Writing Prompt #17: Desert Dead

Lt. Montano wasn’t in the mood for games. Thirty-three hours of coffee and a gas station hot dog has barely been his fill. He would have give up his pension for a cot and two years of sleep. That wasn’t going to happen, not today at least. Good thing Oliver was driving out to the scene… maybe he could just rest his eyes for a minute.

“Lieutenant!” Oliver was standing outside the passenger door. Montano’s eyes snapped open and looked over at the rookie. “We’re here, sir.”

“Good.” He gets out and stretches, and puts on his sunglasses. The desert sun was especially bright today, only 7:30am and it would soon be soaring into triple digits. As he walked over, stepping over the scrub and a rattler that surprised him, he approached the crime scene. He ducked under the police tape and walked up to the victim’s half eaten corpse. He’d seen worse out here, but the fact that she was so young made his blood run cold.

The medical examiner pulled out the needle from the cavity by her liver. He jots down some notes on a clipboard, pushed up his glasses and stood up. Jates has been around since Montano’s dad was on the force, a permanent fixure, one of the best.

“Jates.” Montano steps up behind him.
“Lieutenant. She’s been dead about eight hours. I’m surprised the coyotes didn’t finish her off.”
“Probably the campers that spotted her. Any identification?”
Jates shook his head and starts cleaning up his kit.
“No. But she has the same carving on her chest”
Montano looked around and noticed the tire tracks that lead off back to the road.
“Oliver- get some plaster on these tracks… you know the drill.” He turned around to see Jates sitting on his kit, cleaning his glasses.
“This is the sixth one in as many days, Ramon.”

Montano puts his hat back on and headed back to the SUV.