Detective, Tripp Euclaire bent under the police tape and entered the apartment. As he stood, he surveyed the room. Average. Typical. Little to draw the attention.

“Right this way, sir. At the end of the hall.”

Tripp followed the officer to the far bedroom and stepped just inside the doorway.

“We found her about an hour ago. The M.E. said possible blunt force trauma put her down. It looks like she put up a…”

The officer’s voice trailed off as Euclaire silently raised his hand to stop him from talking. There would be plenty of time for the details. This time was for observance and respect. He stepped closer not realizing the growing clench of his jaw.

She looked like Emily.

Oddly enough, despite the condition of the ravaged room around them, she looked peaceful. Had it not been for the blood spatter across her face someone could believe she was sleeping. His hand gripped the handkerchief in his pocket. He had to consciously stop his arm from wanting to move instinctively to try and wipe the offensive smear from her cheek and forehead. He didn’t know her, but she didn’t deserve this. His hand tightened in his pocket around the cloth, fighting the urge to wipe her face clean. It was the least this poor girl deserved. Still, he knew better. The harsh reality was she wasn’t a poor girl at all now. At this point, to the system, she was coldly and unequivocally…evidence.

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