Dr. Ernesto Vega (1961–2018) was a suspect in the murder investigation of manager Fred Drucker in Domesday (Case #31 of The Conspiracy) before being murdered in Death in My Hand (Case #34 of The Conspiracy).
Vega was a 57-year-old scientist. He had gray balding hair and a rash on his right cheek. He wore a pale yellow shirt with a red patterned tie under a white lab coat. Furthermore, he donned an ID badge on his left lapel and carried his black-rimmed glasses in the right breast pocket of his lab coat. It is known that Vega took multivitamin powder.
At the time of his death, he wore a purple shirt instead of his pale yellow shirt. Additionally, his rash had healed.
Events of Criminal Case
Vega became a suspect after Jones and the player found out he was a scientist who did research in Lab 15-J, where (per Barb Bellamy) the victim was snooping the last time before he was killed. When being asked about Fred, Vega answered that Fred was providing oversight for his research, but he was not supposed to be in Vega's lab when he was not there. Vega then said that Fred never trusted people to do what they were hired to do. In the end of the conversation, Vega refused to tell the team about the meteorite because he was not authorized to discuss about it.
Vega was interrogated again after the team found his pie chart, which was about why he would never get the project done on time, and Fred was the majority of the problem. After the team asked him about the victim's interference with his project, Vega told the team that instead of making sure things ran smoothly, Fred caused lots of problems for his work, he even threatened Vega to reallocate his research assistants to other projects. After that, Vega revealed that Rupert Winchester (who was in the guise of Mortimer Pickering) also had problems with Fred, prompting Jones and the player to ask him about the victim.
Vega was found to be innocent after Dan Scruffinsky was incarcerated for Fred's murder. Later, the team (per Amir) found out that the radiation was extraterrestrial in nature and may even have curative properties. They then went to Vega's lab to ask him about the radiation, however, Vega refused to answer any questions.
Vega was found with his head bashed in at the lakeside. Martine confirmed that the victim died of severe head trauma as the killer repeatedly struck him with a heavy object. She also found small stone fragments on the wound and told the team to look out for a rock. She also noticed some string stuck to the victim’s coat which turns out to be dental floss. Considering that the victim did not use dental floss given the poor condition of his teeth, it proved that the killer used dental floss.
Later, Jones and the player found a blood-stained rock inside a equipment crate at the secret sewer tunnel. Per Martine, the blood on it matched the victim's, making it the murder weapon. Furthermore, she also found traces of bug spray on the rock. This proved that the killer used insect repellent.
Relationship with suspects
Vega had angered several people inside and outside the dome, including hunter James Savage due to Vega's experimentations on the forest, destroying the forest's ecology. Vega was found to be dealing with Hawkeye security guard Keith Vaughan by helping Vega smuggle booze into the dome due to it being banned in the dome. Vega was also found to have been infatuated with dome cafeteria worker Doris Black, which creeped her out; as well, they found out that news reporter Louis Leroux had given Vega money in exchange for information on the dome's experiments, with the former receiving nothing. They also found out that Vega was found to have former social worker Zoe Kusama's phone number, which Zoe explained that she begged him to take it when she was at the dome security checkpoint trying to remember more of her memories.
Killer and motives
The killer turned out to be Zoe.
Much to Jones's disbelief, Zoe confessed straight away, saying that she encountered Vega while she was looking near the dome to try to jog her memories. Upon seeing him, she remembered being strapped down in the lab while Vega was injecting her with various substances, using her as a test subject. Upon confronting him however, Vega only laughed at Zoe, saying nobody would believe a crazy, amnesiac woman. Welling up with anger, Zoe took a nearby rock and bashed Vega in the head until he died. Judge Powell then remanded Zoe in custody, pending a psychiatric evaluation.
- I Lost My Heart in Xerda (Case #23 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)
- Domesday (Case #31 of The Conspiracy)
- Death in My Hand (Case #34 of The Conspiracy)
- In Cold Blood (Case #35 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)
- Dearly Departured (Case #49 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)
- Head Case (Case #52 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)
- Running Scared (Case #55 of The Conspiracy; mentioned)