A Puzzle

Should I call C.S.I. sir?

Unlike yesterday’s mixed bag, today was just a little on the dull side. There was a slight bit of excitement after lunch though. A crew and I got called to a person who’d been found unconscious in a house. When we arrived it turned out the patient was purple plus (most obviously dead). Whilst the cause of death was not immediately obvious it was certainly not from “natural causes“. In such situations we treat this as a suspicious death until determined otherwise. I rang Control and requested the police.

A couple of PCs arrived. We explained the situation. They had a look, scratched their heads and decided to call their Sergeant.

The Sergeant arrived. We explained the situation again. He had a look, scratched his head and decided to call his Inspector.

The Inspector arrived. We explained the situation – again. She had a look, asked me a number of questions. Sought my opinion on the possible cause(s) of death. She scratched her head and had another look. There followed a number of radio calls to colleagues, more questions, more head scratching and then she decided to call CID.

Meanwhile one of the PCs took down our names, ranks and serial numbers. I suggested to the Inspector that the crew be allowed to leave – which they did – and I stayed on at police request, partly to act as ambulance liaison and partly as I had filled out all the paperwork, in particular the Confirmation of Death. In my county the Coroner has ruled that paramedics and ECPs are able to confirm death (i.e. say that the person is dead) but we offer no opinion as to the cause of death, that’s down to the patient’s GP or following a post mortem.

The Inspector decided to declare the house a crime scene so I got asked to wait outside. Not much to do, so I chatted to the PC manning the door and then went and had a natter with an elderly lady who was slowly chugging her way home from the shops. Step, step, stop – puff, puff, step, step, stop – puff, puff. She was having a rest on a bench over the road so I strolled over and we passed the time of day for a while, after which she set off for home again, step, step, stop – puff, puff. I hope she made it home before it got dark.

Eventually a Chief Inspector from CID turned up with a PC assistant in tow (I wondered how long it would take to get the Chief Constable round). Lots more discussions, phone calls, questions and head scratching followed. A paperboy turned up with a copy of the local ‘freebie’ rag so I sat and read that for a while. Meanwhile lots more discussion and head scratching was going on inside.

The Chief Inspector decided it was time to call in the Police Surgeon.

Finally the Inspector came out of the house. “No further need for you to stick around. You can go. We’ll call you and your colleagues at the ambulance station if we need further statements.”

So. That was it. A good three hours wasted and I’m still none the wiser. Was there a crime or wasn’t there? At the very least there’ll be a post mortem so I should be able to find out the cause of death.

Now if Grissom and the gang were on the case the whole thing would have been wrapped up by the end of the shift.


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