Inspector Jacques Leveuf sat sipping on his early morning coffee and enjoying his rolled cigarette as he did at the start of each day, when he heard a knock at his office door. Miss Valerie Carion walked in with her usual grace and beauty, but her face had an expression of extreme boredom as she brought a paper to the inspector’s desk.
“What is this?” asked the inspector as he examined the paper she handed him.
Valerie explained; “We received this morning a notification from a citizen named François Lenoir. He claims that his wife has gone missing last night. She left home at 7PM as usual, to attend her weekly dance class. She had the habit of going out with her friends from the class once done, as per the husband’s explanation, and would usually be home by 10 or 11PM latest, however last night, she never got home, and until this morning there was no sign of her. He tried calling her several times on her mobile phone, but without any answer.”
“Hmmm…she probably ran off with her lover” replied the inspector. “Send a search team. Check at her dancing school where they saw her last, and who was the last person to talk to her. Find out if they know in which direction she left. Print out a picture of her and send it to the main newspapers, let’s see if anybody will react.”
The hours passed and days passed; while the search team desperately tried to find any trace of Madame Lenoir. The investigation at the dance school brought back an interesting new twist to the case, as it turned out that Madame Lenoir had not attended any of the classes for the past three months. Where had she been going? Why did she stay out late? What was she doing? At this point, the inspector was almost certain that Madame Lenoir had a lover. Could she have truly run away with him?
After two weeks of failed attempts to solve the case of the missing wife, Inspector Leveuf sat at his desk, preparing himself for the confrontation with the husband; during which he would have to explain to him that his beloved wife most probably ran away with her lover, and will not be coming back, when suddenly Valerie ran into his office speaking breathlessly; “Inspector Leveuf, you have to come with me! It’s horrible!” Inspector Leveuf didn’t bother to ask for an explanation. He followed Valerie to the car and they drove off to one of the ghettos of Paris. As they arrived on the main market, they found a huge crowd gathered within one circle. The inspector and Valerie made their way walking in between the crowd until they reach the police cars and ambulance that surrounded an opening of the sewer system. The stench that came out of that hole was beyond description! The inspector and Valerie had to cover their noses and mouth to be able to remain standing in the area. Around them, all the people had expressions of disgust and pain on their faces; some were even vomiting on the side of the street. As the inspector approached the opening of the sewer, he laid his eyes on a terrible sight. In the sewers laid the dead body of a woman; in state of decomposition, surrounded by rats and covered by worms eating its flesh. Valerie turned around and vomited on the spot. The inspector ordered that the body be taken out and taken to the forensics immediately.
As the forensics examined the body, the inspector and Valerie searched the hand bag that was found by the side of the woman. In the bag they found her make up kit, a set of keys, migraine pills, a hand cream, a mobile phone and a purse. “This mobile phone is dead” said the inspector, “find me a compatible charger, I want to see what activities were done on it and when.” As Valerie searched for a charger, the inspector examined the purse and noticed a picture of a man that seemed vaguely familiar. It was an old picture in black and white of a young man, not more than 20 years of age, but the features of the face seemed so familiar to the inspector, he could have sworn he had met the man before. As he examined the purse further, this familiarity became clear when he found the ID card of the woman and read the name; Amelie Lenoir. Valerie walked in with the charger, the inspector looked up to her and said; “Seems that we found the missing wife.” The inspector handed the ID card to Valerie, “Oh God! It’s Monsieur Lenoir’s wife!” she said with her eyes wide open. “Call him please” said the inspector, “and tell him to come to the police station immediately.”