After 10 minutes’ more conversation, the police officers left, minus the soup and fairly certain that Mrs Frances Young had had nothing to do with her sister’s death.
It was on the way back to the station that Karen mentioned that something had been worrying her about Marcia Simpson.
“I know her name from somewhere,” she said, driving into the station car park. “Something to do with a case. A witness, or something. Is it OK if I try to trace it?”
“Sure,” Jim Owens replied. “Any information is good information. I’ll go and see if the boys have found a weapon yet, though I think your idea of the stove is a good one. He gives every impression of being unflappable. If I’d just killed someone, even by accident, I’d be a gibbering wreck. The first thing I’d do is run. But this guy has taken time to move the body and possibly destroy the weapon.”
“A bit of a chancer, then.”
“I’d say so. Let me know what you find out about Marcia Simpson.”
Karen put her bag on her desk and switched on her computer.
It took her half an hour, but eventually the name of Marcia Simpson appeared on the screen. She had been a witness in the case of one Gordon Turnbull, a well-known villain in the Bremston area, who had been accused of fly tipping.
According to Marcia’s statement, she had been out picking mushrooms in a field well known for its chanterelles, when a van had driven up and stopped at a spot beside a low wall. She had moved behind a convenient tree, and watched as the man she identified as Gordon Turnbull and another man had unloaded an old fridge and tipped it over the wall, where it had thundered down the grass and landed in a stream. As the van drove off, Marcia had managed to read half the registration number. Together with her picking out Gordon Turnbull’s mug shot, that had been enough to convict him. In fact, he was currently doing time in one of Her Majesty’s prisons.
Another short inquiry told her that he had been sentenced to six months and was due out within 10 days, which put him in the clear for Marcia’s murder. Nonetheless, she thought it best to keep D.I. Owens up to speed on her latest findings.
“Could he have been let out early?”
Karen made a face.
“Never thought of that.”
“Phone up and find out. It’s always a possibility, though it does seem a bit extreme to murder someone over a fridge.”
Ten minutes later, it was confirmed that Gordon Turnbull was indeed still inside, though due out in a matter of days. Karen was a little relieved. To be killed for something significant was one thing, but to be murdered over an old fridge was just insulting.