A Lesson in Drowning — part II

        Sheriff Gray took Dan Fremont’s statement and dismissed him. He tried to get a few more details from Michael, but Michael didn’t feel like talking anymore, and the Sheriff didn’t want to press him after what had just happened.

      “Excuse me, Mr. D’Angelo. I’ll be back in a moment.” Sheriff Gray returned to his car and called for some of his deputies to help with the investigation. “Something just doesn’t pass the smell test,” he said.

      Michael accompanied his wife in the ambulance. Sheriff Gray gave him explicit instructions to stay at the hospital after his wife was moved to the morgue, and he told the grieving husband he would be along shortly.

      The deputies found Michael’s F-250 pickup truck near Comb’s Bridge. The bed was covered, but not locked. Inside they found a large tool box and a couple of suitcases. Other than that, and a strong musty smell coming from the bed, they discovered nothing unusual.

      Farther down the river, about a quarter mile past No Head Hollow, they found a large, extra-heavy-ply plastic sheet. It looked new, and the folds could still be seen where it was prepared for packaging. But there was nothing there to tie it to the truck or to Michael D’Angelo.

      The pickup still had the keys in it as well as D’Angelo’s wallet with identification under the seat, so after his deputies finished their inspection, Sheriff Gray drove the truck to the hospital. He found Michael sitting in the main waiting room.

      “Mr. D’Angelo, here are your keys and wallet. Is the address on your driver’s license current?”


      “You can go on home now, Mr. D’Angelo. We’re sending your wife’s remains to the medical examiner in Tulsa. We still need a few questions answered. I’ll get in touch with you when your wife’s body has been released for burial.”

      “You’re going to have her autopsied?” D’Angelo asked. “Her mother will be really upset that she can’t have an open-casket funeral.”

      Sheriff Gray raised an eyebrow, but he said nothing.

(excerpt from A Lesson in Drowning © 2011 by Horton Deakins)
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