The medical examiner, Dr. Marsha Mitchell, arrived on the scene where the two bodies had drifted ashore. She was an attractive tall brunette twenty-eight years of age. Marsha had only been the local medical examiner for two years but she was already very professional in her approach to her job and was not easily distracted by unpleasant sights or odors, She took a very clinical approach as she started to assess the situation in front of her. Dr. Mitchell approached the two fragmented bodies in front of her and began her examination. There was very little flesh left on both the human and the animal carcasses before her. She had her two assistants take photos of the bodies at the spot where they had washed ashore. She then directed them to get the bodies ready for transport to her laboratory.
After about a ten minute ride to her office Marsha first contacted the dental specialist, Dr. Robert Raines who would attempt to locate matching dental records for the human victim. He started by contacting Ida Rhodes’ dentist for his records for his patient. Ida’s dental records were quickly couriered over to Dr. Mitchell’s office. After a thorough comparison of the dental records with the teeth on the decomposing body of Ida Rhodes, Dr. Raines concluded that there was a positive match. Dr. Mitchell was now free to start her autopsy with the knowledge that her deceased patient was indeed, Ida Rhodes.
A veterinary expert was able to determine from his examination of the dog’s skeletal remains that the breed’s identifying characteristics were consistent with the dog that the old lady had owned.
After about an hour and a half’s time had elapsed, Sheriff George Anderson and Deputy Bill Rollins arrived at Dr. Mitchell’s medical laboratory.
As the Sheriff approached Marsha Mitchell he found it necessary to cover his nose with a handkerchief in order to make the decomposition of Ida Rhodes’ body less offensive to him.
“Hello, Dr. Mitchell. What have you determined so far?” George asked.
“Well, the human remains are definitely that of the old woman, Ida Rhodes. According to the veterinarian’s report the decomposing body of the dog that washed ashore was most likely the pet that belonged to the deceased woman,” Dr. Marsha Mitchell answered.
“What will you officially declare as the cause of death?” Sheriff George Anderson asked.
“In my professional opinion, my most likely conclusion is that the elderly woman and her dog were the victims of a fatal attack by a very large marine predator. My assessment is based on the bite marks on the remaining flesh of the two victims. I have measured the length of the bite marks and they appear to indicate a very large mouth with sharp jagged teeth. They most closely resemble the type of distinct markings that would be left on a piece of fabric cut with sewing shears. They suggest that the attacking animal had at least two rows of very sharp jagged teeth,” the medical examiner replied.
“What species of large marine predator are we talking about?” Deputy Bill Rollins asked, wanting a more definitive answer from the doctor.
“At this time I cannot hazard a guess as to what kind of marine animal the predator might be. An expert in marine biology might be of more help in making a more precise determination,” Marsha answered. “My personal recommendation would be that you consult Dr. Lionel Hardy, the marine biology professor at The University of British Columbia.”
“Isn’t that the professor who believes in the possible existence of ufos, aliens, Bigfoot and the like?” Bill Rollins asked.
“Yes, Dr. Lionel Hardy does have a well-known interest in cryptozoology,” Dr. Mitchell said.
“What kind of zoology?” asked the Sheriff.
“Cryptozoology, the study of unknown and undiscovered species,” was Dr. Mitchell’s answer.