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Maura's footsteps echoed across the stone floor as she approached them through the shadows. "I'm alone," she called out. "And I'm not armed. All I have is a flashlight, and I'm going to turn it on."

"What the hell's going on?" Rayner demanded.

"I'm Dr. Maura Isles, the medical examiner. I performed your daughter's autopsy, and I can prove that Lucas Henry didn't kill her."

"How the hell can you prove that?"

"By showing you the real killer." Maura's flashlight came on, and Jane squinted at the sudden glare of the beam. "Lucas, tell me where Kimberly was sleeping."

The boy's voice was shaky in the darkness. "I couldn't find a coffin for her. So we dragged in that cardboard box. Over there."

Maura's flashlight beam swept the shadows and came to a stop on a giant appliance carton. She approached it and read the shipping label. "This box was sent from North Carolina."

"So what?" said Rayner.

She bent down and stared into the carton. "Jane, do you want to come take a look?"

Jane crouched down beside her and whispered: "What the hell do you think you're doing here?"

"I told you. Identifying the killer." Maura aimed her flashlight beam into the box, scanning past rumpled blankets and a stained pillow, to focus on the corner above. "There's our perp."

Jane stared at the gossamer web, and the creature that had woven it. "A spider?"

"Genus Latrodectus. A Black Widow. It probably hitched a ride from North Carolina and bit the victim while she was sleeping in this box. She may not have even felt the bite. In most healthy adults, the poison's not fatal, but Kimberly was not a healthy adult. She was malnourished and medically fragile." Maura's voice dropped so that only Jane could hear her next words. "Death would have been excruciating. Muscle spasms, abdominal pain, followed by respiratory arrest. No wonder passersby heard her screaming."

Jane rose to her feet and turned to Rayner. "Your daughter wasn't murdered, sir. It was a spider bite. A freak death. And the killer's right here, in this box."

Slowly the man lowered his weapon. Even as Jane took it away and handcuffed him, Rayner stood motionless, his head bowed. "I only wanted justice," he said. "Justice for my little girl."

"And you'll have it, Mr. Rayner," said Jane. "In this case, all it takes is the heel of a shoe."

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