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“Cause of death is smoke inhalation,” Liz Rodgers reported, leaning against the slab. “There are some pretty nasty contaminants in the smoke residue, too.”—————————————
“Like ammonia and … uh, acetone?” Lupo asked flatly, knowing the answer. Rodgers didn’t look surprised by the question.
“Mm-hmm. Not to mention sulfuric acid, trichloroethane, ephedrine … and a laundry list of other things.”
“In your opinion, how would he have come by those particular contaminants in a residential building?” Salazar asked.
“Well, it’s pretty difficult, if you’re just living there,” Rodgers responded. “If, on the other hand, you’re cooking up something illegal….” She shrugged.
“Cooking up something like…?” Salazar prompted, and Rodgers gave him an amused look. He sighed. “We need something more than Cutter’s say-so about what may have been going on in that apartment. So … whaddya say?”
She smiled her trademark sarcastic smile. “I’d say the guy was running a meth lab, yeah.”
“Thanks, Doc,” Lupo said, and he and Salazar moved away. She waited until they were nearly to the door before calling after them,
“The two kids in the apartment next to Cutter’s? They both died this afternoon.” Distaste and anger flitted across her face. “Prelim shows that they had the same chemical contaminants in their lungs.”
“That cause their deaths?” Lupo asked, his voice tense.
“Won’t know that until we do a full autopsy,” she replied. “Probably get to ’em tomorrow.” She glanced across the morgue, where two small, sheet-covered bodies—preschoolers—lay. “If some cop could have prevented this just by doing their job….”
“They’re not going to get away with this,” Lupo promised.
Link to [Part 18