Send in the Clowns: the Saga Continues...
There, now where were we, ahhh yes... we were heading out to the nether regions of Nevada in search of a body.
So anyway, my cousins are known for their erm... alacrity in going places. In fact they flat haul ass. They had about a 10 minute head start on us, so I was making pretty good time because I didn't want them to leave us behind. Turns out there was no big hurry, because I came up behind a pickup and horse trailer and as I passed them, it was the county sheriff that we were meeting up there.
So we all showed up at Horse creek and waited for the Elko County Detective. While we were waiting, we pulled out the suicide letter and read it. She was rather despondant, and was all alone in life. She and her sister were adopted by a nice couple, but the couple had since passed away as had her sister. She was all alone and felt completely unloved and ugly. That's why she cut the picture out of her drivers license. In the letter she said that she had driven through this area a few years before and thought that it was the most beautiful place on earth and that's where she wanted to die. She really didn't know which state she was in, so if her body was found in Idaho she wanted to be cremated at a certain place. If she was in Utah, take her to this other place, and if she was in Nevada, take her to this place. Use as much of the $1000 that it took, and then give the rest to the boy scouts of that state. She went on to say that she was going off to kill herself and that we shouldn't even look for her, because no-one would miss an ugly old spinster like her anyway. I can't remember now, but I think she was in her mid 40's.
It was clear that she didn't have it all together, because she took the letter with her in the backpack and therefore we couldn't read her wishes that we shouldn't look for her. But I digress...
One of the hikers decided that he'd wait for the Detective, so the rest of us headed out to the crime scene. We all hiked for about a mile or so and came up to the body. But we hiked South instead of North. You see... even though she parked the car on the north side of the road, and left it facing North, she crossed back over the road and hiked to the south. The search team had never looked where we were going.
Once we got there it was very interesting to see how things had developed. She'd found a rather secluded spot under two junipers that had grown together, sat there for a while, then got on her knees put a Smith and Wesson stainless .38 to her left temple and pulled the trigger. She'd then fallen face first onto ground in the position that we were now looking at.
The interesting thing was how everything was right there. You could see how the whole thing had developed. The gun was lying next to her left hand, and it was all right there. Something had drug her right arm off and it was lying about 20 feet away, or at least what was left of it was, so we looked at it, and the rest of her too. Her clothes were in remarkably good shape. You wouldn't have imagined that they could have laid out there for 10 years and still looked like that. But she was under the boughs of the junipers so that she'd been sheltered from the weather.
There wasn't much flesh to speak of, just her hair and dried up scalp. The bones were white and visible but still held together by the dried sinews, and she had no odor. She just looked like any other pile of bones that we're used to seeing out there, only she was human and not some sort of critter.
It was about that time that the various detectives showed up. They took several pictures of the crime scene, and were all convinced that it was a suicide, so the books were closed. The local detectives had brought a pack mule to take her out. So we unfolded and unzipped the body bag, then opened it up and we all grabbed one of her 4 corners and lifted her up. She was remarkably stiff. Even though she'd lost a foot (it was still in her shoe), the rest of her was just like a board, so we kind of slipped her into the body bag feet first and then picked up all the rest of the various bones and pieces that we could find and threw them in there as well.
The body bag had loops on the four corners so four of us picked it up by them and headed toward the mule. Now animals can't talk, but he didn't have any trouble communicating with us, and the point was, "You're gonna put that thing on my back?!? I don't think so..." and he took off. We could clearly see that there wouldn't be a whole lot left of her or the bag if the mule packed her out, so it was decided that we'd just carry her.
We grabbed the bag by it's corners and headed off...
Next time: The voyage home and a few random observations. Don't miss it!