The peace was broken by the shrill alarm of her cell phone. Elizabeth sighed as she felt her muscles tighten up. Her work phone. Couldn’t ignore that one.
“You’re needed at Oceanside beach.”
“This is my day off.”
“You know our department is depleted. ”
“I’m at the beach. Where is it?” she nodded then hung up, rummaging through her bag she found what she was looking for. Jeans and t-shirt with flip flops was going to have to do for professional attire. She shrugged into her clothes, topping it off with her shoulder holster and badge. Packing up her towel, she made her way toward the pier and the crowd of people she could see in the distance.
She noted the police SUVs on the beach with flashing lights. Uniformed officers had partitioned off the scene with yellow crime scene tape. The body lay in the middle of it, tide was still out, but she would need to work fast. She looked around and saw the CSI team was already taking photos to preserve the scene as best they could. A man in jogging shorts and sweat-soaked T-shirt was speaking to another officer. Elizabeth looked back at the victim. A girl. Young. Naked. Kelp and sand crusted in her long dark hair.
A pang of grief hit her, but she grimaced and suppressed the emotion. Focus. She walked up to the scene and ducked under the tape. Younger than she thought, maybe still in high school? Body unmarked. No sign of struggle. CSI handed her a pair of gloves. She pulled them over her hands then squatted down, gingerly picking up the girls hands and examining her fingers. Nothing. Clean. Too clean?
She looked up and met the light-brown gaze of the jogger. Her heart jumped. She frowned. Did that really just happen? Annoyed with herself, she shook her head. Ain’t nobody got time for that! She looked away to compose herself. She was going to have to speak to him.