Detective Akano had gone rigid the moment he heard “media vehicle”. He didn’t even want to know whether it was a television station truck or a newspaper reporter. The media were a good way for the police to shine when they just closed a major case, and the publicity they got in those situations helped them close it in style.
But right now, none of the people who were supposed to process and make sense of this crime scene had arrived yet. And as head detective of the Homicide division, Tobi’s face was well known all over Lagos Island. So it was either going to be a session of,
“Detective, do you have the identity of the deceased woman?”
“No, not yet.”
“What of what happened here? We heard about gunshots. What can you tell us?”
“We don’t understand yet.”
Or just filling in those blanks with “no comment”, which wasn’t much better at all.
Yes, the media was a very powerful tool for publicity, but when they didn’t know anything? It was a police officer’s worst nightmare.
And handling the media was the duty of the highest-ranking officer on scene. Which meant even though the entire Homicide division and CSI were present, it would still fall in his lap. If he went out there right now with all he knew, he was going to make a fool of the entire department.
It wasn’t even a debatable decision.
“Are they inside yet?”
“No, sir,” the officer replied. That was better.
“Then don’t let them inside. Don’t even open the gate unless it’s for our people. And get me a pair of gloves.”
The officer nodded, saluted, and walked out.
Efe wrinkled her nose. “What is smelling like that?” she asked, pinching her nose shut.
What was smelling was the metallic scent of blood, something like urine, and in general, just the smell of death.
“That is the smell of death. Get used to it.”
His answer unsettled her. She looked at the body again, as if she was going to vomit. The detective could tell it unsettled her as well. He wondered again whose idea it was to call out an office assistant to a crime scene.
“Can’t one of them do something about her? Adjust her, maybe. Lie her down and close her eyes like a normal dead body. They can do it now, abi?”
Detective Akano knew by “they” and “them”, she meant the two officers.
“You have been working with homicide for how many years, Efe, and you don’t still know how we do things? We cannot touch anything or move anything, especially not the body.” His assistant looked like she had seen all she would be able to see. “We are going to be here for few more hours, so let me just suggest you go to the living room and sit down. And make sure you collect a pair of gloves for yourself before you touch anything.”
Efe nodded eagerly and started to hurry out.
“Efe,” he said. She stopped and turned only her head. “Do you still want to become a detective?”
Efe turned to look at the corpse and clapped a hand to her mouth. She shook her head tersely, and ran under the tape.
Detective Akano laughed. Seemed like she was going to vomit after all.
To be continued soon