It was a gorgeous spring day and Melissa was excited to go to Prisano with Delightful Dining that night. She was sitting in the backyard of her Wheaton townhouse reading one of her favorite detective stories, when her son came bursting out the sliding glass door.
“Did you hear what happened at Casa de Mexico last night?” He shouted.
“Did something happen at work, Steve?” Melissa asked in a soft tone as if he was not jumping around like he was on fire.
Steve, a busboy has been working at the new trendy Mexican café in downtown Wheaton for the last three months. His first job working after school and on the weekends, he always came home with interesting stories; but this was the first time he was this animated.
“Jose and Marco got into a knife fight in the kitchen. Jose is the head chef and Marco is his assistant. They have been friends for years. They were yelling in Spanish so I am not certain what it was about” Steve continued.
“Oh my! Was anyone hurt?” Melissa asked. “Are you okay?”
“I am fine. Marco said something about Rebecca and then threw down the knife and stormed out.”
“That’s Jose’s wife. She works the front of the restaurant”
Steve said “I can’t wait to go to work tonight and see the fallout from the fight.”
That night Melissa left for Delightful Dining and Steve headed to his bu boy job.
Steve arrived at Casa de Mexico and discovered it was closed and Rebecca had been found dead in her car with Marco as the prime suspect. The talk was that Marco had been stalking Rebecca. Rebecca had said just last week that she thought someone was following her. Jose had confronted Marco the day before and threatened to kill him. That’s when Marco picked up a knife to defend himself and deny the accusations.
“Have the police arrested Marco?” Steve asked.
“No, they are still looking for him.” answered George, the restaurant’s other busboy as they stood outside the closed restaurant.
“I can’t believe Marco would do anything like that. He has always been a good friend to me.”
“George, I think I know where we can find Marco and see what really happened. Come on!”
George and Steve left and headed to the old abandoned mill on the DuPage River. Steve told George that he and Marco go there and drink after work.
The mill had been standing since Warren Wheaton developed the area in the early 1800s. Steve called out “Marco! Marco! Are you there? It’s Steve and George.”
“What are you doing here? It’s not safe!” came the answer from within.
Steve and George entered the mill in the dim light and found Marco sitting on a stool. “What happened? We know you didn’t do this.”
Marco said “I didn’t, but it is all my fault. Rebecca said that she thought someone was following her so I decided to follow her and see if I could figure out who it was.”
“How is that make her death your fault?”
“I think I found the guy and scared him into doing something terrible.”
“I kept seeing a scruffy guy with a beard hanging around her. I confronted him outside of the restaurant last week. His name was Joe and had been in love with Rebecca since high school. ”
“I told him to leave her alone or I would call the cops.”
Since I had been following Rebecca to find the guy, she told Jose that she kept seeing me. That’s what we were fighting about yesterday and now the police think I am the stalker.”
Steve and George were determined to find Joe and help Marco out of this mess!
Marco said that he had been hanging around the parking lot watching Rebecca through the plate glass window of the restaurant but hadn’t seen him there for the past few days.
Steve asked “Doesn’t Casa De Mexico have surveillance video? If all of this happened last week the police probably didn’t see it.”
Marco responded “You’re right! Let’s go!”
The three of them left the mill and raced back to the restaurant. It was locked up and dark. Marco said he had a key. The slipped in the back entrance and went to the closet with the video recorders.
“When did you confront Joe?” Steve asked
“Last Thursday about 11pm” came the answer.
Steve entered the date and time and up came a shot of the nearly empty parking lot. In the shadows, they could see a man with a beard lurking by a parked truck. Marco came out of the restaurant heading for his Prius when he stopped and saw the man. He changed directions and walked up to the man. A heated argument ensued and the man took a swing at Marco connecting with his jaw knocking him to the ground. The man jumped into the truck and drove off.
George said “Back it up. I think we can see the license plate number.”
He was right. They wrote down the number and then Marco said “I think we should call the police now.”
Later that night
“Did you hear what happened at Casa de Mexico tonight?” Steve shouted as he burst into the room.
“Did something happen at work, Steve?” Melissa put down the book she was reading and asked in a soft tone as if he was not jumping around like he was on fire.
Steve related the entire story. Finishing with the police arresting Joe Anderson. His whole apartment was covered with photos of Rebecca.
Melissa said it was better than the detective novel she was reading.