The Body in the Pool
Book One of the Dismember Killer Series
Chapter Forty Five
By 11:42 that morning Spence, Melanie, and Barnes were in front of the Paulson home with a signed warrant in their hands. They could have had her picked up by the squad car sitting in front of her house, but Spence thought the three of them might be intimidating. He wanted every advantage when it came time to talk her into confessing.
“Beyond,” Melanie confirmed.
Spence signaled to the squad car and two uniformed deputies followed them up the walkway. He banged on the door, shouting, “Police, we have a warrant for your arrest.”
They waited on the step for a minute before Spence repeated the actions.
Still no answer.
“Check it out around back.”
The uniformed deputies nodded sharply and walked off.
“She’s already gone,” Barned crabbed.
“Her flight doesn’t leave for another five hours,” Melanie reminded him. “No one hangs out at the airport that long.”
“No one normal. She ain’t normal,” Barnes replied.
“Get on the horn to the bean counters. Find out if she’s used her credit cards in the last twenty-four.”
Barnes nodded and pulled out his phone.
The two deputies returned. “There’s nothing.”
“Didn’t you verify she was here when you pulled up?” Spence was steamed.
“That wasn’t the brief. Roll and sit,” said the deputy.
“That might have been my bad. I thought we were keeping it quiet until we were ready to serve her,” Melanie admitted.
Spence groaned. This case was working his every last nerve. If it could go wrong, it had.
Barnes hung up the phone. “Charge for CedarBrook Resort and Spa last night. The Missus is getting pampered before she goes on the lam.”
“Let’s go get her.”
“Maybe we can catch her mid-massage,” Melanie joked.
“That’s gross,” Barnes retorted.
“It would be funny,” Melanie insisted.
“Yeah, no.” Spence shook his head. “I like my arrestees fully clothed, thank you very much.”
Lights and sirens blazing they made the hotel by 12:19. With no regard for the spectacle they were making, they parked multiple police cars end to end, their lights still whirling, filling the curved driveway in front of the main lobby doors.
Spence strode to the front desk. He held up his badge and demanded, “Arlene Paulson, has she checked out?”
The desk clerk shied away from his tone of voice while she typed into her computer. “She has.”
“She stored her luggage and went to the spa for a massage and lunch before her flight.”
Spence grinned. “Where?”
“Through there. I can…” she trailed off as Spence strode on in the direction she indicated.
The rest of the team followed him. Melanie diverted close enough to say, “Thank you.”
Spence stopped in the doorway to the restaurant. The team plus six deputies bunched up behind him. The space contained only small, low tables as not to impede the view out the full glass wall. There was nowhere for Arlene to hide.
Barnes spotted her first and nudged Spence. “There.”
Arlene sat, mid-meal, sipping an ice tea. She blinked at the the team and then placed her glass back down. She took a look around her. Then stood.
Spence didn’t wait. “Arlene Paulson, I have a warrant for your arrest.” With his right hand he gestured for the deputies to cuff her.
She appeared to be going quietly, saying only ‘my bag’ as the deputies snapped the handcuffs around her wrists and escorted her towards Spence. As she got closer, he could see her nostrils were flaring and she was shaking in anger. “Bring her up to interrogation as soon as you get her through booking.”
Spence turned to Melanie and said, “Let’s get her luggage. Who knows what she has in there that we can use.”
“Right.” Melanie walked back to the clerk. “I need her luggage.”