|Lost and Found
Author: Rusty Fingers PM
A pedophile evades the Miami crime lab only to turn up in Vegas, leading Horatio to team up with Grissom and his crew of CSI's in order to catch him. This chance meeting between the two supervisors has startling repercussions on their personal lives.Rated: Fiction M - English - Crime/Romance - Gil G. & Horatio C. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 20,094 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 11-25-10 - Published: 11-20-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6489901
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Warning: The following story deals with situations and themes that some readers may find disturbing and offensive. References are made to child abuse. There will also be a slash pairing in the last chapter of this story. Not your cup of tea? Don't read on.
I own none of this. If I did, Grissom would still be with us.
Lieutenant Horatio Caine stood, hands on his hips, wind rustling his carefully cropped hair, looking for all the world like he had his eyes closed behind those sun glasses, just enjoying the sun on his face. Bystanders and newer police officers vaguely thought this if they looked at him. Alexx, Calleigh, Eric and Tripp all knew different.
Horatio's eyes were open, scanning the crowd for anyone of possible interest in the case. They then shifted, as did his stance, to scan briefly over everything in sight, followed by a closer scrutinization of anything pertinent or strange. No, he wasn't enjoying the sun though he had noted it's position upon arrival, his mind was focused acutely on the crime scene before him.
He hadn't bought or blackmailed his way to the head of the Miami-Dade crime lab. He had earned it and safeguarded it not by pandering to those in positions above him but by surrounding himself with colleagues he could trust with his life.
"What do we have here Frank?" His voice rumbled with authority and the need for perhaps one more cup of coffee. It was eight in the morning.
Tripp squinted into the sunlight as he looked towards the open door of the house. The house could have been any house in any middle class neighbourhood in Miami. Terracotta roof tiles, small palms in beds on either side of the yard. The only thing out of place was the crime scene tape, the flashing lights and beige uniforms of the police surrounding it.
"Female DB inside, Alexx is working on the identification but the house belongs to the Renfrews. Judging by the photos inside, I'd say it's likely Misses Renfrew in there."
Horatio nodded at the Texan and walked towards the front door. He came to a stop in the entrance way and removed his sunglasses to look at the body as Alexx probed the woman's pockets.
"You're going to have to get her husband to ID her for sure Horatio, this poor woman was just going out for the paper, wasn't planning on needin' her ID for that." Alexx stroked the victims head before gently turning it from side to side.
"Cause of death Alexx?" She doesn't fault him for being short on pleasantries this early in the morning or at any other time for that matter. She knows Horatio is a man of few words as he knows she is woman unafraid of her emotions.
"Manual strangulation, I've got bruising consistent with two hands around the neck. She's been dead maybe an hour Horatio" Alexx shook her head as Horatio furrowed his brow and slowly looked up to the family portrait on the wall.
"Alexx, when do you send your kids out to the bus stop for school in the morning?" He paused after saying her name then laid out the sentence carefully.
Alexx stopped her examination and looked briefly at the body before gazing back up at Horatio. "Around 8:30, why?"
He was already out the front door, sunglasses on, when he answered over his shoulder, "those kids would have still been home with her."
Calleigh was walking towards the house with her kit when she met Horatio striding out of it. "Calleigh, I need a thorough look over the crime scene. Get prints from the entrance and DNA samples from each bedroom to the lab immediately. I think we may have a kidnapping on our hands."
"You got it," was all she responded.
"I'll be on my cell phone."
He walked toward his Hummer and opened the drivers side door as she turned towards the house. Their relationship was complicated and long standing. At the core of it was a trust both Calleigh and Horatio did not share with another human being. They saw little of each other outside of work but understood each other on the most basic of levels. It was when Calleigh transferred to CSI from policing that Horatio had found the freedom to exercise his investigations on another level. She gave him the edge needed to put their crime lab among the top in the country and not simply by being an amazing criminalist. Their pasts shared common themes. They hadn't needed to go into detail with one another to know that.
The offices of Dade Standard Accounting were unimaginative which did not surprise Horatio in the least as he stepped down from the Hummer. He was doing what he always did in analysing his surroundings even though this wasn't a crime scene. If dwelt upon, the thought of having to tell another person their life was about to be horribly changed forever would ware on him, so Horatio focused on everything but. It was when he was standing in front of the desk of Michael Renfrew that Horatio gave himself over to it and listened and looked.
An astoundingly good judge of character, Horatio saw only in Michael Renfrew grief and stunned disbelief. Everything the Lieutenant was expecting.
"Mr. Renfrew, was there anyone who would want to hurt you or your family?" Again, the pause after the name followed by the careful sentence.
Michael pursed his lips and shook his head a little, "No...no, no one."
Horatio waited, patiently but sensed the man needed time. He cast his gaze downward before speaking quietly, "okay. You're going to need to stay somewhere else tonight, do you have family in town?"
"Yeah, my sister Annabeth..."
Horatio looked Michael in the eyes, "I'm going to need her address and phone number so I can reach you when there's news, okay?"
Michael nodded. Horatio turned to leave when he heard Micheal say hesitantly, "Lieutenant Caine?" Horatio half tuned and looked sideways at him. "Wh...what are the chances of finding my boys?" The man's lips quivered and tears formed in his eyes.
Horatio looked down before slipping his sunglasses on and returning his gaze to Michaels, "I'm going to do everything in my power to find them."
The words sounded hollow, Horatio knew, but he needed to say them. You couldn't stone wall a many who had just lost everything and might never get it back.
Stepping out of the elevator, Horatio headed immediately to layout where, as predicted, Calleigh had photos of the crime scene laid out and was running a stack of fingerprints.
He stopped next to the table and placed his hands on his hips. "Talk to me."
Calleigh looked briefly at her supervisor before turning the computer monitor towards him. "Lot of prints just in the entranceway, most of them are from the two boys, Adam and Danny, a few from mom and dad and a full palm print, not from any of the family. I'm running it through AFIS now. Eric is still at the scene."
"Okay. The father confirms the boys were home with their mother this morning. Do we have DNA samples from the boys?"
"Yes, Valera is doing up their profiles now." Calleigh looked at Horatio and saw the thoughts going through his mind. So far nothing probative had turned up at the crime scene besides the print which could take hours to run. They were momentarily stymied and it bothered him.
Neither CSI needed to tell the other that the first few hours in a kidnapping were the most important.
"I don't see a motive so far, the Renfrews weren't wealthy, what is the kidnapper hoping to gain from this?" Calleigh asked as she slipped a print card out of the scanner.
This seemed to spur Horatio out of his thoughts as he flipped open his cell phone. "I'm going to call Tripp, see if anything turned up in the neighbourhood." He turned away from Calleigh as she resumed her look over the photos, occasionally glancing up at the monitor.
"Frank, have you found out anything interesting from the neighbours?" Horatio had one hand on his hip, the other on his phone as he looked out the glass doors into the rest of the lab. His mind started to fire as Tripp spoke in his ear and a beeping came from the computer behind him. Turning back towards Calleigh and reading the screen while Frank finished, Horatio's stomach clenched apprehensively.
"Frank," His eyes met Calleighs as he spoke, "We just got a hit on an Andrew Callum's print from inside the house. I need you to find out everything about this guy and call me back." His voice, still gravelly, had lost it's sleepy undertone.
"Priors for assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful confinement and sexual assault," Calleigh listed off, "he was paroled four months ago."
"Calleigh, pull up his parole officers information for me." He had a bad feeling about this. If he was a good judge of character, he was a phenomenal judge of a scene. He could feel bits of information lacing themselves together to form a picture for him and the details were disturbing.
Pete Hempter's desk had not been cleaned in some time and the amount of paperwork on it was baffling. His Shirt was rumpled as was his hair and Pete had not shaved this morning. All minor details, all unsurprising. Parole officers, much like child services, had too many cases and not enough good people to handle them. Horatio stood in front of Pete's desk for three minutes while he argued on the phone with a parolee and cast impatient glances Horatio's way. The three minutes were just a courtesy to an overworked, underpaid government employee and they were up.
Hitting the button on the phone, Horatio ended the call and spoke immediately, pronouncing each word clearly and spelling out exactly what he needed in his deep, characteristic timbre.
Pete was so astounded by Horatio's looming stance and complete disregard for him that he complied without retorting. He handed Horatio the file who immediately opened it and started digesting facts. Current address, employer, compliance with parole conditions.
"What's this about?" Asked Pete.
"Andrew Callum is a person of interest in a kidnapping case," Horatio offered, not looking up from the file.
"But...no, Andrew has been a model parolee, was a model prisoner. That's how he got early parole, good behaviour..."
The part of the file Horatio had been hoping would simply not be present hit him coldly. 'sexual assault...adolescent boys...preference for four to eight year olds...'. His face was normally placid and difficult to read but something about the look on it now gave Pete Hempter pause.
Horatio looked up at Pete with that cold stare and said, "Good behaviour...clearly," before turning on his heel and walking out of the office.
His phone buzzed and he flipped it open as he walked outside, "Frank."
"Horatio, I've got Callum's address. I'm gonna take a few uni's over there and see what we can find." Frank's voice never seemed to waver and his Texas lilt steadied Horatio's racing thoughts slightly.
"Take Calleigh with you. I'm heading to his work." He closed the phone and pulled himself into the drivers seat, sunglasses on, and tore out of the parking lot.
Sun and Shade Landscaping operated out of large tin garage in an industrial park. On a Tuesday afternoon, only one truck was parked outside and the garage was mostly empty save for the odd half disassembled lawnmower and piles of bags of clippings. The corner had a sectioned off office cubicle with no roof, so James Hartford heard the door of the Hummer slam and looked up to see the red headed man in a dark suite approaching.
Hartford, a man of the soil, had little liking for suites or skinny fellas but his opinion of Horatio grew more favourable as he brushed aside his suite jacket to let his hands rest on his gun and his hip, his badge glinting in the afternoon sun. Hartford stood and beckoned Horatio into the office.
"What can I do for you officer?" He asked as he opened the door.
Horatio stepped inside, "Mr. Hartford, I'm Lieutenant Horatio Caine with the Miami-Dade crime lab. I'm here to speak with you about an employee of yours, Andrew Callum."
Hartford shrugged, "Andrew, yeah, good worker, strong back. What's the trouble with him?"
"Did he show up for work today?" Horatio tilted his head to look at askance Hartford, which unnerved him.
"Sure did, on time like he always does." Hartford was getting a chill from Horatio's tone and the look in his eyes.
"I need the addresses of any houses he was scheduled to work at today and any he has worked at in the past. And Mr. Hartford, I need a description of the company vehicle he will have been driving." Horatio held the thin frames of his sunglasses in his hands as Hartford set about gathering papers and scribbling on them.
Standing with the smell of oil and grass about him, Horatio could feel his team closing in on this predator. He had just one question for Hartford when the man handed him the papers.
"Andrew Callum is a convicted pedophile. How did he end up working at the home of a family with two young boys?" He just managed to keep the snarl from twitching his upper lip.
Hartford looked stunned, "What the hell are you talking about? He told me he got locked up for assault, some gang related thing." He was sweating as Horatio's glacial-blue eyes bored into him.
"I suggest the next time you find such a star worker, Mr. Hartford, you don't let that keep you from doing a proper back ground check." The line delivered with almost a growl, Horatio replaced his sunglasses, turned and left.
Five minutes on the road and Horatio's phone buzzed against his hip. He flipped it open, "Frank."
"Horatio, there's no sign of him here but it looks like he was plannin' a trip. Some personal effects are missing. Calleigh's also found a pedophiles wet dreams worth of kiddie porn, all a' young boys." Frank's voice was steady but Horatio could feel the disgust there and knew if he were with Frank now, he would see it too.
"Boys four to eight are his trigger Frank. What's the general state of the apartment?" Forcing down his fear, his disgust and his prayers, Horatio took his mind where it needed to be to think and nothing more. He needed to think.
"Place's clean as a whistle, OCD to the nines. I wouldn't have spotted that anything was up if I hadn't looked in the bathroom."
Horatio's mind processed facts as he replied to Frank, "Nature of the beast Frank, he planned this and has been planning it since the day he got caught the first time." He shook his head. "I've gotta go Frank."
Horatio dialled while keeping one eye on the road. "This is CSI Caine, I need a BOLO on a green Ford van, license plates Echo-Juliet-Mike-Two-Nine-Nine. Suspect is Andrew Callum, Caucasian, five-eleven, 165 pounds. Possibly travelling with two boys, Adam and Danny Renfrew, aged six and eight."
Horatio closed the phone and slid it into his pocket. His jaw clenched a couple times while he tried to decide his next move. Shoulder checking, he moved into the right lane and took the next turn-off.
The light of a dying sun pierced the big bay windows of Horatio's living room. The red head sat, not on his couch which was plush and inviting, but at a desk in the corner of the room. His suit jacket had been discarded on the couch and Horatio sat with the sleeves of his baby blue dress shirt rolled to his elbows, collar button undone. He was leaning over Andrew Callum's file, elbows resting on the desk, a cup of coffee next to him.
'Callum appears to show desire to be well thought of...is clean and well organised...shows no aversion to a hard days work...has completed his mandatory psychology sessions satisfactorily and ahead of schedule...'
Horatio took a sip of coffee, then stared at the picture of Callum, his face looking slightly dejected. His eyes moved to a picture of the two boys.
He had worked until 7:30 before ripping off his gloves and leaving Callum's apartment. Every room, every cupboard, every drawer, every crack in the linoleum, Horatio had meticulously picked the place apart after Calleigh and Eric had been through it. That was after he did the same thing to the Renfrew's home. Coming up empty handed was not something Horatio was used to and he hated how, especially with this case, it left him feeling helpless.
His blue eyes turned sad gazing at the picture of the boys. Like he and his brother had, the Renfrew boys were about to have the innocence of youth stolen from them by a selfish monster. Focusing on the wall above the picture, his features became drawn as memories of his mother bleeding and begging came to him. He remembered holding his brother and whispering fiercely to him not to cry. It would only incense their father, further proof that two pale, scrawny boys would never amount to the men his sons should be.
Screwing his eyes shut and putting his face in his palms, Horatio felt for all the world in that moment that his father was right. The man he himself wanted to be would have found these children and he hadn't.