Razor:A Bad Boy Stepbrother Romance(5)

By: Lauren Landish

I right clicked my mouse, blew my strawberry blond bangs out of my eyes in frustration, and critically eyed the website on my laptop screen.

The Post

No new leads in the death of local Prostitute.

By Carly Washington

“She was the best daughter a mother could ever hope for,” sniffed Rosemary Collins, a fifty-six-year-old Wal-Mart employee from Woodberry Hills. “I don’t know what kind of monster could’ve done this to my daughter.”

The grocery store clerk and grandmother of four, has grieved over her daughter, Ashley Collins, who was alleged to be a prostitute, for the past several months.

Last fall, the twenty-four-year-old mother of two was found face down in an alleyway with an ounce of cocaine on her person and her throat slashed.

Autopsy results revealed the woman had not been sexually active or assaulted — a strange circumstance considering the young woman’s occupation.

So far, there have been no witnesses or leads in the case.

“I won’t stop until I find whoever did this,” Rosemary sobs as she looks at me with swollen red eyes. “Ashley didn’t deserve this, I didn’t deserve this, and neither did my grand babies.” She stops to wipe away her tears, her expression turning angry. “What I don’t understand is, why hasn’t the authorities stepped up their efforts to find who murdered my daughter? They haven’t shown an ounce of concern since they found her. I call them every day for new information, but they give me the runaround. Ashley might have been a prostitute, but she was still a human being. She deserves justice just like any other citizen in this damn city. Our family needs closure.” She shakes her head angrily. “Thank God that the community has been helpful with donations, otherwise I’d have no hope of ever finding her murderer.”

Frustrated by the lack of action from authorities, Rosemary created a GoFundMe to help with the costs of supporting her grandchildren, hiring a private investigator and a reward fund of $10,000 to anyone who comes forward with information leading to the arrest of the murderer.

Altogether, Rosemary has received more than $60,000 in donations.

“Someone out there knows something,” Rosemary says with determination. “And that someone needs to come forward with what they know. Ashley deserves it.”

Anyone with information pertaining to the murder case is urged to call the CrimeStoppers hotline. All callers will remain Anonymous.

“Looks fine to me,” I muttered, double-checking the article and then a third time to make sure. The last thing I needed was for the few people that did read it to find holes in my story and get pissed off and go elsewhere for their news.

As the owner of a news blog, I had to make sure everything was perfect before publication. It wasn’t exactly what I dreamed of doing when I left college, but it was making ends meet . . . for now.

Unable to break into mainstream journalism, I was fighting hard to make a name for myself with alternative online press instead.

Despite my best efforts, I found myself struggling.

I was currently working with a private investigators license and living in a small secluded cabin in the hills above Hayward, California.

With the outrageous and steadily rising costs of housing in the San Francisco and Bay Area, I’d been forced to find the cheapest living space I could find. Luckily for me, an affluent client who’d contracted me to write an article for him offered me an awesome deal.

The cabin had served as both his rental property and his vacation property, but he’d been unable to rent it out, and too busy to take a vacation.

“I don’t like the idea of the place staying vacant year-round,” the man told me at one of our meetings to discuss the article he wanted me to write. “You seem like a nice, smart young lady. Why don’t you go stay there while you get on your feet? I won’t go up on the rent as long as you promise to take care of it.”

I’d eagerly taken up the offer. At $600 dollars in that area of California, it was an unbelievable steal. I did spend about a week getting all of the dust and cobwebs out of it, though. I don’t think I ever sneezed so much in my life.

After getting the place together, it took a bit to get adjusted to living in such a secluded place. I’d always been used to the city life, and being a young woman by myself out there was more than a little frightening.

I can’t count how many times I woke up covered in sweat with the sound of something scratching at the windows. And then the sound of creaking wood would permeate my room, making it sound as if a disembodied spirit was walking around, trying to spook the bejeezus out of me.

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