As Drake begins a formal investigation into the homicide victim found in Occidental Square, a parallel investigation by a county detective begins in King County for the earlier body found in the town of Renton. Drake observes the ligature marks on he second victims’ body, and concludes that the victim must have been bound by a wire with high tensile strength. He sends the body to the lab for further study, and awaits the results.
Meanwhile, James pounds the pavement to talk to the locals near the crime scene, and finds a 24-hour bar named Damn the Weather where the proprietor managed to witness a strange man in a puffer coat walking southwards while the snow was coming down hard in the early morning. No one was outside save for the man. He manages to procure CCTV footage that provides the Seattle PD investigation with low-quality footage of the man, albeit with no face visible.
Elsewhere, Sheriff Aaron is faced with the always difficult task of having to confront the parents of the first victim, now confirmed to be a boy named Michael Klostermann. While the family has a hard time accepting the death of their child, Aaron leaves with a renewed sense of duty, which he will need due to having to give a statement regarding the Renton murder later that day.
Jack resolves not to sit idly to wait for local authorities to get a lead, and decides to start his own investigation. His casual observation in Occidental Square leads him to find peculiar branch marks on a nearby tree, appearing like a long line tied around a naked tree branch, strong enough that it left traces of crushed and chipped off bark on the ground. Any further investigation is hampered by local officers. He moves to the Renton crime scene, and successfully finds similar marks on a tree near the crime scene. His progress is halted by plainclothes officers watching the crime scene, whereupon he is apprehended for investigation and brought to the Sheriff’s office.
While Aaron tries his best to pry out what Jack’s motives are, and why he would intrude on a crime scene that is not yet under federal jurisdiction, local FBI office head David springs Jack out through some mayoral paperwork.
Preliminary lab results begin to come in on Michael Klostermann’s cadaver, and Drake finds out that the soil stuffed inside Michael’s mouth when he was found did not contain any significant residue of snow or frost that would be indicative of soil retrieved hastily as the crime was being committed. This meant that whoever the killer was, he or she was bringing the soil with him.
That night, in nearby Tacoma city, the killer makes another move on a boy.