Before I hung up I got his mother’s phone number and then sat down to think things through before I called her. Two people dead, both of them friends of mine. I’ve never believed in coincidences but the alternative was something I wasn’t prepared to consider. The thing to do was to find out if he too had received a death certificate, but would she know? There was only one way to find out. I picked up the phone and dialled.
“Mrs. Anderson? I don’t know if you remember me, its Phillip Cox. I was a friend of Michael. My ex-wife told me what happened. I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“Oh, hello Phillip. Yes, I called Emily. I remembered her and thought she should know. I got her number from information. I’m sorry I didn’t call you also but this is has just been horrible.”
“I’m sure it has. Mrs. Anderson, do you feel up to answering a couple of questions? It’s just that Michael isn’t the only friend I’ve lost recently and I’m trying to work something out.”
“Well, all right Phillip. You say you’ve lost someone else?”
“Yes I have. A good friend was murdered recently. The police are saying Michael was murdered?”
“Yes. They haven’t given me the details yet. Coroner’s office and all that.”
“I see. Mrs. Anderson, this is going to sound a bit strange, but by any chance did Michael say anything about receiving a death certificate in the mail?”
“Good heavens no. Why would he receive such a thing?”
“Well, it’s just that the other person I knew received one just before he died.”
“Well that certainly is odd. No, I’m quite sure he didn’t mention anything to me.”
“I wonder if you might go through any mail he received in the last week when you get a chance and see if there’s a death certificate. I wouldn’t ask only it’s quite important. I don’t mean to intrude on your grief.”
“All right Phillip, I’ll have a look as soon as I can. The police took some things away when they investigated but I’m not sure what.”
“Thank you Mrs. Anderson. I’ll call again to find out what you’ve found.”
I hung up and was surprised that I felt some sense of relief. I hadn’t really ascertained anything, but somehow knowing there was no immediate mention of a death certificate took the edge off of my emotions.
I toyed with the idea of calling the police and asking them if they had found a death certificate at Michael’s apartment but given their disinterest in the one Nigel had received it didn’t seem like it would be a fruitful move. On the other hand, now that they knew Nigel had been murdered it should be of more interest to them. I decided it might not be a bad idea to at least check that out.
I called the police station and inquired about the investigation into Nigel’s death, explaining that I was close friend. They declined to talk about it on the phone but advised me that if I had information or concerns I could speak to the detective in charge of the case if I came down in the morning. I told them I would do that.
So it was that I finally got myself ready for bed, knowing it could well be a restless night. It proved to be just that.
Tomorrow – Part 4