Cancer - Underwater Deaths -- Chapter 1

  Arriving early at the racetrack, Erin decided to go with her brother, Bill, over to the horse barns. It would be hours before the actual harness races started up but he liked to check out his two racers. She left him with his trainer and wandered through the long corridors checking and patting every horse who stuck their heads out to inspect her.
A scream shattered this idyllic atmosphere. Erin felt the hairs raise on her arms and her pulse doubled up, her heart banging hard against her chest. She glanced widely around to locate the source, trying to gauge which aisle to run down to check out the source of the sound. Another high-pitched scream rent the air. Erin pelted past numerous stalls and skidded to a stop outside the exit to the fenced in fields.
A youngish woman stood slightly bent over at the opened gate, one hand clutching her horse’s halter, the other covering her mouth. When she spotted Erin running toward her, the woman pointed a shaking finger toward the large water trough outside. Running up to the woman, Erin paused and squinted her eyes to stare outside in the shimmering heat. She spotted a man’s body sprawled over the edge of the large crib, lying immobile, half immersed inside the trough. The major problem being that it was the upper half of his body that was the part submerged in the water.
            Bill, a big man, sped past Erin, who had stood frozen for a second. He hauled the man’s body out of the water before easing him onto the ground.
Erin, a registered nurse, didn’t question any prevailing life on seeing the blue mottled colour of the man’s face. Still, she roused and scurried around Bill to bend down and check for the non-existing pulse in the man’s flaccid wrist. She wondered if the man had got drunk or suffered a seizure and fallen in. She didn’t recognize his face though he resembled one of the track owners but the swollen features could be deceptive. Her thoughts fled to Luke Lauzon, the police inspector for the area, whom she had dated in the past. She knew he would be annoyed that they had disrupted a possible crime scene but …?   
            Erin sighed. “I’m guessing he drowned but how and why?”
Bill took a few deep breaths and glanced around at his sisters and other stable hands running up to them. “I don’t think this death was any accident.”
Erin had already dialed 911 on her cell phone for paramedics and received confirmation that an ambulance was on its way. “Why don’t you think it was an accident, Bill? He could have suffered a seizure or passed out, then fell over, unconscious to drown.”
Bill shook his head. “Not with that knife lodged in the side of his chest.”
Erin gasped and glanced back down. “What knife?”
John Trapper, Bill’s trainer, had also hurried over. He took one glance at the body and ran back to pull some wooden gates across to try and keep the few gawkers away and called 911 for police back-up as well. The distressed woman had pulled her horse over to the far inside wall and collapsed on a bale of hay, taking deep breaths while still clutching the reins of her frisky horse. John marched over to her and led the horse over to a farther corral and tied him up to a post near another paddock gate.