They exited the car, drew their pistols and rushed to the house. Shirley tried the door and found it was unlocked. They worked their way to the kitchen. Inside was a man wearing latex gloves and holding a squirt bottle.
“Freeze!” Dick yelled.
The man held up his hands and turned around. It was the same man that was cleaning 711, the kidnapper’s house. “Damn, you guys scared the hell out of me.”
Shirley put away her weapon. “What are you doing here?”.
The man started to remove his gloves. “You aren’t going to believe this. I was asked to clean this house too. Someone called me and said to remove all prints and DNA. I just got here a little while ago.”
“How did you get in?” Dick asked.
“The guy left the back door unlocked for me.”
Dick and Shirley put their weapons away. “Did you finish cleaning?”
“No, no, just started.”
“Well stop,” Shirley said. “This is now a crime scene. The forensic lab will go over the entire place. Grab your stuff and leave. Try not to touch anything.”
“Damn. I didn’t know. Honest. Yes, I’ll leave right now.” The man took his cleaning supplies and left.
Dick shook his head. “What are the odds? I’ll bet his has a lucrative business. Lots of folks want to clean up their act.”
Shirley gave Dick a stern look. “You should know. When the lab gets here, let’s go home. It’s been a long day.
The next day as Dick and Shirley arrived at police headquarters, Captain Barnaby summoned them along with Ralph into his office. After everyone was seated, he said, “Okay, what have we got so far on the Smith kidnapping?”
“Smyth,” Dick corrected him.
“Don’t start with me. I’ve had only two cups of coffee so far.”
“Sorry, Captain. I’ll start with after we left the Smiths’… Smyth’s’ house: we drove down to 711…”
Tim interrupted, “It was a 7 Eleven?”
“Negative, sir,” Dick said. “That’s the street address of a residence. It was for sale and empty.”
Tim shook his head. “So you found nothing there. Did Kate gives us the wrong address?”
“Kaitlin,” Shirley corrected Tim. A stern look from him made her stop talking and lean back.
“Negative, sir,” Dick continued. “It was the right address; the perp left before we got there. We did find a man cleaning up DNA and finger prints. The perp hired him from Craig’s List.”
“And who is this Craig guy?”
Ralph, Dick and Shirley rolled their collective eyes. “It’s a list of contractor on the internet,” Ralph said. “Shirley picked up a remote garage door opener, and I was able to hack into the perp’s internet. His name is Watt…”
“What?” the Captain asked.
“Affirmative,” answered Ralph. “How did you know?”
“Know what?” Tim asked.
“You know Watt? Wow, what a coincident,” Ralph said.
Tim rolled his hand in a circular motion. “Just continue.”
“Yes, sir,” Ralph continued. “He’s a direct descendent of James Watt, the Scottish inventor who invented the Watt steam engine in the eighteenth century.”
Tim raised his eyebrows. “What steam engine?”
“Affirmative. He invented it.”
“Who invented what steam engine?”
“Negative, Hugh’s ancestor invented it. It’s called the Watt steam engine.”
Tim raised his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Stop talking… Sally, in English please, explain about this perp.”
“Yes, sir,” Shirley said. “His first name is Hugh, H.U.G.H. His last name is Watt, W.A.T.T.”
“Hugh Watt? Is that a real name?” Tim shook his head, “It has to be child abuse to name a kid Hugh Watt. Did we arrest this Hugh Watt person?”
Shirley answered, “We staked out his house, but he never showed up. The contractor who cleans up DNA and prints showed up again.”
Tim stood up and walked around his desk and folded his arms on his chest. “Surely, you jest?”
“Negative, sir,” Shirley answered. “I’m serious. The same guy. Can you believe it?”
Tim placed his hands on his hips and stepped closer to Shirley. “No, I can’t.”
“You don’t suppose he’s an eyewitness, do you?’ Dick asked. “Or a person of interest?”
The End of Part Six