The Dove Case been turned over to the State following meetings between the DA and Beau. Michael and William turned over their paperwork and evidence afterward and barred from investigating the case. Jacqueline Dove not surfaced since the murder of Jean Luc and Esmeralda's body not found since the discovery of the tattered remains of her uniform. Jacqueline still not been apprehended and despite efforts from surrounding states, nothing turned up in the search. Leading officials to speculate that Jacqueline committed suicide shortly after killing Jean Luc and Esmeralda, either out of fear of the consequences or depression following the falling out of her marriage to Jean Lu, without Jacqueline's body or any definite prove what happened to her, officials could only do so much. The body of Jean Luc had since released to his parents, following the case becoming cold, and rests in the family plot in Louisiana.
Officially, Jean Luc's cause of death has ruled as a carving knife and the cause of death for Esmerelda.
Esmeralda's body, though not found, speculated to been tossed in a river. Due to the state of her uniform when it was found, conclusively, officials believed there were not anything left of her body after Jacqueline used the carving knife.
With the Dove Case closed, Hillsboro Township attempted to move on, still cautious.
The house the Doves lived in remained unsold since the case; no one will go near it. Talks of demolishing the house fell through, due to zoning issues. Thus, the house remains where it stood since the 1950s, slowly overrunning with weed and vines snaking up the sides with a "No Trespassing" sign on the front yard.
It been relatively calm in the end, no further tragedies or disappearances occurred. There have been festivals and cookouts, all went well for what it was worth. The deputies have dealt with the occasional drunks during these events and calm has been the norm.
Until today when a deputy called Beau and between catching his breaths and talking down to the group of belligerent hunters, told him about a body hanging from the tree branches. The department mobilized and with the detectives following them into the woods, they located the decomposed remains of a woman. The state of her body caused several of the deputies to take turns hurrying away from the scene in an attempt to keep from vomiting over the crime scene. Much of the deputies spared from this, taking statements by the hunters who waved their hands as they talked with fear etched in their eyes as they described the scene verbatim.
Beau watched the scene unfold as he tried to grasp what he was seeing. He saw the deputies take photos of the body in the tree and the surrounding area, sticking flags where they found decomposed body parts. The looks on the deputies said it all. "I think I'm going to be sick," a deputy heaved.
"Sir, what are we going to do?" a deputy asked Beau. Beau bit down on his lower lip as he pondered, before giving a response. "We wait until we figure out who she is," he only said. The deputy nodded before joining the others.
The M.E. on the scene carefully looked at the body as deputies slowly pulled it out of the tree, tangled with growth and festering with minute insects. He made notes as he looked at the body and became ill when he concluded, "Judging from the state of decomposition, she's been dead for weeks, maybe a month."
"Maybe a bobcat dragged it up the tree?" a deputy suggested to the M.E. causing him to shake his head. Beau sighed as he asked, "How long do you think it'll take?"
"Due to the state of her body, a while," the M.E. sighed, chocking back the vomit slowly building up in his esophagus. "Identifying her might be a problem, she's lacking much of her face and her fingers are too carved up for prints."
Beau winced at this. The body was in such a state, even dental records were off the table as there was no indication of teeth near the crime scene. Beau concluded she was killed elsewhere and she was dumped somewhere far into the woods, luring a bobcat to drag it into the tree. "I'll see what I can do, no promises," the M.E. gagged, attempting to prevent himself from vomiting, but he could not withhold the muscles reaction and the feeling. He bent over near Beau's feet and Beau only watched as the M.E. vomited. Heaving, the M.E. muttered to himself before a deputy came with a tissue and a bottle of water for him to swig. Thanking the deputy, the M.E. wiped his mouth before opening the bottle of water and swished around his mouth before he spat out the water. The M.E. apologized best he could as he passed Beau with the body bag strapped to the gurney pulling behind him.
Beau held a look on his face as he groaned. He saw some deputies disappearing to vomit or breath because the sight was too much for them. He pulled away when a deputy came to him.
"Sir, you don't think it's a serial killer, do you?" a deputy asked him. Beau thought about it and tried to not think about it too much, old superstition. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We'll wait until we have enough evidence. We don't want to scare the folks, okay," he responded to the deputy.
Beau called the game warden and had him survey the area for potential dangers and tell if there had been animals that might have contact with the body. The game warden surveyed the tree the body was found in and around it, only for him to conclude it wasn't a bobcat's doing.
"Look at the bark, it doesn't have any scratch marks," he pointed out to Beau. "Bobcat could have dragged her up, but as you described it Sheriff, there would have been disjointed limbs everywhere."
"What could have dragged her up there, then?" Beau asked him. The game warden pondered this as he walked around the area; he stopped several times as he checked the forest floor for footprints from animals before moving on. He stopped again and looked up the tree the body hung from and pointed out several of the branches bending downward and some of them snapped.
At first, the game warden suspected it was damage from the body dragged upwards, but as he checked the bark of the tree, it lacked any indication of skin rubbed or torn off from the body. "Bear, has to be," Beau suggested. The game warden frowned as he said, "We went out here a few times. Bears haven't come through here for weeks. Deer started going MIA too, we only seen them further south. Wolves, they just left. Bobcat haven't either, don't know where they went, saw one up north, saw another out west."
"What does that mean?" Beau asked as the game warden lightly touched the bark. As he did, the game warden pulled his hand away and looked at it, rubbing at the moss that stuck to his palm. "I don't know what to tell you, Sheriff," he only said.
Beau sighed as he concluded, "We need some help. Go wake Mike and see if you can pull Will out from under the covers," he motioned with his hand.