Samantha Citrona, according to police reports, was a new night manager at the supermarket, but she’d been on staff there since her early teenage years, bagging groceries, pushing carts, and cleaning up after young children who got too close to pickle jars and ketchup bottles. She always wanted to leave Kale’s Log for the wider world, but never could get the footing needed to make a foray out of town. That is, until the night manager position opened up. She took the aptitude test, did her apprenticeship, and sailed into the position with flying colors, so to speak. She loved that figure of speech, too, because it reminded her of Sugar, her pet parakeet.
The store manager was kind to her, and since she was so well-liked in the community, he even let her keep her trained feathered friend perched on her shoulder at night in the store, when there weren’t that many customers, and those, regulars who knew her from when she was knee-high. She had a dream job, and she loved it.
At least, she told police, she loved it until General Cornelius Mills decided to begin shopping at night to stay away from the crowds during the daylight hours. Besides being a cranky old snot, he often threatened to call corporate offices on her if he ever saw that “sky rat” in the store again. Once, as Sugar was gliding through the aisles, above the tallest products, he even tried to hit him with a can of pintos. Pintos!
Samantha finally had had enough. She worked up the nerve to approach the geezer, veteran or not, and give him a piece of her mind. Ashamedly, she admitted during interrogation that she warned the General that if he EVER said or did anything to her or her pet bird again, he’d be sorry.
“But I didn’t KILL him,” she exclaimed to the collected investigators. “I only wanted him to stop harassing me about Sugar. He’s a great pet, clean, and well-liked by EVERYONE else. I just wanted him off my back, but I didn’t MURDER the man!”
Her last clock-in was at 10pm on the night of the General’s demise. When asked about her whereabouts in the store around the time of the elderly veteran’s death, she’d mentioned that she was checking out a detergent spill on aisle 8 in hopes of getting a co-worker to mop it up before Anthony got to it to buff the floor.