Sandilands sat sipping black coffee from a polystyrene cup that was almost hot enough to burn his fingertips. He put it aside and stared at the photograph in front of him, ran through his memory of Saturday night again, and came to the same conclusion. At that moment the detective sergeant returned.
“You’re sure?” Lynch was a full figured man with a stern face courtesy of the deep furrows between his bushy brown eyebrows. He was around 50 years old and had been dealing with homicide cases for over 12 years. Violence was a part of his life and it had hardened him. He neither suffered ignorant fools gladly nor did he have any time for quasi-intellectuals with their reliance on complex psychology and never ending questioning of the relevance of motives. As far as he was concerned a veteran uniformed copper like Sandilands was worth a dozen of the plain-clothes law and arts graduates making up the numbers in the detective divisions.
Sandilands nodded his head and started to rise from his chair, expecting to be dismissed so Lynch’s boys could take whatever turned out to be the next appropriate step.
“Now. Could you just look through the following faces for me?” Lynch inserted a USB stick in the side panel of a laptop and found a file of photographs labeled Byron. “Tell me if any of them are familiar or whether they were there in the crowd on the night.”
“No. No. No. That’s it? Only three?” Sandilands wondered if Lynch was subjecting him to some kind of test. All the pictures seemed to feature the same young man.
“Well. No worries. They’re all the same bloke as you’ve guessed. His name’s Darcy Byron. Been in trouble since he reached high school age. Usual story. Broken family. Dad’s a bastard. Mum’s a bludger and can’t keep her legs closed. Some Abo blood in the lineage. Flunked out of school. Can’t keep a job. Good footballer apparently but he’s managed to queer his pitch there. Likes a drink. No stranger to recreational drugs. It was only a matter of time before he got into serious trouble. Now he’s a murder suspect.” Lynch ejected the stick and dropped into his coat pocket. “We’re pretty sure where we’ll find him at this time on Tuesday afternoon. You’re coming with us. I expect we’ll see his mate there. His name is Jake Foord. Unlike Byron, Foord’s got half a brain. But only half. If he doesn’t wake up, he’ll finish up in deep sh** too.”