Two sheriff’s cruisers arrived within an hour and relieved Tom and Sid. They were then able to conduct searches and interview people. Two more cruisers arrived in a matter of 10 minutes.
Niles returned to the crime scene and video taped it.
He found the bullet that went right through Mildred’s head and lodged in a round wooden pillar. He also found the bullet that missed him embedded in the concrete block of the jail cell.
The coroner’s van arrived with Sheriff Dan Spencer’s car leading the way.
Niles met the two men who came with the coroner’s van at the sidewalk leading to the front door of the court house. Spencer followed.
“She’s inside,” Niles said solemnly. “I’ve processed the scene. It’s clear. Treat her gently. She was a good person.”
The two men returned to the van for the gurney.
Spencer walked up close to Niles. “You okay?”
“Yeah,” Niles said, “it’s starting to sink in.”
“What have you got?” Spencer said.
“One shot to the head,” Niles said. “I traced the angle with a laser. There was another shot meant for me, I traced it also. Looks like the shooter may have been in a prone position on the sidewalk across the street. I don’t know which shot was first. I’m certain of a silencer. He shot, rolled, and shot again.”
“Spent cartridges?” Spencer said.
“No,” Niles said and handed him two plastic bags. “They’re labeled. Can you sign for them and do a ballistics on them.”
“Sure,” Spencer said taking the bag.
“Can you talk over the scene with me?” Niles said.
“Sure,” Spencer said, “let’s do it.”
They walked toward the courthouse and Niles started talking about the scene. “Looks like 30-06. I’m guessing a Winchester with a scope. I’m not looking for a hunter, although it could be, I’m looking for someone with military training.”
For the next 15 minutes Niles explained the scene in detail to Spencer. “Have you got any questions?”
“No,” Spencer said, “this ain’t your first rodeo is it.”
“I had one of my men shot in New York,” Niles said. “He was an officer, this was an innocent ole lady who was mentoring me. There’s something that bothers me. If Mildred was doing her usual work her head would be tilted to the side, looking at the computer screen. The shot was dead center with no side angle. Here eyes may have looking down the scope of the murder weapon.”
“You want somebody else to take this?” Spencer said. “Not an ego thing, but out of respect.”
“Thanks,” Niles said, “but I got a handle on it.”
An unmarked state patrol car pulled into the driveway. Two plain clothed officer got out of the car. They approached Niles and Spencer.
“I’m Inspector Garver, state patrol and this is Inspector, Prater. We can take care of it from here.”
“It’s my jurisdiction,” Niles said.
“We certainly have the experience in these matters,” Garver said.
“Two years ago the State had a dead body in the middle of the harbor,” Niles said. “It’s still unsolved. That happens, but not for the lack of not trying. Fender benders get more attention.”
“I suppose you and Deputy Fife can handle it,” Garver said to Spencer.
“Garver,” Spencer said. “Niles has probably solved more homicides in the last year than what the entire state of Maine has had in the past 10.” He looked at Niles. “I’ve been reading about you.” He turned back to Garver. “He’s processed the scene as thorough as I’ve ever seen. And right now he’s in no mood to be challenged or second guessed, so my suggestion to you it to get the hell off his island.”
Garver and Prater slowly backed away and then turned to their car. They slipped into the car and drove away.
“Thanks,” Niles said.
Lute rushed up to Niles and Spencer. “I was out at my brother’s and just heard. Mildred, is she..”
“Yeah,” Niles said, “she’s dead.”
“Are you okay,” Lute said, “did you get hit?”
“No,” Niles said.
“Did you call Sheriff Spencer?” Lute said.
“Yes,” Niles said, “and I’m glad he’s here.”
“What can I do?” Lute said.
“You know the family?” Niles said.
“Yeah,” Lute said, “a sister on the west side of the island.”
“Can you go out and talk with here?” Niles said.
“Yeah,” Lute said, “I’ll do that. I’ll go right away.”
Lute hurried to his car and drove away.