"Mom... Mom... I want my mommy!

"Mommy isn't here Nicholas, now come and take your bath."

"No... no... I don't want to, I want my mom..."

"Come here and take your bath Nicholas!"

"No... no... stop it..."

"I said... take your bath!"

"Hey Nick," he heard a voice calling him back to reality and snapped his eyes open to see Greg looking at him peculiarly, "you alright, man?"

"Never better," he beamed, shaking away the voices from his past out of his head. "So did you get anything from Kelly's clothes?"

"Kelly?"

"We identified the girl," Nick informed him, "her name's Kelly Melling and she's six years old. Her parents are on their way back from South Carolina right now."

Greg nodded understandably, "okay, well all the blood on the clothes came back to Kelly. Glass samples are in trace currently, Hodges mentioned something about managing to get a source relating to the glass used in the windows of the houses where the vic... Kelly was presumably attacked."

"Well, he's good for something I guess," Nick laughed to which Greg smirked.

"Hey," Hodges walked into the break room where they were sat looking scornful, "without me here, this city would have thousands more scumbags roaming the streets."

"You keep telling yourself that," Nick chuckled, "what have you got for us?"

"The glass embedded in your Baby Doe..."

"Kelly Melling," Greg pointed out correctly.

"Okay, whatever, anyway, I went specifically out of my way to contact Henley Houses, the company which built the housing estate where your victim was found. They informed me of the refractive index of the windows used in each of the houses..."

"Sorry, the what?" Nick asked.

"A refractive index. One characteristic of glass is the degree to which light is refracted when it enters the glass, each type of glass will refract light differently. So I compared the refractive indexes to both samples of glass, not a match."

"Well that says two things," Greg noted, "either, Kelly wasn't thrown out of the window..."

"Or she wasn't thrown out one of the windows in that housing estate," Nick finished off for him.

"What makes you think that she didn't fall through?" Hodges inquired.

"Go and have a look at her body," Nick snapped, "that should give you an indication that she didn't "fall though"."

"Whoa, chillax Stokes, I'm just trying not to jump to conclusions here," he said holding out his hands.

"You stick to your job, we'll stick to ours," Nick growled at him. Hodges gave him a glare and walked out of the room. Nick angrily crushed a plastic cup sat on the table muttering "moron" under his breath.

"In other news," Greg said cheerfully, trying to detract Nick away from his annoyance at Hodges, "Catherine and Ray followed a blood trail back to the housing estate; the blood's a match to Kelly Melling."

"Well that implies she walked away from her attacker."

"Or her attacker brought her away from the scene and dumped her."

"Why beat a six year old so viciously and not check to see whether she's dead before dumping her?"

Greg shrugged, "maybe they thought she was genuinely dead."

The door opened again and Doc Robbins hobbled into the room to talk to the two of them, "have either of you seen Catherine or Ray?"

"No, sorry," Greg replied. "I think they may have gone out to the scene to find some more evidence."

"Okay don't worry, I'll inform you two anyway. The shoes found near the scene fit Kelly perfectly. I wouldn't expect a six year old to be able to walk too far from somewhere even if they hadn't been beaten half to death."

"She must have been attacked in that vicinity then," Nick concluded.

"Yes, I looked at the results from the SAE kit which one of the nurses at Desert Palm took," Doc Robbins continued talking, Nick felt his throat clench with dread, "if there's anything that can be considered comforting about this, it's the fact there were no signs of sexual trauma."

Nick said nothing more than letting out a large sigh of relief, Greg equally looked pleased, "I guess that might rule out a paedophile, for now anyway."

"I don't know whether my opinion would be any valid," Doc Robbins began talking, "but weren't her parents out of town? If you were to go out of town where would you leave your children whilst you were gone?"

"I'd leave them with a family member," Nick answered.

"What if nobody was around?"

"Then," he gulped, "a babysitter."

"Don't make me tell mommy you've been a naughty boy."


Brass was sat on a bunch, drinking a coffee as he waited outside of the Arrivals Lounge for Kelly's parents to get off the plane. The flight had landed around fifteen minutes ago and it was surely only a matter of time before they would turn up, although Brass felt like he had been waiting for much longer. He was determined to wrap up this case as quickly as possible, and was getting frustrated by delays such as not being able to identify the child and waiting for the parents to land at the airport.

A customs officer turned the corner steering a couple towards him. Both people looked grumpy and looked as if they were going to dart off at any moment. Even from afar, Brass could hear that Mrs Melling was particularly annoyed at being taken over.

"I don't believe this," he heard her complaining, "I've got to talk to fifteen of the country's top industry experts, I don't have time to faff around with customs."

"We shouldn't take long at all ma'am," the custom officer replied wearily, "Captain Brass would just like to talk to you about something."

He handed the couple over to Brass and walked away as briskly as possible. Mr Melling frowned at Brass and rudely exclaimed, "this better be important."

"It is important," Brass said flatly. Although he wasn't one to judge people based on first impressions, he had taken an immediate dislike to the couple, despite what he was about to tell them. "I'm Detective Jim Brass from homicide, I need to speak to you both about your daughter," he said, looking at Mrs Melling whose expression changed from anger to fear.

"Oh my gosh! What's Tina done now?" She cried out.

"Tina?" Brass asked her, confused, "this isn't about Tina, it's about Kelly."

"Oh god," Mrs Melling cried, "I'm so sorry, I just assumed... Tina's my older daughter from my first marriage."

"Please tell us that Kelly's okay," Mr Melling spoke up, all sense of irritation in his voice had been replaced by desperation.

"I'm afraid to tell you this," Brass sighed, "your daughter has been murdered." The words hit the couple like verbal bullets; Mrs Melling burst into tears and began wailing loudly, she buried her head into her husband's chest who too, was mourning, but doing so more subtly. "I'm sorry for your loss."

"How?" Mr Melling asked, "how did this happen? We left her in good hands."

"Who did you leave her with?" Brass asked.

"A babysitter, her name's Dena Welburn."

"Do you have an address?"

"Yes, I've got one here," Mrs Melling sniffled, taking out a small card and handing it to him. "Captain... how did this happen?"

"Mrs Melling," Brass said to her, "I'm afraid these are questions we'll have to answer downtown. We've got a few questions of our own to ask so if you could follow this officer here and we'll give you what we know down at the station."

The couple nodded and were escorted by two unis who took them out of the terminal building towards the cars. Brass spoke to another two nearby, "could you go and collect their baggage please. Their names are Jack and Edith Melling." The two unis nodded and went off to the baggage claim area to collect the suitcases from the carousel.

Brass walked out of the terminal building and pulled out his cell phone, intent on calling Catherine. "Hey Catherine, it's Jim... listen I've got a name and address that you and Ray might want to have a look at, the name is Dena Welburn and she lives at one-zero-three-zero-three Lambert Street, that's in the area to where she was found... bring a few unis with you, just in case."


"Dena Welburn, LVPD, open up," Officer Akers knocked on the oak door of the rather elaborate house where the babysitter lived. There was no reply. "Dena Welburn, LVPD, open up," Akers repeated, only this time significantly louder.

A large crash could be heard from inside the home followed by screaming and yelling. Akers and Metcalf looked at each other and nodded. Metcalf swung his foot at the door forcing it open with ease. Guns raised, the two officers, with another two close behind piled into the house where the screaming and the wailing got louder.

From what Ray could see, the interior of the house was an absolute mess, chairs were overturned and there were piles of rubbish everywhere. He heard the police officers shouting to each other and looked at Catherine concerned, she looked back at him with an equal look of concern but knew it was best advised not to intervene. Then there was a yelp and the screaming and wailing suddenly stopped.

"Okay, cuff her," he heard Akers tell another officer. They emerged from the house a couple of minutes later, the other two officers supporting a stunned Dena Welburn into the back of the police car. Akers turned t talk to Catherine and Ray. "She tried to assault Metcalf, I had to stun her but we've got her for attempted assault. The house is yours."

"Okay, thanks officer," Catherine replied, and invited Ray into the house to begin to have a look around. Ray could see that Catherine was shocked at the sheer amount of mess in the front room alone. The mess continued into adjacent rooms and even up to the second floor. She gave Ray a look which said that they needed assistance, "you go ahead and start in the kitchen. I reckon this house is where our primary scene is. I'll call Nick, Greg and Sara. This looks like an 'all hands on deck' job."


"Are we murder suspects?" Mr Melling asked Brass curiously who was sitting behind his office desk armed with his usual notepad and pen.

"No," Brass replied, "we're just filling you in with what we know from the case but we've also got some questions to ask you as well. How long have you been in South Carolina?"

"Well," Mrs Melling began, "we've been in South Carolina for two days, but we've also been in North Carolina, Virginia, DC and New York on business."

"Okay, so how long have you been gone?"

"Ten days," Mr Melling replied.

"Ten days?" Brass looked slightly bewildered, "do you go away often then?"

"Work is very demanding. We produce the finest skin care products and they are in high demand with many small businesses all over the..."

"I don't need to know about your products thanks, my skin is perfect. I'll take that as a yes, you do go away often then." Mrs Melling nodded, "and do you use the same babysitter every time?"

"Yes, she's excellent, really excellent and she does a great job for a really low pay-rate as well. I don't know what we'd do without her," Mrs Melling continued praising the babysitter, Brass looked at her and grimaced.

"Please, tell us what happened to Ti... I mean Kelly?" Mr Melling asked desperately.

"We have reason to believe that Kelly has been abused for several months," Brass said morbidly. The couple in front of him looked at him stunned.

"What? That's absurd!" Mr Melling cried out, "Why would we do that? We love Kelly!"

"I wasn't referring to you. Tell me how long have you hired Dena Welburn as a babysitter?"

Both looked at each other worriedly, Mrs Melling answered, "since around January, early February."

"January, so around six months then," Brass told them. The couple nodded. "The crime lab went to question Dena Welburn after you were collected from the airport. She's currently in police custody having tried to assault a police officer."

"How? That is so unlike Dena," Mrs Melling screeched, "every time we've dropped Kelly off she's been kind and welcoming. A little nervous perhaps and hasty but she seemed like such a nice woman."

"What about Kelly? What did she think of her?"

"We never really talked about it with her, but at first she would scream and cry when we went to drop her off, we figured she missed Edna, the old babysitter, but after about six or seven visits, she seemed fine about it."

Six or seven visits? Did these people ever see their child? Brass thought but restrained himself from expressing these thoughts aloud. "So you didn't notice the dislocated shoulder?"

"Her school said that she'd done that falling off a swing," Mr Melling piped up, "you don't really think that Dena would be capable in doing this do you?"

"Well, that's not my decision, that's up to the jury, but from what I've heard she sure knows how to throw a party at her place." Brass passed over a photo across to Mr Melling, "whilst I've got your attention Mr Melling, explain why there is cat blood and cat hairs on your blanket. We found your epithelials on them by the way."

Mr Melling looked at the picture carefully before sitting back and saying, "I lost it. Is that a crime?"

"Nope, just curious seeing as it was found in the same place where a couple found your dying daughter," Brass said sternly. Tears began to brim Mrs Melling's eyes. "Your skin cells were found on that blanket Mr Melling, you might want to take better care of..."

"Can we see her?" Mrs Melling asked suddenly. "I want to see her."

Brass sighed, expecting the request to come up sooner or later. He walked outside his office, "Officer Mitchell, please could you take Mr and Mrs Melling to the morgue."


"This looks awfully familiar," Nick said, stepping over piles of rubbish and junk which littered the floor, "only it looks like this woman looks like she wants to destroy everything, not stack it."

"I can't see any blood on anything though," Sara said scanning the room with the ALS. "This looks a little out of place," she said holding up a DVD of The Lion King.

"One of my favourite films," Nick beamed, snapping photographs of various piles of mess in the room.

"Really, it was alright I suppose," Sara said, also snapping pictures of various items scattered around the room.

"Oh come on, Sara! Don't say you didn't feel teary-eyed at all, not even a teensy-bit?"

"It was sad, yes, but, I know they're just cartoon animals contrived together in a clich├ęd and overused storyline."

"I knew you had a heart of ice," Nick chuckled.

Catherine walked into the room having taken the duty of processing the kitchen over from Ray, who was upstairs processing with Greg. "Well, I've got blood, and lots of it as well as plenty of kitchen appliances which don't look to be put away properly."

"Catherine, you think The Lion King's sad don't you?" Nick asked her randomly out of the blue.

"Lindsey and I watched it one evening and she spent the next two evenings crying herself to sleep," Catherine recollected, chuckling to herself.

"Okay, okay" Sara admitted, "I have a cold heart, there I said it."

"There's no harm in admitting that Sara," Catherine smiled, "just because Nicky here weeps like a water fountain doesn't make you an Ice Queen."

"Hey guys," Ray's voice could be heard shouting down the stairs, "you might want to take a look at this."

The three of them dashed up the stairs, avoiding pieces of junk as they ascended to the upper floor of the house. Ray pointed them into what appeared to be the master bedroom. Greg was in the bedroom, taking a picture of the ensuite bathroom attached to it, or to be more accurate, the shattered glass door which separated the two rooms from each other.

"Take a sample of the glass, send it to Hodges," Catherine instructed Ray. Looking up at the blood stains which surrounded the walls and the floors, Catherine began delegating tasks. "Everyone else, I want blood samples, carpet samples, and any prints you can find. Let's nail this woman."


"You know who she is, don't you," Brass spoke to the woman across the table to him who nodded slowly. Brass took his time to study the character seated across from him: her eyes were wide and bloodshot, showing fear and a heightened state of alertness. Her hair was curly and all over the place, it didn't look it had been attended to for a while. He noticed her shift uncomfortably in her seat, occasionally opening her mouth to talk although no words exited from it. If her legs were not restrained to the legs of the table, there's no doubt she would be on her feet.

"Why did you hurt her?" Brass asked, she snapped her head around and looked at him with a fixated glare, flaring her nostrils slightly, "okay, okay, so you may not have meant for her to die, tell me, why did you hurt her."

Once again she opened her mouth to speak and once again, no words left from it. She simply looked around the room uncomfortably and began incessantly tapping her fingers on the table.

"Come on, I know you can make a noise, I think the whole neighbourhood knows," Brass said, beginning to get impatient. "What did she do to you? Were you not getting enough money from her parents? She mess up the house? Say something!"

"I... I... I... I didn't mean to," she quivered, beginning to tap her feet in a similar motion to her fingers.

"Well the problem is you did," Brass spoke softly, "and if you don't give me a good reason soon, you're going to be in a lot of trouble."

"I... I didn't mean to," she repeated, her voice surprisingly high-pitched and innocent.

"Now that's not going to help poor Kelly and her parents to get by I'm afraid..."

"I didn't mean to..."

"Dena," he growled warningly.

"I didn't mean to..." she continued to chant to herself, "I didn't mean to... I didn't mean to... I didn't mean to..."

Brass could see her lip was beginning to quiver and her pupils were becoming dilated. Her legs continued to shake and she began to wave her arms. Brass stood up, beginning to get concerned as her body began to spasm uncontrollably.

"I didn't mean to... I didn't mean to... I didn't mean to..."

At this point she'd fallen onto the floor and was flailing around with her arms swinging anywhere and her legs kicking away, causing the table they were restrained to, to wobble. Seeing that she was beginning to salivate and enter convulsions Brass immediately flung the door of the interrogation room open and screamed down the corridor.

"I need some paramedics here fast!"


A/N: Sorry about the constant delays with this story. I've had some problems with Word recently and have been having to re-write some chapters again which has been most irritating!

10303 Lambert Street is not a real address, and I'm not sure if I've even used an appropriate number but oh well. :P

The fourth and final part of this story shall be up tomorrow evening sometime. Hope you've enjoyed part three and be sure to review if you liked it! Thanks for waiting so patiently also! :)