“He was waiting for me,” Anne said. I was still holding her; by then we had moved to the sofa against her wall. “I didn’t see him at first. I came in after my appointments and went behind my desk. Before I could sit down he put his hands on me.” She was watching the balcony while she spoke. The sliding door was still open. “I guess he was hiding out there.”
“Have you seen him before?”
Anne shook her head.
“You try to be careful,” she told me, although I think she was talking mostly to herself. “Never show a property to someone you don’t know, never work an open house by yourself, get personal information you can verify—we should call the police. Should we call the police?”
“That’s up to you.”
“I want to call the police, McKenzie. I will not be afraid. I will not be embarrassed. I will not be upset with myself later because I was afraid and embarrassed.”
I punched 9-1-1 into the keypad of my cell and told the operator that we needed assistance. I recited the address. Anne had calmed herself nicely, but I knew the pain and fear were residing just beneath the surface and could return in a moment, so instead of actually saying we wanted to report an incident of criminal sexual conduct, I used the code: 10-33.
“The police are on their way,” I said after ending the call.
“I was so frightened,” Anne said. “Then you arrived…” She turned her head to look at me. “McKenzie, why are you here?”
“Doesn’t matter. It can wait.”
“No, tell me.”
“I was hoping you knew where Navarre was.”
She came off the sofa in a hurry and looked down at me. Her face was flushed and her fists were clenched. She’d buttoned my sports jacket, but the ruined shirt beneath it fell open to reveal her breasts. I averted my eyes.
“Navarre,” she said. “Navarre, Navarre. That’s what he wanted. Navarre. He said … if I told him where Navarre was he said he would make it nice for me, otherwise … he put the knife to my throat and said, he said otherwise he’d make sure it hurt.”
“It’s okay, Anne.” I was on my feet and reaching for her. “You’re safe now. It’s okay.”
She pushed me away.
“It’s not okay. It’s not. Juan Carlos was here. He was hiding here. His boat—he tied up at our dock, the dock we all share. He asked me not to tell anyone. He asked me to get clothes for him. He asked me—he said men were after him.”
“Terrorists. From Spain. ETA, he said. They were after him because of something his father did years ago. That’s what Juan Carlos said. Then this man, this man … I told him Juan Carlos wasn’t here. I told him that he left this morning. That’s when he tore my clothes, that’s when he tried … He was going to … Oh, God.”
“How did he know to come to you?” I asked. “How did this man know that you even knew who Navarre was?”
She answered just as the cops came through the door.
“He said Mrs. R. told him.”
They put me in handcuffs and locked me into the back of a South Lake Minnetonka Police Department cruiser that was parked a couple of rows from the front of the building where Irene Rogers had lived. I didn’t blame them.
From my seat, I was able to watch the comings and goings of deputies from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department as they swarmed to the crime scene. The lead investigator, crime scene photographer, photographic log recorder, evidence man, and all the rest—some came in plainclothes, some carried equipment, all wore firm expressions. Soon the assistant county medical examiner appeared, with a face that seemed carved in granite. He was followed by a large man dressed in the tan-on-brown uniform of the sheriff’s department, except that his shirt was white, which made him an administrator, and he had gold insignia on his collar, which made him a major. No one smiled except Officer Tschida, who was manning the door. An arson in the morning and a killing in the afternoon—he was having a helluva day.
Sarah Neamy sat on a bench outside the building with a deputy and stared at her hands. She had discovered the body just moments before the deputies arrived; I was the one who sent her to Mrs. R’s condominium. I longed to speak to her, but my current situation forbade it. Served me right for losing my temper. While I watched, the deputy received a call on his radio. A moment later, he led Sarah inside the building. Her face was pale and tear-stained when she returned. She was having difficulty walking, and the deputy had to hold her upright as they moved toward the club’s main entrance.