Section 2 Words: 413
“Ah, Marek, don’t we need to find out who he is as well?” Josep asked.
“I think the hotel clerk can probably help us there. I’ll talk to him while you get those sent off.”
Detective Holtz was in luck. The dead man had only checked in the night before and the clerk still had his passport in the hotel safe. He was going through it as he headed back up to room 411, where the Medical Examiner was just finishing his preliminary exam.
“Poison, I’d say. Inhaled somehow.”
“That was my guess, too. So, the passport says he is a Syrian national, Abou Ahmed Massan. Seems to have a German resident permit. Guest worker or refugee?”
“Can’t help you there. But I don’t think he’s spent much time in Syria.”
“Look at his teeth. He’s got Hollywood teeth. Didn’t get a mouthful like that growing up in the Middle East.”
Marek leaned over to get a better look at the dead man’s face. Sure enough a double row of pearly whites twinkled up at him. Even in death, his teeth recalled the world famous sign that blinged down over Los Angeles.
“Doesn’t look very Syrian either.”
No, I’d say he’s definitely American and young, maybe early twenties.”
“Says here that Abou Ahmed is forty-five. If this isn’t him dead there, what’s our boy doing with his passport?”
“You’re the detective. I’m just a doctor.”
“Damn, now I’ve got four questions to get answers to.”
The next morning, Marek was sitting at his desk wondering how he was going to answer even one of the questions this case had thrown up, when Josep walked in holding a standard crime report folder. “Please tell me that’s got the name of our dead kid in it.”
“Sorry,” Josep smiled ruefully. “It’s another one.”
“What the….. Now what?”
“Some guy fishing in the Danube out near Petržalka got his line snagged on something.”
“Don’t tell me he was going to eat a fish from that river.”
“I don’t know. Someone’s hungry enough they’ll eat anything. The line was brand new so he pulled on it very carefully – came up with a rusted old weight.”
“There was a foot tied to the weight with a piece of old rope.”