Police Chief Cal Brady nodded thoughtfully. “Seen a lot of dead bodies, have you Stella-June?” he asked in his slow, casual voice.
“Course not,” she replied. “At least not this close up. TV mostly, but still, I knew he was dead as yesterday’s news.”
Stella-June Wyatt ran a janitorial service called The Cleaning Ladies, which was a misnomer as she was the only employee. She was tall and thin as a rail, with short brown hair and nervous hands, which she waved in constant circles when talking. She was sixty-one years old.
“It’s Charlie, isn’t it?” Stella-June said. “Charlie Young.”
Brady kneeled next to the body. “Afraid so,” he said as he placed two fingers on the man’s neck. No pulse. The skin was also cool to the touch, telling him he’d been dead for several hours.
“Lord, lord, lord,” Stella-June said. “Charlie’s been a member of the church here for as long as I can recall. For as long as anyone can recall. He must be over eighty. You think it was a heart attack? How’d he get into the office? Why’s he carrying a flashlight? What’s he doing here at night anyway?”
Brady studied the body a moment longer then surveyed the office. Nothing seemed to be out of place. No sign of a struggle or break-in. Eighty-year-old man lying dead on the floor wasn’t out of the ordinary. He’d seen his share of natural deaths to think this one was no different. But the flashlight made him curious.