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Frozen Heart's Clear Reflection
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General information
Season 1
City Stowe, Vermont, USA
Region Northeast
Case # 2
Initial release date 12th July 2021
Partner(s) Oakley Hammond (All Chapters)
Marquis Renaud (Tricky Codes of Silence 2)
Case chronology
← Preceded by Succeeded by →
A Spark of Debate Blasting Drive
After arriving at Stowe in order to discover Levin Smith's disappearance, the team gets distracted as they learn that someone has stabbed one of the resort owners using glass shards. Be fast, because the mastermind behind Stanley's murder is watching the team and wondering if you will be able to track this killer's malicious reflections and find the real one, whose heart is too dark to reflect any light.
—Case Teaser

Frozen Heart's Clear Reflection is a case featured in Criminal Case as the first case of Perplexing Investigations (Season 1). It is the second case to take place in the Northeast region.

Plot

The NEST decided to go to Stowe after learning about Marquis' friend, hacker Levin Smith, and his connections with the late governor Stanley Atkinson, since according to programmer Skylar Rose, they might be able to find the hacker there. Later on, after arriving in the snowy town and getting stranded in a snowfall, Chief Callahan ordered Carol to pull over near the local ski resort as he didn't see any other option, prompting her to park the car and exit with others. Subsequently, they reserved a room in the lodge for the duration of the snowstorm, where the entire team waited for the storm to subside. However, Chief Callahan received a phone call from local officials the next day, who informed him that the roads were closed due to the snowstorm and heavy snowfall. So, the team went to check it out and learnt from the said officials that clearing the road would take at least two days. As they returned to the lodge after hearing this, a local priest named Atlas Beck approached them and revealed that the ski resort owner, Trinity Pearlien, had been murdered inside the church. Turning skeptical, Chief Callahan ordered Oakley and the player to investigate the murder before setting up a makeshift lab with others.

After finding Trinity, who was lying dead with a stab wound to the heart, the team shipped her body to Alicia before questioning Atlas, who claimed himself to be Trinity's friend and classified her death as a tragedy. He then prayed for her soul to enter a safe passage to heaven and advised the team to search the ski resort, prompting the team to do so. Soon after, the duo flagged ski lodge caretaker Thomas Bladen and prostitute Lexi Dawson as suspects, since Thomas didn't like the victim for being too strict, while Lexi confirmed that the victim had kicked her alongside her client out of the lodge after leaning about her profession. Meanwhile, Alicia said that she believed the killer had used glass shards to commit the murder before deducing that the killer ate icecream, since Trinity's scarf was stained with it.

Soon afterwards, Sophie, who had gone for a walk, appeared in the room and said that she had most likely seen Levin in person. The team became intrigued and questioned Sophie where she last saw him, to which she said that he was on the closed road near the cliffside. After going there, they found Levin nowhere, but searching the road allowed them to suspect Tanner Ellis who was a drink promoter for Redgator Drinks, since he had tried to get the ski lodge's sponsorship for their latest brand. Besides, it was revealed that Atlas was angry with the victim for not being a devout Christian as she had pretended to be and that Trinity loved to slack off and had pranked Atlas by replacing his lotion oil with lubricant once. Anyway, the team managed to find Levin and questioned him, and he refused to talk about Stanley as he classified him as a terrible person before revealing that he had interacted with the victim as he was a regular customer as he ordered them to leave in an aggressive tone. Meanwhile, they learnt that Thomas had wanted to take over the lodge, believing he was a better owner given Trinity had underpaid everyone, including him.

After a while, Thomas approached the team holding Lexi by her wrist tightly, who struggled to free herself. As Oakley asked what was going on, Thomas accused Lexi of being a thief and said that she had stolen a lot of customers' belongings. As the prostitute denied it, Oakley asked Thomas if he had any proof, and the caretaker replied that he had found Lexi near the blocked road while trying to "escape" and that she was one of the only ones who could have stolen the things. Rolling his eyes, Oakley told Thomas to let Lexi go before searching the road with the player to see if she was innocent like she was claiming to be, and discovered that Thomas and Trinity had stolen the things with a plan to frame Lexi, prompting the duo to arrest the caretaker. Moreover, Tanner was angry at the victim who had tried to improvise while his company was recording her for an advertisement, causing it to fail, and that Trinity had constantly tried to make a move on Levin despite knowing the hacker was homosexual.

Later on, the team managed to find all the clues and determined that the killer was Atlas.

The team then quickly went to the church, only to find the priest packing up his belongings as they accused him of being the killer. Initially, Atlas tried to play innocent and denied the evidence, but after Oakley and the player managed to corner him, he confessed to the crime. When asked about the motive, Atlas disrobed himself and revealed his tattoo, which resembled the sign of an infamous gang, revealing that he was actually a felon. Oakley recognized the sign and recalled how a gang of robbers had unleashed chaos on Stowe a few years ago, and Atlas laughed, saying that he was none other than Beckett Schmidt, the leader of the gang and the main culprit behind the burglaries. He then told them to appreciate him for a moment, since he had stolen many valuables from people's homes without getting caught. However, while trying to escape from a crime scene almost three years ago, which was his last robbery, Atlas had accidentally set up a fire in the house during his burglary, which burned down the said house with an elderly couple inside. Knowing the consequences of murdering someone, Atlas had decided to lay low for a while as he had disguised himself as a priest, managing to trick the police who were investigating the cases. Anyway, he had befriended Trinity later, and recently she had started to act shady. He then explained that Trinity had seen his lock picking toolbox, which had caught her eyes, prompting her to go to his home the previous day, where she had searched around, realizing who Atlas really was. As she had hurriedly left his room, Atlas had become skeptical. So, he had gone back to his room, where he learnt that his cover had been blown. As Atlas had refused to go to prison, he had called her for a meeting near the woods, where he had hit her with a glass candle before picking up the remaining shards and stabbing her deep in the heart. Oakley rolled his eyes and said that he would go to prison nonetheless for his crimes, and escorted him to the courthouse with the player where Judge Naranbaatar despised his actions and sentenced him to life in prison.

Post-trial, Marquis approached Oakley and the player, asking if he could accompany the player in questioning Levin as something was bothering him, although he couldn't figure out why. Oakley nodded and stretched his hands, muttering he would finally get a rest but Sophie suddenly entered inside the room and said that she had something to show them, causing the junior investigator to sigh.

First off, Marquis and the player interrogated Levin, who enthusiastically hugged the techie, saying it was nice to meet him after such a long time. Marquis agreed with him and asked what he was doing in Stowe, and the hacker replied that he had come here to hide himself from Stanley after discovering sensitive information about him. He then continued by saying that he had hacked into the governor's accounts a few weeks ago due to boredom, and found a lot of intriguing data regarding Stanley's plans. Being surprised, he started to copy the data, but the late governor had found out that there had been a security breach and shut down the main power source of Maine, stopping the downloading process at only 40%. Understanding it would be dangerous to stay in the aforementioned state, Levin had gotten rid of all of his technological devices to avoid getting tracked before changing his location multiple times. When asked about the data, he revealed that he had stored it inside a CD after throwing away the USB key that he had used to copy it, and that he had left the CD inside his bag which he had hidden near the blocked road. Marquis thanked him and told him to take care before accompanying the player to the place where they found the CD, allowing the techie to analyze its content. After a while, Marquis revealed that Levin had got his hands on Stanley's secret project involving controller chips, and that he had contacted Atlas about it. He then shook his head and said that Levin had been unable to retrieve anything else, and suggested they question Atlas about the said project. When interrogated, the gang leader smirked and said that he wouldn't tell them anything, and that Stanley's death wouldn't stop anyone from continuing the governor's project which would give them unlimited access to a lot of things. However, despite trying to get him disclose more about their plan, Atlas remained silent, leaving the duo no choice but to go back to the station as Marquis sighed, muttering it was hard for him to interrogate people given he preferred playing with tech inside his room.

Meanwhile, Sophie pulled Oakley and the player aside and explained that she had done some research on Stanley and found out that he had booked the ski resort a few weeks ago. Being intrigued, the team then checked out the place and learnt that Stanley had hired Lexi a few times over the past few weeks. Thinking the prostitute might know something about Stanley's personal life, which could help them determine who the mastermind behind his murder could be, the team questioned Lexi, who angrily said that it was illogical for Stanley to share anything with her and that she was too apathetic to care about him and her other clients. She then calmed herself down and muttered that she hated her profession and didn't want anyone to question her about anything involved in it. Oakley assured Lexi that it was alright, and after thinking a bit, she said that she had slept with a politician the previous day who was from governor candidate Orlando Weston's party. Being unable to remember the name, Lexi described the said politician as a brunette woman and advised that they search the church, counting she was a devoted Christian. Grinning, the team then swept the area to know about the politician, soon discovering her to be Kaitlyn Michaels, one of the most vocal members of Orlando's party. Oakley recalled Kaitlyn's opposing sex work and wondered why'd she hire a prostitute while discouraging others from doing so before interrogating the politician, who embarrassingly admitted after getting cornered by Oakley that she had hired Lexi. Anyway, as she refused to talk about Stanley, Oakley subtly threatened to viral how she had engaged herself in a controversy. She then broke down, asking them not to do so as she explained that she didn't know anything about the mastermind and that her party wasn't responsible for it. When asked how the team could trust her, she said that there was an easy way for the NEST to realize that she wasn't lying and that it was retracing the late governor's steps to Boston.

Back at the ski lodge, Marquis and Oakley shared their discoveries with the rest of the team as Chief Callahan reviewed the case file, asking them why they weren't able to catch the mastermind yet. Hearing so, Sophie coldly told him that if it was easy for him, he should try to do so himself, shutting him down in the process. Anyway, after Oakley revealed what Kaitlyn had suggested, Marquis scratched his head and said that Stanley had tracked down Levin from Boston, and that it wasn't most probably a coincidence given that Stanley had secretly gone there a few weeks ago. Finding this interesting, Chief Callahan rolled his eyes and told Marquis to keep Levin under surveillance before ordering the team to get ready for their next trip.

Summary

Victim

  • Trinity Pearlien (Got stabbed to the heart) 

Murder Weapon

  • Glass Shards

Killer

  • Atlas Beck

Suspects

Quasi-suspect(s)

Killer's Profile

  • The killer uses snowshoes.
  • The killer eats icecream.
  • The killer uses lubricant.
  • The killer wears silver accessories.
  • The killer has windburn.
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Crime Scenes

Church Church Seats Church Bonus
Ski Lodge Luxurious Room Ski Lodge Bonus
Blocked Road Cliffside Blocked Road Bonus

Steps

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Tricky Codes of Silence (2/5)

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