Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Remnants (Brandon Fisher FBI series):

 

My senses were busy taking in the crime scene: marshland, relative seclusion, an arm and leg discovered last week, an arm yesterday. Aside from the human remains that had been found here, the property had a serene feeling to it, a sense of peace. There was a tangible quality to the air, though—or maybe it was the presence of law enforcement and crime scene investigators—that made it impossible to deny that death had touched the place.

 

“What else can you tell us about the limbs that were recovered?” Paige asked.

 

The lieutenant cleared his throat. “Well, both arms didn’t have hands, and the leg didn’t have a foot. We found incision marks indicating the hands and foot had been intentionally cut off.”

 

“Our killer could have taken them for trophies or to make identification impossible,” I suggested.

 

Pike gave a small nod and continued. “And while we know the hands and foot were removed, it’s not as clear how the appendages separated from the torso. It would be something we’d need the medical examiner to clarify.”

 

Jack’s brow furrowed, and I could tell his mind was racing through the possibilities.

 

“But,” Pike continued, “all the limbs have one thing in common: muscle tissue remained, even though the skin had been removed.”

 

“It is possible that the skin was also taken as a trophy,” Zach speculated.

 

“We could be looking for a hunter or a sexual sadist,” Jack said.

 

Hunters were typically identified by the type of weapon they used—a hunting knife, rifle, or crossbow, for example—and they tended to dispose of their victims’ bodies in remote, isolated areas. A sexual sadist, on the other hand, got off on the torture and pain. But we’d need to gather more facts before we could build any sort of profile on our unsub. Even knowing more about the victims themselves would help. Was the killer choosing people he or she was acquainted with? Were the victims of a certain gender, age group, occupation? The list went on and on. From there, we could more easily speculate on our killer’s motive and what they had to gain.