The DNA left no room for interpretation. Adrian was the culprit. The forensics lab ran another test, and another, just to make absolutely sure. But it showed the same thing all over again: that Adrian Woodhouse, aged five years and four days, had brutally murdered his 80-year-old neighbour using a variety of knives.
In normal circumstances he would now be arrested, brought before the judge and then executed by deadly injection. But this case was not straightforward, as detective Yelburton had found out.
At the beginning of his career Yelburton had been firmly in the yes-camp when the Attorney General had proposed taking DNA-samples of every newborn in the United States. At the time the number of solved murders and other heinous crimes was at an all-time low and falling. The privacy police had reared its ugly head of course but Yelburton was one of the 50 million who had signed a petition to push legislation through.
The DNA Archives Act only passed by a narrow vote, but four decades on, you could hardly find a dissonant voice. The amount of crimes had decreased tenfold and those who still murdered or maimed had a 88 percent chance of getting caught. Predictions were that in another few decades time that figure would rise to a perfect 100.
But now this. The DNA was wrong, surely. The injuries inflicted on the neighbour could not have been the work of a toddler. For the first time in his life Yelburton questioned the DNA Archives Act. And if word about Adrian Woodhouse got out, so would numerous others.
Yelburton had a choice to make. Continue working in a flawed system. Or put a bomb under it.
He chose the former, not realising that at kindergarten a criminal prodigy was already plotting his next murder.
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