“But you and I aren’t less cynical.”
“No, and so I tagged Feeney and put you into the Missing Persons search he was running. You’re not going to like it.”
“Who is she?”
“Gia Rossi.” She picked up his water, took a gulp. “She’s a trainer and instructor at BodyWorks. Do you know her?”
“No.” He pressed his fingers to his eyes a moment, then dropped them. “No, I don’t believe so. Were there any of these connects, any of these overlaps in the previous investigation to me or mine?”
“No, not that I know of, and I started a check on the way back. He changed the products with this one. If you’re part of the reason, we need to figure out why. A competitor maybe, a former employee. We need to work that angle.”
“When did he take the second one?”
“She was reported missing yesterday. I don’t have the details yet—Feeney’s on it. I’ve got to go pull another chain now, but we’re going to dig into this. I know this is a kick in the ass, but it’s also a mistake. His mistake. There was nothing connecting the victims in any of the other cases. Now there is.”
“Yes. Now there is.”
“I’m sorry, I have to go do this.”
“Go on. I’ll stick with this for now.”
She didn’t kiss him, though part of her wanted to, just to give comfort. Instead she laid her hand over his, squeezed gently. Then left him.
She started back toward her office and crossed paths with Baxter. “Got nothing,” he told her. “Reinterviewed the sister, went to the club, talked to the vic’s neighbors. Big zero.”
“Out of town for the weekend. Neighbor said he went snowboarding out in Colorado.”
“Why would anybody deliberately jump and flop around in the snow, on a mountain?” she wondered.
“Beats me. I like summer sports, where the women are very, very scantily clad. Snow and ice? No skin.”
“You’re such a pig, Baxter.”
“And proud of it. Do you want me to run down the ex? The neighbor thought he knew where the guy was staying. He’ll be back tomorrow night.”
“We’ll hit him once he gets back. Check with Jenkinson. See how far he and Powell have gotten going down the list of people interviewed in the other cases. You and Trueheart can help them run through it. Media’s out with this now, which means by tomorrow we’ll be buried in looney leads. We’ll have to follow up on them, so let’s clear this first plate today.”
Nadine was waiting, sitting in the visitor’s chair, legs crossed, examining her nails as she talked on her headset.
“You have to reschedule or cancel,” she said. “No. No. We agreed in writing when I took this that if and when I had something hot, something I felt it was necessary to pursue personally, it would take precedence over everything else. That was the deal.”