The room before Kieran was very tidy. Except for the blood stain on the floor, it looked nothing like a crime scene.
"This can't be the crime scene. It's too tidy, and the neighbours heard no screaming or fighting."
That was the theory Kieran came up with after he inspected the place.
Then he started to search carefully for proof to support it.
"The wounds were all over Muntles body. In order to create such wounds, the killer must have been circling Muntle and torturing him. Muntle would surely have tried to evade the knife. He would not have just sat there and taken it. Considering the arrangement of the house, it wouldnt be possible to do that!"
Kieran observed the arrangement of the living room and confirmed his theory.
Muntles house was enough for a single person to live in comfortably. There might even be room for another person, but it wasn't big enough for both the killer and the victim to struggle across the room. It certainly wouldn't have been this tidy if they had.
Schmidt came in after shaking off the reporters.
"What do you think?" he asked as soon as he entered the house.
"This is not the crime scene," Kieran said.
"Not the crime scene? But according to the forensics experts, Louver must have been hiding behind the door and killed Muntle from behind!" Schmidt raised his eyebrows at Kierans answer.
Kieran could not help but shake his head as he saw Schmidt go behind the door and act the scenario out.
"Even if it was a one-hit kill, there should have been at least a scream, considering that the cause of death was not a cut to the throat. As for the crime scene, this place is too clean and tidy. Of course, you might argue that Louver could have cleaned the place up, but why would he leave his fingerprints behind then?" Kieran asked.
Schmidts brow furrowed even deeper at Kieran's question. He could not provide a logical explanation. There were still a lot of doubts in his mind.
"If this is not the crime scene, then where is it? And why would Louver purposely bring Muntles dead body back to his own house? It doesnt make any sense!"
Schmidt looked at Kieran with a puzzled expression, hoping for an answer.
"Okay, then. Consider this scenario. If it was Muntle who had kidnapped Louver and imprisoned him for ten years, and you were Louver, what would you do once you got out?" Kieran asked hypothetically.
"I would have sought revenge, of course!" Schmidt said without even giving it a second thought.
"I would have gone home!"
When Schmidt said those last words out loud, he was shocked himself.
"You're saying that after Louver killed Muntle, he was not willing to stay at Muntle's secret place because of his hatred and fear for it, so he purposely brought Muntle back here... No no, that cant be right!"
Schmidt came up with his own theory before eventually shaking his head.
"If I was Louver, I would have definitely returned the pain Muntle had caused me all these years. Even if Muntle was dead, I would have still let his body rot in that vile place!" Schmidt said straightforwardly.
"Those words sound wrong coming from a sheriff. They also do not sound like the thoughts of a 15 year-old kid. Louver was only 15 when he went missing, and his mind was definitely not as mature as an adult's," Kieran continued after taking a deep breath.
"Louver might have been a rebellious teenager, but he was still a good kid back then. He might have killed Muntle because of a sudden rush of emotions. When he came to his senses though, he must have been shocked by what he had done. All the kid must have wanted was to make it up to Muntle. Louver's biggest wish was to go home, so he must have thought that going back home would be the best compensation for Muntle as well. That's why Muntles dead body was found here."
Kieran was looking at the blood stain as he talked.
His eyes were filled with emotions that could not be described by words.
As an orphan, Kieran assigned a different meaning to the word home.
He could not do anything about it though. He had been born without a home, so it was his biggest desire and what he longed for the most. Reality never bent to one's will. It always cut like a sharp blade, reminding humans of its harshness. Anyone who touched it got hurt.
"Then why would he make this up?" Schmidt asked, not noticing Kierans odd manner.
"Everyone is scared when they've done something wrong. The same applies to you and me. Louver was no exception, but he lacked any experience, so he left too many traces behind!"
Kieran hid his emotions as he walked out the door.
"You might doubt what I say, but as I said right from the beginning, this is just a hypothesis. It's easy to find the proof to support it though. We're going to Louvers place!" Kieran told Schmidt as he walked out.
Schmidt quickly followed him.
Louvers house was only a block away from Ciaran Street, where Muntles house was.
When Schmidt rang the doorbell, a pale old couple answered the door.
The appearance of the couple made Schmidt understand that Kierans hypothesis was correct.
The couple was Louvers parents. After Louvers disappearance, the two of them had been tortured by guilt. They had gotten exhausted throughout the years, and as a result, they both looked much older than their actual age. Yet, at the moment, their eyes and manner had a sense of delight and hope in them.
The only thing that could ignite hope in that old couple was Louver coming back.
Schmidt had a hard time finding the right words. On any normal day, catching a criminal would have been good news for him.
Lost in a whirlpool of words, he turned to Kieran, who was waiting by the car, asking for help.
Kieran made a "please go ahead" sign and pushed back the responsibility back to him.
He felt lost himself. He didn't know how to deal with the situation, but it was better to leave it to the professionals than let an outsider give all the wrong cues.
"Goo... Good evening, sir, madam. I know this may sound harsh, but I assure you that I am on your side, and on Louvers side too Ill try to defend Louver in front of the judge and jury. They will definitely pardon him and his actions!"
Schmidt was stuttering as he greeted the old couple and started to explain the reason he was there.
Kieran was planning on watching Schmidt's awkward explanation when a shadow suddenly appeared in the distance and caught his attention.
The shadowy figure walked towards Kieran and stopped 30 meters away from him.
It was purposely hiding its face as it approached. When it stopped, it hid its face behind an electric pole and only extended its palm, waving at Kieran.
Kieran raised his eyebrow at the scene.
Although the shadowy figure was quite good at hiding, its malicious intent was too obvious.
Was it a Hatch heretic? Kieran did not stop to look. He headed towards the figure instead.
No matter which side it was on, Kieran had anticipated it for a long time.