Dangerous Secrets (Mystery — Day 13)

About an hour after Hunter had gone, Allen returned.  He had done some digging and checking at the House of Public Records and said there is no application for, or proof of, a marriage certificate between Jaime William Richardson and Melody Fleming.  Then Tara told him that Hunter had stopped by to see her and had mentioned that Melody had paid someone to forge a marriage certificate for her because she wanted to take over the details of Jaime’s funeral.

“Well, I could have saved myself a trip if I knew Hunter was going to stop by and tell you that.  Although I am glad I checked it out and that we can rest assured that Hunter told you the truth.”

“Why would you think he wouldn’t, Allen?”

“You never know with the influence of his mother and grandfather.”

“Well, he doesn’t seem to be happy with them.  He is very much like Jaime.”

A knock at the door interrupted their conversation.  It was Sergeant Olsen.  Tara invited him in and they all sat down at the kitchen table.  Eva started a pot of coffee.

“I have some news for you,”  Sergeant Olsen began.  “Melody Fleming is NOT married to Jaime Richardson.”

Tara, Eva, and Allen all smiled and said, “We know.”

Sergeant Olsen looked confused.

“I paid a visit to the House of Records today,”  Allen said.

“And I had a visit from Melody’s son, who informed me that she had paid someone to create that phony certificate for her,” said Tara.

“I see.  Hunter visited you alone?”

“Yes.  He wanted to apologize to me and let me know how much he misses Jaime.”

“Apologize for what?”

“He thought he had ruined my life, that if he had never been born, Jaime and I would have had a happy marriage uninterrupted by Melody’s interference and demands.  I assured him that none of that was his fault.”

“Good.  Well, you will also be relieved to know that Trenton Davis is extremely embarrassed and remorseful for sending you the flowers and letter.  Apparently, he is just extremely smitten with you and acted over-zealously.  He promised not to contact you again, but asked me to let you know that if there is anything he can do to be of help, he would like to.  He also told me that Mr. Richardson did speak with him about a will, so he will make the arrangements for having a reading of the will a week after Mr. Richardson’s burial.”

“Also,” Sergeant Olsen continued, “I received the report on the statue of the fisherman.  They were able to pull some prints off it.  Unfortunately, there are no matches in the data base, so we’re probably looking at a first-time murderer here, and I would speculate that it was a crime of passion.”

Tara remembered suggesting that to Katie the very night it had happened.  Now she wondered if it could have been Melody.

“Are you still sure it was a man that committed the crime?” She asked.

“Yes.  From the location of the puncture wound on Mr. Richardson’s head, the perpetrator had to have been a few inches taller than him and would have raised the statue over his head and brought it down with great force.”

“That would clear Melody,” thought Tara, as Melody was about two inches shorter than Tara and Tara had been an inch shorter than Jaime.

“How about the gentleman Tara and I saw with Melody?  Have you found anything out about him?” asked Allen.

“No, I’m sorry.  That is the next thing on my agenda.”

“Well, he appeared to be quite tall.  I would guess that he is taller than Jaime.”

“I’ll check into it.”

Sergeant Olsen left and Tara hoped that everything would be over soon.

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