As soon as Rick gave Drake’s home phone number to Barnes, the detective called Drake . Barnes made arrangements to drop by Drake’s home within the hour.
Shortly after Detective Barnes left the House of Hope, Rick’s phone rang.
“Hello, House of Hope, Rick Jennings here. How can I help you?”
“Hi, I’m Meredith, Bret’s girlfriend.” Her voice sounded shaky and he could hear her sobbing. “I just phoned the residents’ line and they told me that Bret was dead.”
“I’m sorry Meredith, but its true,” replied Rick.
Rick had met Meredith a couple of times at The House of Hope. She was an attractive woman with a slim build almost twenty-five years old. Her birth day was coming up next month. Meredith was a university student. She was working on a double major in theater and fine arts. She was taking her theater courses at The University of Winnipeg and her fine arts classes at The University of Manitoba. She came from a wealthy family and her father was a well known businessman in Winnipeg.
Meredith had been introduced to Bret by one of her girlfriends. Sasha was a social work student who completed one of her practicum assignments at The House of Hope. It was there that Sasha got to know Bret. When Bret told her about his many interests, Sasha could not help but think about how much he had in common with her friend, Meredith. She couldn’t wait to have them meet each other.
Detective Jeff Barnes and his partner, Detective Krista Holland arrived at Drake Stephen’s house at 11:45 AM. Drake and his wife Judy lived in a modest home in an older part of the city. As Detective Barnes and Detective holland entered the Stephens’ porch and knocked on the door they immediately heard the loud barks of Drake’s dogs warning that a potential intruder was at the door. Derek got up to answer the door to let Jeff in. As Drake opened the door his two dogs quickly ran out to greet the two detective. The dogs took turns sniffing each detective’s clothing.
“Hello Drake. This is my partner Detective Holland,” said Barnes.
“Pleased to meet you. My wife Judy is still tidying up a few things.
“Derek and Judy’s house was cluttered but not dirty. Judy went into a mad rush of cleaning when she heard that Detective Barnes would be coming to their house this morning. She wasn’t expecting Detective Holland but then she remembered from watching crime shows on t.v. That detectives always worked in pairs. “We haven’t trained our dogs very well.”
Drake and Judy had two dogs. One was a black and white Great Dane named Hamlet and the other was a black and white Border Collie they called Sally.
“We’re both terrible at training our pets,” said Drake straightening out his red tank top.
“That’s for sure. We paid a professional dog trainer to help us out last year but that was a waste of money. Our dogs didn’t behave any better and the trainer spent most of her time scolding Drake for not practicing the lessons with the dogs when she wasn’t at our place.” added Judy.
Judy was a petite slim built woman with platinum blonde hair in her mid fifties who still liked to wear her hair long. She and Rick had been married for close to fifteen years now. It was a second marriage for both of them and they seemed to be very comfortable with each other.
Judy directed Detective Barnes to a large burgundy Lazy Boy chair in their living room that was normally Drake’s chair. Detective Holland took a very well worn chair to the left of her partner. Jeff pulled out his pocket notebook and his favorite silver, ballpoint Parker pen. Hamlet, the Great Dane made himself comfortable at Detective Barnes’ feet. Sally, th