Disclaimer: Still not mine
Three days later and they were no closer to finding Meredith Grey, and Hotch was getting anxious. Their unsub was playing smart. He hadn’t contacted the media, hadn’t sped up his killing spree, and hadn’t made a mistake as far as the BAU could find. And with a profile that mainly consisted of educated white male, they were getting no where. Hotch had volunteered to drive Mackenzie Tate back to her house just to get out of the tiny room in sheriff’s office. Reid had driven her up the Peninsula to look at some of the artifacts that Dr. Rollin’s team had excavated from several layers under the graves.
“You don’t really know Spencer that well, do you?” asked Mackey as she fidgeted in the passenger seat. It wasn’t that she hadn’t seen dead bodies before. She had held hundred-year-old skulls before, even the femur of a Neanderthal once. They’d never had skin though, hadn’t been alive just last week. The whole thing was making her nervous. When she was nervous, she talked.
“We work together, but he’s a private man,” responded Hotch, keeping his eyes on the road.
“Spence? He didn’t used to be. I mean, he was sort of a quiet kid, but then most of us were. I think its easier being a genius when you’re a teenager. Pretending to be an adult is hard work,” she said with a smile.
A hint of curiosity broke through, and Hotch asked, “So what was Reid like as teenager? I always assumed he spent his formative years studying.”
“Oh, I’m not saying we didn’t study. There was studying, and research, and lab work. Spence always like to goof around in the lab, and Cameron, that’s was his roommate, liked to goad him on. We’d build baking soda and vinegar rockets, and he taught us how to set our hands on fire with out getting burned,” said Mackey, gazing out the window. “You don’t even want to know how much glassware we broke.”
A hint of a smile crossed Hotch’s face, he could imagine Reid not being the most graceful lab partner. “He still sets off those rockets, usually in the office.” Hotch’s cell phone interrupted the conversation. “Hey, Gideon,” he said. Mackey couldn’t hear the conversation, but from Hotch’s expression, it wasn’t good. “I’ll be right there.” Hotch turned to Mackey, and explained, “They’ve found another body, it looks like our guy. I need to get to the site, can I drop you off somewhere, maybe back at the sheriff’s?”
“Don’t worry about. I can wait in the car, if that is more convenient for you. I have a book,” she said with a smile.
“Sure,” replied Hotch, and then headed to the site.
“It’s the missing girl,” said Gideon, as Hotch stepped out of the car, “Meredith Grey, same as the others, sewn into a cotton bag.”
“Damn,” Hotch walked over to take a closer look at the body. “No witnesses?”
“No,” replied Gideon, “Our unsub is getting more confident or more reckless. Anyone could have seen him here, and he had to pass next to a naval base to get here.”
“Agent Hotchner,” waved Hodgins from where he stood, water up to his knees, “I’ve taken some water and soil samples. We should be able to tell you if she drowned here soon.”
“Thanks Hodgins,” Hotch replied, and then turned to Gideon, “Any other physical evidence?”
“Morgan found foot prints, but there are possibly five different sets, so they’re going into the lab.”
“It’s strange that the unsub has changed his burial method,” said Hotch crouching beside the body.
“He obviously knows that we’re staking out the graveyard, hoping he’ll return to the scene of the crime. It is the change from a deep burial, to leaving the body in the water that worries me. Is he devolving, or maybe he was interrupted? Or, perhaps the burial isn’t part of the signature. It could have been his way of confusing the evidence.” Gideon paced the site, staying out of Morgan’s way as he retraced possibly paths for the unsub.
“Gideon,” Morgan said, getting both Gideon and Hotch’s attention, “The unsub had to drive in. This site is almost thirty minutes from the graveyard, and this site is even more difficult to get to. He had no easy escape route, unlike the last site, and a higher probability of someone noticing him.”
“He’s highly organized,” replied Hotch, “There’s no way he could have done this with out previous planning. He must have already scouted out alternative dumpsites for his victims. Who knows how many he’s scouted out.”
“But we know that he has killed victims all over the United States, so why is his back up site so close to the original site? This area must be important to him, or his mobility may be some how limited,” Gideon said.
The three men returned to the car as the paramedics packed Meredith Grey’s remains into a body bag. “Preliminarily, we can say that he’s a white male, intelligent, perhaps even charming. None of the bodies show any sign of struggle,” said Hotch.
“Confident enough to take a body on the ferry and to dump it by a naval base,” Gideon said.
“We still don’t have a victimology,” replied Morgan, “If we’re going to catch this guy, we’re going to have to figure out why he’s picking these people.”
“Booth,” said Brennan, “I think we’ve figured it out.”
Booth looked up from the file he was reading. “What have you got for me, Bones?”
Brennan nodded to Zack, who replied, “Meredith Grey was the key. And, once we identified the rest victims, we noticed a pattern. Each victim was killed in the same manner as they had previously almost died.”
“Seriously?” asked Booth.
“Look,” replied Brennan, “The water found in Meredith Grey’s lungs wasn’t that of Kilisut Harbor. It also isn’t that of Elliot Bay, where she almost drown four months ago. It’s tap water. Hodgins is currently trying to tie the water with a local water plant, but no luck as of yet.”
“She was knocked into Elliot Bay about six months ago, and drowned. She was revived at Seattle Grace hospital, had no lasting effects, and went right back to work,” added Zack.
“Kelsey McGregor, Donovan Hale, and Taneisha Pitt, the three victims with missing hearts? They all under went heart transplants,” said Brennan.
“Okay, so we’re looking for a guy who kills people with a second chance at life?” asked Booth, incredulously.
“That’s what it looks like. It looks like our killer may have had some medical training. Not a surgeon, the hearts were removed incorrectly, not the way that they would have been removed in a heart transplant patient,” said Brennan. “We also found traces of drugs in Meredith Grey’s system. Which fits with the physical evidence, she was unconscious when she was drowned. I think the killer knocked her out, and she never regained consciousness before her death.”
“That gives us enough for a profile,” said Gideon. “Our unsub is a white male between 20 and 35 years old. He is recently separated from his wife. He has a college education, and works in a medical field. No previous criminal history. He is delusional, but intelligent, and will seem normal, even charming to his friends and neighbors. The unsub lives some where between Seattle and the Discovery Bay grave yard. He has a connection to this hospital.”
“And he’s going to strike again at some point this week, he’s decreasing his time between kills,” said Gideon, looking at the files spread across the table. “I’ve got Garcia combing through medical records, but I don’t know if she’ll be able to find anything. We don’t have enough to go on yet.
“We need another victim,” said Hotch.