Maurice Arteaga is a businessman with extensive investments in real estate and also owns three larger car dealerships. His love for money and cars is only rivalled by his love of young, beautiful women.
He is 47 years old and generally considered as attractive as well as fit; his rich black hair and neatly trimmed beard together with his Spanish features and easy-going gentlemen manners, have turned many a woman’s head. He usually entertains three or four girlfriends at the same time, usually never older than 25, and there is a clear preference for those around 20. There were some rumours a few years back that he might finally settle when he fell deeply in love with Corien Cogh, and he even broke up with all other girlfriends at the time. Those rumours fell short when they quite public broke up during a quarrel at a dinner party at Restaurant Mountain King the City Mayor Elmer Caton threw as a start for his reelection campaign.
Maurice’s five years old Rottweiler is named Bruce and is a much loved family member, it usually accompanies him in the office and Maurice enjoys taking the dog for a walk. He spends much money on his dog and is known by close friends to have spent over 500 dollars on medical bills three years ago.
The medical care was due to an accident where a taxi accidentally drove over Bruce and Maurice rejected the veterinarian’s suggestion till put the dog down. The taxi was never identified but Maurice held no malice as he saw the accident and understood it to be a pure accident. The care involved some surgery as well as setting bones, but was very successful as the dog fully recovered.
Elmer Caton was a friend of Maurice and is also a friend of Bruce, and Maurice keeps a photo on his bookshelf of the trio. The two men are kneeling on either side of the sitting dog, who has his tongue out and seems to be laughing very happily at the camera, with their arms around the neck of Bruce. This should give the investigators a hint that Elmer and Bruce are good friends.
On Monday the 25th April Chere Lianos knocks om the home of Maurice to report that she this morning has found Bruce dead in the garden of Villa Tranquillitatis, see A Dog is Burried
A little more than 6 years ago Maurice had made some large investments and was then short of liquid funds, about one year later he was approached by Mathilda’s father and was offered to buy the Morgan House. Mathilda’s father Danain Mirabeau had at that time recently found out about his wife’s nefarious schemes and decided to sell the Morgan House to raise some funds for the plans that started to form in his horrified mind.
After some lengthy negotiations Maurice accepted it and they signed the contract in 1921, but he didn’t have the funds at that time. As he didn’t want to default on the contract he borrowed most of the money from Beebee, which might surprise some as a bank loan would be safer but Maurice wanted the money quick and acted on an impulse. Beebee had used some of Maurice’s car dealerships in the past as a cover for some of his dealings and thus Maurice could call in some favours and get a really good deal.
In the beginning of 1927 Maurice found an option to sell the tower block at a good profit, but the buyer, a firm from New York, demanded some additional paperwork, which Maurice didn’t have as he hadn’t gotten it from the previous owner. He also had some problems to get them as Danain Mirabeau then had murdered his wife and left the city, and the Waking World.
The sale was stalled due to this and thus Maurice was in some financial troubles, both because he had large amounts of money locked in this and other estates and that Beebee had started to ask for his money, with interest. An even larger problem was that he also had used the money he borrowed from Brandon Booker to invest in another estate business, a speculation that did not go as well. In short, Maurice was severely short on liquid funds. Anyone that investigates his book will find that it is missing about $114,000! Maurice owns the tower block but it is currently controlled by Beebee, who moved in to put pressure on Maurice, and his men are now collecting the rent from the occupants.
After dating for about a year Christin Barnett showed the Moonstone to Maurice and also asked him to keep it safe. Neither thought it very precious but Christin had gotten attached to it and didn’t want to store it in her quite meagre apartment. He first stored it in a safe in the office in his house, but eight days before the fatal night he moved it to a newly installed safe in North Transit’s office in the Morgan House.
The safe was installed on 17th September, which was a Monday, and he considered it to be a much safer place to store the Moonstone than in his own home. He didn’t think there was a risk of theft or robbery, not until Corien Cogh showed up.
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