Disclaimer: Still not mine.
Twelve hours later, Hotch listened intently to his cell phone, wishing he had gotten more sleep or that Meredith Grey had reappeared.
“See,” said Brennan, “This is where we have a problem. We have tentative causes of death for all 29 victims, but they’re not the same. Five gunshot wounds, four drowning, four blunt trauma, three people had their hearts removed, three died of exsanguination, two died of anaphylaxis, two were stabbed, two were strangled, one hung, one suffocated, and one was pushed off a building. On top of that, their ages range from six months to eighty-five years.”
“That’s a strange mixture,” said Hotch, looking puzzled at his cell phone.
“We still think it was the same killer or killers. Each of the victims was sewn into a cotton bag, whereas half of the nineteenth century bodies were in coffins and the other half in pine boxes. Booth and Angela have identified the last of your victims for you.” Brennan reported. “Also, on the least decomposed remains we found traces of olive oil on the forehead, eye, ears, mouth, genitals, hands, and feet. Booth suggested that this may have been the killer’s attempt to give his victims last rites.”
“Thanks, Dr. Brennan,” said Hotch, and then closed his phone.
Hotch’s next stop was to one of the hospital’s conference room. Gideon had taken over the room as an impromptu interrogation room and was questioning the staff. As he approached the room, Hotch watched as several doctors dispersed.
Derek Sheppard sat at the table, his head in his hands, looking as if he hadn’t slept in a month. “She almost drowned in Elliot Bay four months ago,” he said with out prompting. “There was this thing, one of the ferries was hit by a container ship, and we were called to the scene. She fell in, was pushed by a convulsing patient, and no one saw it. I barely pulled her out in time. She was so blue. I just… I just got her back. I don’t understand how she can be gone again,” said Sheppard in between sobs.
Gideon place his hand on the doctor’s arm, but the he just cried harder, “I was supposed to be watching her. I did, I promise, I watched, I was so careful. She knew how to swim, and I was supposed to be watching her.” Gideon let him continue briefly.
“Have you noticed anyone strange following her around lately? Or anyone out of the ordinary taking interest in her?” asked Gideon softly.
“No, I haven’t noticed anyone. Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough.”
“This wasn’t your fault,” said Gideon softly. He looked up as Hotch stuck his head in the door. “Okay,” he said. “Those are all the questions I had.” Sheppard stood slowly and left the room, but didn’t make it far before he was intercepted by Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Sloane.
“That looked rough,” said Hotch to Gideon.
“I didn’t think he had anything to do with this, and now I’m convinced. That man is broken. If we don’t find her alive, he won’t ever recover,” Gideon said. “He didn’t see anyone or anything.”
“No one suspicious at all?” asked Hotch, slightly amazed, “She did disappear from the hospital, and we know that several of the other victims were linked to this place as well.”
“Morgan is interviewing her fellow interns next door, maybe they’ll have seen something.”
Morgan sat back as Izzie Stevens, once model, now a doctor on probation told him her entire life story and as much hospital gossip as he’d let her.
“Meredith and McDreamy, that’s Dr. Sheppard, McDreamy is just his nickname, because Meredith and Cristina thought he was hot, not that he isn’t because he is. Anyway, they met at Joe’s before our first day of work, and hooked up, but he didn’t tell her that he was still married to Dr. Montgomery, except she was still Dr. Montgomery-Sheppard at that point, and then she showed up here, and they tried to get back together again, and Meredith was sad and dated a vet. Oh, and Dr. Sloan followed her here, Mark Sloan, McSteamy, he’s a plastic surgeon and he’s the reason Dr. Sheppard and Dr. Montgomery broke up in the first place,” said the girl all in one breath.
Morgan let the girl continue on, trying to direct the flow of conversation to a clue, any clue that would help them find the missing intern.
It was all Derek could do to keep moving forward. He leaned heavily on Mark, trying not to trip over his own feet.
“Come on,” said Mark gently, “We’re gonna go to the on call room, and you’re going to lay down for a bit. Addison went to get you some water.”
“Did I do something wrong?” asked Derek as he collapsed onto the bed in the on call room. Mark perched on the bed and placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder, saying nothing.
Gideon starred intently at the corkboard, as Reid tack another photo up. “This is what we know so far. “We have twenty-nine victims, both male and female, of varied ages and race,” said Reid. “He’s good at what he does professionally. On the job he seems charming and in control. He has some professional connection to this hospital.”
“Sheppard isn’t our target, he’s too distraught. Meredith Grey was his world,” said Gideon.
“Dr. Brennan just called,” Hotch told Gideon and Morgan, “Garcia’s tracked down most of our victims. The last 12 victims have been from Seattle, but before that the victims are spread out all over the country.”
“So our unsub,” said Morgan, “experienced some extra stressor about 12 months ago, which both accelerated his killings and forced him to stay in the area.”
“Even better, of the twelve that were taken from Seattle, ten of them had been admitted to Seattle Grace hospital in the last two years. The last out of town victim is Charles Corbin, 32, from Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a used car salesman and had also been in the hospital before his death,” said Hotch. “I’m going to head back up there. I’ll meet you at the Sheriff’s office.”