James Nichols was a detective in mid-New Jersey. He lived with his wife and two kids, and was a happy man, aside from his insomnia and occasional sleepwalking. Just part of the job, he guessed. He had heard stories things like PTSD from certain cases, generally the more traumatic ones, obviously. With all these tales of people that had had their psyches ruined for life, he was thankful and guessed he got off easy. One night as he was going to sleep, he went and took the new prescription sleep medicine that the doctor had given him to see if it would help. He shook two pills out of the bottle, one less than the proper dosage, because he didn’t trust this medicine quite yet. He found that he fell asleep quite quickly, and opened his eyes in his own bed and felt rested and alert.
He went to work and had one of the best days he had had in years, solely because he didn’t have to drink a gallon of coffee just to start on his case. Today was a more exciting one: a twelve-year-old girl was found dead in her bedroom at 8:30 that morning. The mother had become worried that she had not come to breakfast yet, so she went to check on her. When he arrived at the house, he climbed out of the cramped squad car, his examination bag taking up more space than him in the seat. He entered the house after he was invited in by the mother, and offered his condolences, skulking up the stairs. Solemn work, but it paid well. James found the girl in her bed, her throat slit from ear to ear.
He asked the CSI officials to comb the room for evidence while he asked the mother some questions. She was cooperative, although distraught, which is understandable considering the circumstances.
“Was there anyone that would want to hurt her, any enemies, anyone that might want to get to you through her?”
He asked her a few more questions, and finished with the final one that was often the least helpful.
“Is there any other information that you can give us that might help with the investigation?”
“Well, she has a golden, heart-shaped locket that she never takes off, not even to sleep. She wasn’t wearing it when I found her, and I couldn’t find it in her room anywhere.”
Surprisingly, she had given James a piece of information that could turn into an actual lead. The CSI examiners came up with not a single strand of evidence, nothing. On his final scrutiny of the house, he found that the window to the room had been opened from the outside, and there were vines hanging from the sill. He decided that he had two things to look for: A golden locket and stained clothing from climbing up the vines to the window.
He worked for days, weeks, trying the hardest he could to find the killer of this poor young girl. Nothing pointed anywhere. He never could find a stained piece of clothing or a golden locket. Someone could have found it on the street, or maybe there were sightings, but he couldn’t find anyone that had seen it, or any suspicious activity in that neighborhood that night. The case was finally closed, and no leads ever came up. The family was compensated for the loss of their youngest of three daughters. He moved on to his next case, armed robbery at a gas station next to the highway. Easy. He had stopped taking the medication because of the murder, he had been working all night on the case. He solved the armed robbery case in a matter of hours, and the suspect was arrested the same day. That day he came home, intending to take the medicine once more so he could finally get some sleep. His kids were already asleep when he came home, as their bedtime was 8:00 and he usually got home at about 10:30. He couldn’t find his slippers, the comfortable ones he usually kept by his bed, so he decided to see if they were in his closet. He found them, but when he looked in his closet, he saw that he had left some clothing on the closet floor.
It was just a white tee shirt. he picked it up, intending to fold it, thinking about how good he was going to sleep again with that medication. The last time he had taken it was the night before that extremely exciting case came up. Maybe these pills were good luck or something. As he picked up the shirt, something fell out. The shirt had grass stains, he saw now.
He looked on the floor for what fell out and finally found it.
It was a golden, heart-shaped locket.