone. A little more digging revealed he’d checked in to one of a handful of business’s wi-fi signal before posting. I didn’t recognize all of them, but the ones I did were all located in the Lakeview district on the north side of town.
Pretty far from where Virginia lived.
“Hey, Lucky, you looked up Richmond’s address, did he live in the Lakeview district?”
He thought for a moment before answering. “No, he lived down by the campus. Why?”
“All of his posts about Virginia came while he was checked in at businesses up there.”
“This might help make sense of that.” He flipped his screen around so I could see a picture of Richmond and Virginia standing in front of what looked to be a recently renovated apartment complex. “This picture went up as part of their announcement, but neither of them lived here. I bet it’s in the Lakeview district.”
“I bet that’s where she is now.”
A few minutes of digitally strolling along Google Maps revealed the building as part of the Shady Seas apartment complex. I jotted down the address, and we headed out. The building was across town, but traffic wasn’t bad yet. As we were getting close, a second cop car with its lights and siren blaring raced past us and turned down a side street.
About where I planned to turn.
I glanced at Lucky, who had one earbud connected to the police scanner. “Did the cops find Virginia too?”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t sound like it. They’re responding to a jumper.”
I pressed a little harder on the accelerator. “Where?”
He listened for a moment. “Uh, Lakeview district. Near the—ooh, 5384 Pine Street.”
I glanced at my hastily scrawled address. 5384 Pine.
Turning off the main road I could already see the flashing lights of the police cars forming a perimeter around the building.
I parked as close as they would let me and pushed past the officer who was directing traffic.
I didn’t get very far before he ripped me back, but I got close enough to see the body. It was bloody and broken almost beyond recognition, but there was no doubt in my mind.
It was Virginia.
To Be Continued…