Who Killed Annabel? – Episode One

My name is Ross Johnson, I’m a detective. My partner of two years detective Alero Martins and I have been assigned to solve the sudden death of a twenty-eight years old lady who was shot twice at the back of her head in a remote area. The victim’s bag was found by her lifeless body at the crime scene. Cosmetics, an international passport, an iPhone X with two thousand dollars were inside it. 

She must have been a rich woman to have such an amount of money with her. I, Ross thought.

“This doesn’t look like a robbery, her valuables are still intact.” Alero said. “This is murder.”

I agreed with her. She was right.

I drove down with my partner to the victim’s house, a magnificent one-storey building in a serene vicinity. We got down from the car and knocked on the gate. A woman slightly younger than the victim, dressed in a brown fitted short gown, wore high heel sandals, with a handbag in her hand, opened and approached us. She appeared to be on her way out. 

“Good morning.” Detective Alero greeted her. “We are from the police station.” 

We showed our badges. We wore mufti.

Her eyes widened. “I hope all is well?” she asked.

“This should be the residence of Miss Annabel Momoh right?”

“Yes, it is.” She replied.

I asked if we could all go in to talk better. She accepted politely and led the way in. The three of us sat down. 

I said to her. “I’m detective Ross and here with me is my partner detective Alero.” 

The lady introduced herself as Onome.

“The main reason we both came here is to find out things about Miss Annabel.” I said. “She was found dead. We believe she was murdered.”

“What!!” Onome exclaimed in shock. “Are you sure? This could be a mistake. Maybe you are mistaking her to be someone else. It’s impossible!”

“I’m sorry Onome.” Alero said pitifully. “Anabel is truly dead. She was shot.”

Onome rose on her feet, shaking as tears began to flow. She could not hold her emotions, she was sobbing very loud.

“I’m sorry for your loss Miss Onome but we need you to calm down,” detective Alero said, stood up, and walked towards Onome to console her. “Please, put yourself together.”

I, detective Ross stared at them dispassionately. It was none of my business, all I intend to do was find out some vital information about the victim and get the hell out of the place. I too was going through a hard time, a messy divorce. The third in eleven years, I am not proud of it but glad I was getting out of it. Despite being a good-looking man, I’ve never been lucky with love.

Alero was able to take Onome back to sit down. She sat close to her. All I did was roll my eyes without them catching me.

“When last did you see her?” Detective Alero asked. 

Onome sniffed her nose and wiped away the tears on her face with the back of her hand.

“Three days ago,” she replied in a brittle voice. Her eyes were already red and swollen.

“Where?”

“Here at home. She left in the evening, we spoke on the phone at night and that was the last time we talked.”

“How are you related to the victim?” I asked her.

She glared at me with anger in her eyes. “What do you mean victim?” Onome asked. “Her name was Annabel! Annabel Momoh was her name!” she yelled at me and started sobbing again.

My partner’s stern eyes fell on me. I looked away. 

“I’m sorry.” I apologized.

Onome glanced at me, “Anabel is…was my friend. She was like an elder sister to me.”

“So both of you are not in any way related?” I asked. She said no. I continued to talk. “Her valuables were intact. Her phone battery was dead so we were not able to access it. A relative will have to collect them but we shall remain with her phone as we investigate. We’ll like to know the last person she spoke with on the phone. Is she the owner of this house?”

“No,” she said. “Her aunt who lives in Germany is the rightful owner but handed over the keys to Annabel before she traveled four years ago.”

“What does Annabel do for a living? Is she still in school?” Alero asked calmly.               

Onome shrugged. “None.” 

Onome and I were surprised.

I asked the next question.

“Two thousand dollars was found in her bag. How come she had such a huge amount of money with her?”

“Her aunt oversees always send her money.” She cleared her throat and coughed.

“Do you work?”

“Yes. I’m a caterer,” she said and sighed. “I can’t believe my best friend is gone! How do I break this sad news to her aunt?”

“How come you live with her?” I asked.

“I had an accommodation problem with my parents,” she answered. “Annabel told me I could live with her since she lived here alone.” “So how long have you lived here?”

“A year and a few months now.” 

“Do you have any idea who would do this to her?”

She shook her head. “Not at all, Annabel was a good person! She was very kind.”

“Was Anabel in a relationship?” Alero asked her.

She shrugged. “Yes, she was.” Her hands jerked. She seemed nervous. “His name is Federick Okoh.”

Alero asked for his mobile number and how to locate him. She took out a replica phone like the victim’s own and called out his number. Alero punched the number on her handset.

“Apart from you, does Annabel have any other friends?”

“Yes, she had other friends but I honestly don’t know them personally. I only know one of them, her name is Sarah. I don’t even have her contact but you can ask Annabel’s boyfriend, maybe he will have it.”

“There’s a question I skipped… Didn’t you get worried not to have seen your friend for two days?”

She smiled weakly. “I had no reason to get worried. Annabel could be gone for a week, two weeks, or even more without keeping in touch. She’s a big girl and capable of taking care of herself. I had no reason to worry.”

A big girl indeed. She’s dead now.

“No problem,” I said nicely.

“Can I ask a question?” She enquired.

“Yes, you can.”

“What about her body and belongings, how do I get them?”

I stared at detective Alero. She gave her an answer. 

“You can come to the station for her valuables but the body has been taken to a nearby hospital close to the station for an autopsy.”

Onome eyes blinked. “An autopsy?” she asked. “I thought you said she was shot?”

I quickly answered. “Yes, she was shot but there are other things we need to confirm. Whenever we are done, you’ll have access to her body.”

“That’s not a problem,” Onome said. “As long as it will help capture who killed my friend.”

I and Alero rose on our feet and informed her we would continue to investigate and find out who murdered her friend. I gave her my card in case she remembered anything that could help the investigation. As we walked towards the door to depart, accompanied by Onome, I turned in her direction.

“Where were you throughout yesterday?” I asked.

Her left eyebrow rose. “At home alone.” 

“So you’ve no alibi?”

“What is that supposed to mean detective?” she asked. Her eyes turned cold. I could see how furious she was with me.

I cared less.

“We will be in touch,” I said quickly and turned to walk out with detective Alero. 

The victim’s friend Onome suddenly tapped me lightly on my shoulder. I turned back and asked what the problem was. She murmured but I could not hear her audibly. She seemed uncomfortable with whatever was about to spill out from her mouth. My concerned partner motioned towards Onome, held her left hand. I always wondered why Alero choose to be a detective because she was a soft and an emotional person.

“If there’s anything else you would like to let us know, please, tell us, you don’t have to be scared.” She said in a softened tone.

“I’m not scared,” Onome said. “I’m only bothered that you might find out something about her I am ashamed to say.”

“What is it?” I curiously asked her.

Her facial expression changed into a sad one. Her eyes dripped down with tears. She wiped it off angrily and said to us with no sign of grief.

“Annabel was a prostitute.”

I, Ross was short of words. 

*********

To be continued…

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