On the drive to the cousin’s address, Ortega schooled his young partner on the investigation’s next steps. “I have a feeling this one is going to be more involved than the first case we worked together,” Ortega said. “This case will be an excellent learning experience for you. I’ll handle the evidence, the murder book, and the daily chrono. You’ll do the interviews.”
“Okay,” Drew said.
“Once we’ve made the notification, we’ll start focusing on the victim—her friends, what she did when she wasn’t working, enemies, all that stuff. Find out whether she had a love interest. Then we figure out who benefited from her death.”
It took them twenty-five minutes to get to Shirley Sutton’s house at the end of a cul-de-sac on Boughton Place. Studio City is a quaint neighborhood with tree-lined residential streets and trendy dining just over the hill from the Hollywood bustle. Lively Ventura Boulevard offers several classic sushi houses, plus small-plates spots and stylish gastropubs. The CBS Studio Center that dated back to the silent film era gave the neighborhood its name.
“Ever done one of these before?” Ortega said.
“A few times when I was in patrol,” Drew said, “with accident victims.”
Ortega nodded. “Not to belittle those experiences, this is a little different. You never know how people will react.”
“I know,” Drew said. “I remember the day the cops came to our house to notify my mother of my sister’s murder.”
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