Alphonse pulled up to the Solid Waste Authority Transfer Facility in Larose. Two men were using front-end loaders to shovel garbage from a holding bin onto the barge tied to the wharf. Alphonse walked over to one of them and motioned for him to kill his engine.
“Zack Theron around?”
The man pointed at a shack that was at the side of the scales where two trucks were waiting to have their load weighed before dumping it into the next bin. The sheriff walked over to the shed and stepped inside. Zack was surprised to see him.
“Well, sheriff. What have we done now? One of my boys in trouble?”
“Not exactly sure, Zack. Maybe. You got a big fat boy working for you lives, or used to, anyway, down the bayou a ways in a houseboat. I don’t remember what his name was.”
“Clarence Bigeaux must be the fellow you’re looking for. He used to work here. One of my best and most dependable drivers. Left about two months back. Came in one day and said his mama had died and he couldn’t stand livin’ on that old boat any longer. Had two weeks vacation comin’ so I paid him off and he left. Said somethin’ about goin’ to New Orleans. Why? Is he in trouble?”
“Maybe. Not sure yet. Did he happen to say anything about where his mama was buried?”
“I don’t reckon he’d had time to bury her when he come in here. I asked him about it and he just said he’d be taking care of it.”
“Okay. Thanks.” the sheriff said and started to turn to leave.
“So what’s up, Sheriff. Is Biggy in trouble.”
“There was a corpse found washed up out of the bayou down just below that old houseboat this mornin’. Must have been pushed up by the storm surge the other night. We’re pretty sure it was the body of his mama, or what was left of it, anyway. Coroner’s working on identifying it right now but I want to see if I can find that fat boy and ask him a few questions. You don’t have any pictures of him do you?”
“Naw. But he had a commercial driver’s license. Had to before he could become a driver. Would of had to have his picture made when he took the test. Maybe they could help you at the DMV.”
“Thanks. I’ll check with them.”
“No problem, Sheriff. Hope he’s not in too much trouble. He was a fat slob but not a unlikable fat slob, if you know what I mean.”
Alphonse chuckled as he left the shack and walked back to his Bronco.
– Page 133 –
Back at his office, Alphonse had a deputy call the DMV and get the ball rolling to have Clarence Bigeaux’s photo faxed over to him. As soon as he got the deputy working on getting the picture, he called the Parish Clerk to check on burial records. There was no record of a burial anywhere in the parish on or around the date the death was reported.
As soon as he got the photo faxed over from the DMV, he made a call to the NOPD, explained the situation and had Biggy’s photo faxed to them.
– Page 134 –