By the time they arrived at the police station closest to the Motel 8 and collected the note, it was getting too late in the day to go into a rugged area with undermapped caves. As they’d asked, the paper towel had been put into a plastic sandwich bag. Liam turned it over a few times, then held it up to the light.
“Red crayon. Not blood,” Liam said and handed it to Griff. “Not much in the way of prints or trace DNA,” Liam read off an accompanying report.
“It’s Clint’s handwriting,” Griff said.
Liam set the report on a desk. They thanked the local police. Griff tucked the bag into his pocket, and they left. Matt had arrived shortly before them and rented rooms at the same motel where Clint left the note. The room where the note had been discovered had been thoroughly searched, but nothing was found. Unfortunately, the boy who’d found the note was good at his job, and the room had been scrubbed before he’d placed the call to Griff.
Griff entered the room and sat on the bed, running his hands over the soft bedspread. There was no sign of Clint or that he’d been there, yet Griff knew for a fact Clint had been in this room only hours ago. He rested his elbows on his knees and leaned down, covering his face with his hands.
“Hey, Griff, the park ranger is here,” Matt said.
Griff straightened just in time to see Matt standing half in and half out of the doorway, then stepping aside fast. A man marched through the door. He was tall, with coal black hair sprinkled with gray around the sideburns. He had deep blue eyes and looked as if he could bench-press a Buick. “Park ranger? That’s all we could get?” Griff looked up, the words leaving his mouth before he really thought about the fact that he didn’t exactly know what rangers did.
The man held out one hand. “Mason Arquette. I have a master’s degree in criminology and can shoot the gray hairs off a squirrel at twenty paces.”
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