“Yeah, he’s dead as a doornail.”
Lucinda Fontaine gave her partner a droll stare as they stood across from a body that was pinned to a garage door by a giant spike through his chest. “You’re not funny.”
Sam Lopez grinned. “Sure, I am, cher. You just can’t appreciate it.”
“And I need both of you to be serious right now. We got reporters showing up, all over the place. Last thing I need or want is for any of them to start saying that Orleans Parish’s finest is treating this matter with anything less than all due respect. You hear me?”
“Yes, sir,” they snapped in unison.
“Good. Now get your gear on and don’t be contaminating my crime scene or compromising my evidence.”
Lucinda pulled a pair of latex gloves out of the roll she kept clipped to her belt loop. She’d already put the plastic protectors on the bottom of her shoes. Something she’d learned to do as a rookie, since the last thing anyone wanted to do was track contaminates or evidence back into their car or home to their loved ones.
Covering her hair and face, she quickly set about examining the garage while the coroner and others did their job.
Sam stepped carefully around the broken glass on the ground so as not to slice through his shoe coverings. “Who called it in?”
“His wife. A uni is taking her statement inside.” Lucinda sighed. “Apparently, she came home from work to find him like this.”
“It’s what she said.”
Sam frowned. “You believe her?”
Lucinda shrugged as she glanced up at the heavy-set man hanging from what appeared to be a piece of the garage door track that had somehow broken off and pierced him straight through his heart. “I don’t think a four foot ten, ninety-pound Cajun woman could do that to him. She couldn’t even reach that high, standing on a ladder.”
“Yeah, you got a point.”
“And you call yourself a detective.” Lucinda adjusted her mask as she leaned over to pick up a piece of crumpled paper. Straightening it out, it appeared to be a bill of some kind.
Sam came over. At five-six, he was almost even to her height. But in her tall rocker Sketchers, she had an inch on him. “What’d you find?”
“Credit card statement. Looks like he’s been spending a lot of time at the casinos.”
“And hotels.” He pointed at the charges for the Hotel Monteleone.
“Yeah, look at the amount.”
He wasn’t wrong. Strange for a man who lived locally to be spending that kind of dough for a luxury suite in the Quarter.
Lucinda listened idly at the chatter around them as her lieutenant was past. “Hey, boss? What you doing?”
“There’s no need in keeping everyone on scene. This is an easy open-and-shut accident. I’m going to make a statement.”
They were just beginning to pull the man down from the wall when she and Sam headed inside to find the man’s widow sitting on the couch.
Visibly shaken, the tiny woman sat with swollen eyes.
“I just can’t believe this happened. I can’t believe he’s gone.”
“Mrs. Marchand? Were you aware of your husband’s gambling?” Lucinda wasn’t sure why she felt the need to ask that when her boss had already closed the matter.