Two weeks ago, Tess White had been found dead in her parents’ apartment. She had come in late from a party complaining of feeling unwell. Her parents had assumed it was a result of too much alcohol.
Thomas Groenewald, the medical examiner, had declared that Tess had been a victim of the Norovirus as he had discovered contaminated fruit in her stomach. In a matter of days, her boyfriend had been arrested and charged. He had been caught with her identity cards for the chemical research lab and his connections with FFAC, a global paramilitary so-called freedom fighter group, had quickly found him to be a core activist involved in several poisonings. For the police, the case solved leaving just the nitty-gritty of details for the prosecution.
The day before her funeral, Tess’ shattered body was lying on the street outside the apartment building. She had been thrown out of the 32nd-floor window. As soon as the police arrived, her father had broken down and admitted he had thrown her out. He didn’t give a reason, but it was clear the man was devasted by the loss of his daughter.
Detective Lyons knew he had a delicate job on his hands. He looked across the table at John White and took in the shadow of a man left bereft by loss. ‘Mr. White, I know this is very difficult for you, but why did you do it? Why did you throw your daughter’s body out of the window?’
‘She isn’t my daughter, she wasn’t my daughter’
Lyons gasped. ‘John, … Mr. White I have known you and your family for years, I remember Tess being born. What are you saying?’
‘That coroner bloke’
‘Yes, Groenewald. You know what he told me? He told me my daughter was not my daughter. She couldn’t be, her DNA was incompatible, INCOMPATIBLE, with mine. I have nothing else to lose but I will be damned if I will bury another man’s mistake.’
©JG Farmer 2019