At 3:00 AM on Saturday morning, the phone rang on the bedside table. After 3 rings, Gibbs rolled over to pick it up. He knew that if he was getting a call this early it couldn’t be good news.
“Gibbs, this is dispatch, we have a crime scene at the JAG offices we need you to investigate.”
“Ok, what have you got?”
“A Lieutenant Commander was attacked in her office. She is alive and has been taken to Bethesda.”
“Ok, on my way.”
Gibbs hung up the phone and called his team and told them to gear up. He said he would meet them at the scene. Jethro Gibbs loved his job as a Special Agent; he didn’t always like the crimes he had to investigate. After so many years, he had begun to get numb to what he was seeing and the inhumanity that people could inflict on one another. He grabbed a cup of coffee and headed for the Navy yard.
~ * ~
Gibbs pulled up the scene before the van arrived. He walked into the JAG offices and found Admiral Jerry Hurst standing in the hallway in front of Jillian Harris’ office. There were obvious signs of a struggle within the office and in the hall directly in front of the office door. The Admiral was safely outside of the crime scene area and had enough forethought to rope off the scene so he wouldn’t contaminate the evidence. It was apparent that the Admiral had been around the block a time or two.
“Can you tell me what happened here Admiral?” Gibbs asked as he took a sip from his coffee cup.
“It appears that one of my Lieutenant Commander’s was working late last night and was attacked. I wasn’t here Special Agent Gibbs so I cannot elaborate more than that.”
“Ok, well can you start with who it was? It always helps if I know who the victim is.”
“Oh, I thought dispatch gave that to you already. Her name is Jillian Harris. She is one of my best litigators – tough as nails and doesn’t really take anything off of anyone.” The Admiral said with a smile as he thought of the times he has watched Jillian in action.
“Jillian Harris?” Gibbs questioned; his eyes were wide and there was a tinge of recognition when he repeated her name. Tony, Ziva, and McGee could be heard coming up the hallway; they were squabbling like children. This was nothing new, the team was like a family and the dynamic between the three of them proved that theory. Just like a family, they saw the look on “dad’s” face and knew that play time was over.
“Where’s the body, boss?” DiNozzo asked as he looked around the office quite confused. He could see shuffled paper and blood stains but that was it.
“At Bethesda – she isn’t dead DiNozzo.” Gibbs shot back. He then turned his attention back to the Admiral. “When was she found and who called it in?” Gibbs asked.
“I found her around 2:30 this morning. I got a call from Jillian last night around midnight. She didn’t speak, I could hear what sounded like a struggle and a scream but that was it. I called out for her but there was no answer. The phone went dead and I tried calling her back but didn’t get a response.”
“And you didn’t think to call the police Admiral?”
“No, I didn’t know if it was a hoax or maybe it was her TV and she had dialed the phone accidently. I figured I would see if I could find her and if I couldn’t then I would turn it over to the authorities.”
“So what happened?”
“I left my house and went looking for her. I went to her apartment – she didn’t answer. The door was intact and locked. I have a spare key for emergencies and I let myself in. The apartment was intact and no signs of struggle. It didn’t even look like she had been home yet. So, I left and came here.”
“So it took you 2 ½ hours from the time you got the call to the time you found her here at the office? Boy, you sure don’t drive like Gibbs does.” DiNozzo chimed in as the Admiral finished his answer.
“DiNozzo, start taking pictures and sketching the scene!”
“On it boss!” Tony said as he stepped around the two gentlemen and started processing the scene.
“He had a point Admiral – does seem like quite a bit of time from the distress call to when you found her.”
“I live at least 45 minutes from Lieutenant Commander Harris’ apartment. By the time I left and got to her place it was almost 1:00 am. I looked around and then she lives about 45 minutes from here…Am I suspect Special Agent Gibbs?”
“At this point Admiral, everyone is. I am just trying to establish a timeline. Go on…tell me what happened when you found her.”
“I came in and the office was all lit up – well the main light here in the hall was on and the lights over the work stations, but her office lights were dark. Actually all of the office lights were dark and the doors closed. The only door that was open was the Lieutenant Commander’s.”
Gibbs was writing down everything the Admiral said; he would look up every so often and try to judge if he was telling the whole truth or if he was leaving anything out. His gut said that so far he was being truthful.
“I saw her lying there…she was unconscious, I checked for a pulse and was relieved to find that she was alive. I didn’t move her or touch her anywhere else…just her neck when I felt for the pulse. I picked up the desk phone over there and dialed 911. I didn’t go in her office or anything…I just stayed out here so I could let the ambulance in. The MPs showed up first and they said they would call NCIS.”
“Can you give us any information on the cases she was working on or if she had any threats? Anything that might help us find who did this to her.”
Before the Admiral could answer a voice boomed from across the room, “It is that damned Hill case. I knew those threats should have been taken more seriously.”
“Who are you?” Gibbs asked as he watched a man barrel his way across the room.
“Special Agent Gibbs this is Lieutenant Commander Scott Regan, he works closely with Lieutenant Commander Harris on many cases,” the Admiral offered.
“What the hell happened here? Where is Jillian?”
“Scott, she is going to be fine. Someone broke in and attacked her – roughed her up pretty good but she will be ok. Who called you?”
“One of the MPs…we are friends and when he found out what happened he called to tell me.”
Gibbs watched the dynamic of these two gentlemen as they discussed the victim. It was obvious that they both had feelings for her…what those were he was not sure of…but they were protective and it made him very curious.
He needed to finish this interview, it was too damn early in the morning and he was out of coffee. “Mind telling me about these threats? How many and what was the nature of them? And just what exactly is the Hill case?” Gibbs was throwing out questions before anyone could reasonably respond.