"DNA back yet on the blood spatter?"
"Which blood spatter?" the younger agent snorted. "We've got miles of crime scene here and not all the blood's red, you know?"
Grissom shook his head as he stared out at the suns-baked landscape, trying to fit the evidence present at the crash scene and the nearby mining camp together into a coherent narrative of events in his mind. The glare reflecting from every surface was making his eyes water even through his dark protective eyewear, and he had to wonder what effect that light-- and the subsequent fall of darkness recorded by the ship's few surviving external cameras-- had had on the mental states of the survivors.
"How about you tell me what we know, and then work up to what we don't?" he remarked dryly.
The Hunter-Grazner had disappeared from its flight path only nineteen weeks out of port, taking with it 39 passengers and crew, not to mention cargo. Some of the passengers had been very important people, important enough for Alliance Shipping to hire a crew of proxy law enforcement agents and investigators to track down the ship's faint distress signals and bring back proof of what had happened. Grissom and his team had taken the offer in hopes that it would be the first of many contracts; it had been awhile since they'd had steady employment.
"We've verified the identities of everyone who died in the crash," Nick said. "Only one of the detached cryo-lockers was empty; we found the missing passenger's blood at one of the airlocks. Shells found nearby suggest use of a fire-arm in conjunction with his death, but without the body we can't confirm. The blood in the cockpit belongs to Owens, registered navigator; his body's missing as well, but it's pretty clear from the location of bloodstains on the debris that his death was incidental to the crash. From there-- well. There's a lot of unidentified minor blood spatter in the ship, but Greggo's been focusing more on the hotspots along the trail."
"For example?" Grissom prodded.
Nick gestured. "That spatter there, between the ship and the detached cargo module, belonged to the trillionaire's daughter, Shazza Montgomery; I'm glad I'm not the one who has to tell him what happened. He'll be happy to hear that her lover died first, though; we found blood belonging to John Ezekiel in a partially dug pit over there. From the placement, and the implements found in the pit, we think he was trying to bury some of the bodies from the crash, but again..."
"The bodies weren't found." Grissom nodded grimly. Despite all the company's warnings about transported convict, Richard B. Riddick, everything the team had found so far suggested an accident made worse by an eclipse and an attack by native predators. Mechanical disaster had brought them here; natural disaster had finished them off.
Better to do this by the numbers than make premature assumptions, however. In the end, the evidence should speak for itself.