House Drip

Why was the cof­fee fil­ter soaked with blood, then?”

See­ing the blank look Wozin­s­ki was giv­ing him, he point­ed down into the trash next to the kitchen sink. Wozin­s­ki stepped gin­ger­ly over and peered down at the red-stained paper object, sop­ping wet and heap­ing full of used grounds.

Oh, I see.” Wozin­s­ki con­sid­ered this find. “Dun­no,” he con­clud­ed after sev­er­al sec­onds of vis­i­ble reflection.

Hoyt sighed. He liked the kid, real­ly he did, but Wozin­s­ki was still as use­less at a crime scene as he was three years ago when he first trans­ferred into the Detec­tive divi­sion. There had been some hope of even­tu­al improve­ment then; now, Hoyt was not so sure.

Do you think it’s pos­si­ble,” he said, with what felt to him like infi­nite patience, although it was feel­ing pret­ty lim­it­ed this week, “that the miss­ing fin­gers might have, what, found their way into the cof­fee mak­er somehow?”

Wozin­s­ki looked both alarmed and skep­ti­cal about this the­o­ry, so Hoyt waved a tech over. “Grbacek. You wan­na have a look at this?”

Sure enough: five min­utes lat­er sev­en pale human dig­its lay in a row, sealed in sep­a­rate evi­dence bag­gies, look­ing thor­ough­ly blood­less for their recent cycle through the drip machine.

See, Wozin­s­ki?” Hoyt clapped the sergeant on the shoul­der. “You just nev­er know.”

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