Congrats to my co-writer and good friend Kim Knight on her new release today! As one of the best romance, thriller, and really just all around talented in every genre author, Kim has been knocking these books out of the park!! Check this out, and go grab your copy now!
Who or what to believe—the evidence or a killer on his deathbed?
A convicted murderer confessed to the kidnapping of a depressed housewife, Mariya Crosby, twenty years ago. But in the present day, the evidence clears him of the crime.
Detective Dominic Ruiz is under pressure to close in on the truth and fast. The problem, Ruiz has one confession, one witness, and one devoted husband with a different version of events that lead up to Mariya Crosby’s disappearance twenty years ago in Florida.
The more Detective Ruiz follows up on the leads, the more things don’t add up. He has one of the biggest mysteries of his career to solve. A single question has lingered unanswered for twenty years, what really happened to Mariya Crosby the day she never made it home from work?
Book link: Out now on Amazon on pre-order release date the 17th of September check out Amazon here: https://bit.ly/UnsolvedMystery3
SNEAK PEEK! INSIDE BOOK 3
M O R E Q U E S T I O N S T H A N A N S W E R S
Ruiz entered his office and wasted no time while he waited for Jones. Placing his suit jacket behind his chair, he imme‐ diately took a seat, then opened the file on Mariya Crosby. As soon as he sat down, he was on his feet again. He remembered Jones wanted a coffee. He set up the cups, then flicked the coffee machine on, and returned to his seat.
Once there, he started to thumb through the file. Damn, just thirty-six, the same age as me, he thought to himself as he noted Mariya’s age upon disappearance. He did the math. If she were alive, she’d be in her late fifties now. He turned the page and read over the missing person’s report that her husband filed twenty years ago to date. It was Valentine’s Day and Mariya apparently had not returned home. Her husband handed in a handwritten note from her, telling him she was leaving him and would never return. Ruiz stopped and leaned back in his chair to consider this scenario some more.
If she left a note, she left on her own free will, right? Is that a ‘missing’ person? He pondered.
He chewed on the situation her husband had found himself in and tried to place himself in his shoes. He shifted through the report some more. Mr. Crosby had stated that he returned home, found the note, and nothing seemed out of place or taken. Everything appeared normal in their home.
In fact, he hadn’t noticed that she had left the note until the time that she’d usually return home from work had passed, and he got ready to head to her place of work to see what was going on. Ruiz made his way farther down the page and stopped at his comments over her state of mind when he last saw her. ‘She seemed fine’ was his response when the last investigating officer asked.
The officials at the time had made a plea, with no response. They also interviewed some of her co-workers according to the notes made. Ruiz flicked through the file in search of the interviews. He pulled out the ancient pieces of paper and held them up for a better view. The following day, Detective Stern, who was leading the case at the time, paid a visit to the hospital and spoke to her supervisor, Vilma Green. Vilma had a rough time of day when Mariya had left work. It was in the afternoon sometime. When she was asked about her mood and how she appeared when she left, Vilma had remarked that she seemed ‘tearful and had been all week.’
Ruiz dropped the papers and pulled out his pad from his drawer. He made a swift note. The husband had confirmed Mariya had been in good spirits. Her co-workers thought otherwise.
Ruiz turned his attention back to the report he was reading and scanned through it some more. Her co-worker Vilma wasn’t able to offer any other information other than her approximate time of departure and how she appeared emotionally. He placed that report to his left, along with Mr. Crosby’s original missing person’s report and continued to move through the file.
You’ve got to be kidding me?
Internally, he processed the information he’d just learned as he read over another report. The department had analysed the note that Mariya had left to confirm she was leaving her husband for a handwriting match. It had passed.
She wrote it, Ruiz thought as he flicked the page of the report over.
According to the professionals, Mariya had written the note Mr. Crosby produced as evidence of her leaving unex‐ pectedly, and he wanted to find out where she went and why. According to him, her note was out of character for her.
So, she had to have returned home? Ruiz pondered. But Mr. Lee said he met her from work, and she never made it. The contradictions stuck out to him twenty years later from just a few moments of reading the old case files.
A knock at the door pulled him from the paperwork. “Got a minute?” Jones announced herself.
Ruiz jumped to his feet. He had completely forgotten about the coffee.
“Come in,” he called out, then made his way over to the machine.
“Sorry about that. I had to head back to my office to check over a few things,” Jones said.
“No problem. Take a seat,” Ruiz called over his shoulder. He made quick work of their drinks and headed back over to his partner. He sat a cup in front of her and took a seat behind his own desk.
“Nice office,” Jones said with admiration as she glanced around.
Ruiz followed her gaze and shyly smiled. “Thanks, so how did it go? You met with Mariya’s family?”
“Yeah. The family had adopted her. The sister came to see me and from what she told me, Mariya was not in the best state mentally the last time she saw her.” Jones paused and sipped her coffee. “Seems like she wasn’t the biggest fan of her husband either.”
Ruiz cocked his head to one side with interest. He watched his partner for a moment as she sipped her coffee, then placed the file between them on the desk.
“Why do you say that? What did she say?” He asked. “Well, she spoke to Mariya a couple of days before she disappeared, and she told her she wanted to get away from it all. But she wasn’t convinced that she’d just up and leave.” Ruiz picked up his own coffee. “Did she say what had upset her?”
“Nope, not exactly. But her sister thought it had a lot to do with the husband.”
“We really need to check this out and talk to him again. According to him back then, he gave a different version.” Jones leaned forward and picked up the file. “Really what’d he say?”
“Look at the missing person’s report. She was in good spirits, according to him. Not only that, according to the forensics, she wrote that note, but Mr. Lee told me she never went home. He surprised her after work before he struck.”
Ruiz chuckled as he noticed Jones stop flicking through the file and met his eye.
“You’re kidding me, right?”
“Nope, not at all.” Ruiz fished out his notepad from the inside of his jacket from behind his chair. “Mr. Lee’s confes‐ sion was really clear about that.”
Ruiz flipped through his notes while Jones gave him her full attention.
“Yep, according to him, he surprised her after work. They went for a walk and then boom he struck.” Ruiz confirmed as he read back his notes.
“Wait a minute, you’re telling me forensics confirmed she
wrote the note. So, the question is how and when was it left there?”
“Yep, sounds about right,” Ruiz said flatly and closed his notepad. Jones handed him back the file.
“Unlock your computer, we need to check the database. Have they given you your log in details yet?” Jones asked. Ruiz got to his feet and headed over to the other side of the desk. “Here, use yours there was a holdup with IT.” Jones got to her feet and switched chairs.
Ruiz sat down with the file on Mariya in his hand. With care he shifted through the thick folder of papers, the first few pages were the victim’s personal details. Then he pulled out the old interviews and witness testimonies.
Jones tapped her login details and then turned to Ruiz. “What was his name again?” she asked.
Jones’ fingers flew across the keyboard and logged into the Interstate Identification Index to check if Mr. Lee had any records or history outside of the state of Florida.
Thank God for that, she said to herself internally when the only state with a record was their own.
“Well, the good news is we don’t have to contact any other state for information on him,” Jones turned to Ruiz and said, “Let’s see what we’ve got over here, got him,” she added.
Her eyes moved over the screen. She let out a whistle and sunk back into the chair.
“Man, he’s got some records.”
Ruiz glanced up from the file, “spill the beans.” He teased his partner.
“Well,” she said and crossed one leg over the other under the desk. “He’s got a string of cases on him for assault, abduc‐ tion, and rape.” Jones paused and took a breath.
Ruiz noticed her pause and could only assume his profile made her uncomfortable.
“It placed the last victim around twenty years ago, when Mariya went missing. He’s been inside a long time,” Jones said in a small voice, then paused again.
She scrolled down the screen, then smirked.
“Oh, and get this, apparently, he’s got kidney failure.” She rolled her eyes in Ruiz’s direction. “Kidney failure, probably they’re leaving him to pass away from that. There’s been no rush with the date of execution.”
“Damn,” Ruiz responded, and ran a hand over his beard. “So where to start with all this,” Ruiz continued, “I mean, we’ve got a confession, and so far, some things, even on paper, make little sense.”
“Did he go into detail? Where her body is, and what he did?” Jones asked and avoided his original question. “Nope, not really he didn’t wanna talk about it. Just told me to believe him she was a victim of his.”
Jones pinched her face up in disgust. “Jezz, you’re kidding me? So not even any closure for the family, or further details. Who does he think he is?”
Ruiz nodded in agreement. “Right, that was my thought, maybe he wants some additional notoriety against his repu‐ tation, by claiming her as a victim.”
Ruiz watched his partner flick her eyes around the office, as if frustrated, then back to her screen.
Finally, she turned her focus to Ruiz. “Hmm, yeah, but something still doesn’t add up.”
Ruiz met her eye and gave her his full attention. “I glanced over Maryia’s husband’s interviews. He felt Maryia was on the up emotionally that week. Her sister felt and still feels otherwise from talking to her today.” “All right, let’s see if there’s been any trace of her over the years. If she’s still alive and she really ran off, she has to have left some kind of trail over the last twenty years.” “Right, okay. But what if she didn’t? What if Mr. Lee really took her?”
“Then there are gaps. Something’s wrong with the forensics and the information from the handwriting analysis report from twenty years ago, or something else happened.” Jones let out a breath. “Anything’s possible. Just look at his reputation abduction, rape, murder that was his kink back then going by this.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t put it past him, and if it weren’t for the forensics, I’d say it’s likely.” Ruiz placed the file on his desk. “I’ll start the background searches and see if there’s been any traces of her over the years.” Jones got to her feet. “I’ll go over the file tonight.” Ruiz rose, ready to switch chairs.
Jones made her way to the door and called over her shoulder, “We should head round to her husband’s place as well. After all, it’s the twenty-year anniversary plea, so I’m sure he’s expecting us.”
Ruiz glanced at his watch. “I’ll be free in a couple of hours, let’s head over.”
“Okay, give me a shout when you’re ready.” Jones smiled. Ruiz admired her from behind his desk. There was some‐ thing about Davina Jones that called to him, but he wanted to keep it professional. Especially as this was the first case they were working together.
He moved his gaze over her from head to toe, then back up again. He noticed Jones become self-conscious and shift her weight from one foot to the other. They held each other’s gaze.
Ruiz broke away and looked down at the file and nodded. “Sure, I’ll give you a shout.” Jones smiled again and closed the door behind her. The scent of her lingered in the air.
Kim Knight Award Winning and #1 Best-Selling Romantic Suspense & Thriller Author
Author Site www.kimknightauthor.comAmazon: http://amzn.to/2vq5VpRFacebook @kimknightauthorukTwitter @kimknightauthor
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