Chapter 276: Real Murder Time

Lin Dongxue made an internal call and asked someone to bring in a computer and play the surveillance video from that night. At about half past ten, a man entered the community. Miss Jiang pointed at the screen and said, “That’s him!”

Then, they fast forwarded the video. At 12:19, Miss Jiang identified the man who had left the community right before her.

Lin Dongxue asked, “Did he ever leave your sight when he and you were in the community?”

“No, I promise.”

“But he came first.”

“He won't kill people. He really won't. He is a very kind boy and has never been in conflict with anyone. If it weren't for me, he wouldn't be like that.”

“What were you doing in the neighborhood?”

“We just talked. I persuaded him the whole time. In fact, I was still very worried about my cat, but I told him that if the cat’s gone, then the cat’s gone. However, he mustn’t do impulsive things. I would rather not have the house, as I just wanted him to be well so that I could be together with him.”

Lin Dongxue knew that even if the boy went to the community, it was impossible for him to kill the victim because at 11:10, Mr. Ma was still alive.

Lin Dongxue said, “I want his contact information and name and I will check his testimony later.”

“Officer Lin, I assure you that he wouldn’t kill anyone...”

“Don't worry, we won't criminalize good people. When the truth is found, you’ll be the first person I inform.”

“Thank you!”

After Miss Jiang wrote down the contact information, Lin Dongxue asked again, “One more thing. That key, when was the last time you used it to open the door?”

“Two days ago. I don't know why it couldn't open the door. Did you try it already?”

Lin Dongxue got ready to send Miss Jiang away but found Peng Sijue and another person in a long white coat standing in the corridor. Peng Sijue asked, “Miss Jiang, did your cat catch the cat-scratch disease?”

“I don't know.” Miss Jiang looked blank.

“What's wrong, Captain Peng?” Lin Dongxue asked.

“It may be an important discovery... Miss Jiang, can you bring your cat and have the veterinarian check it?”

Seeing Miss Jiang being hesitant, Lin Dongxue offered, “How about this? The veterinarian and I will go to your house to check.”

Chen Shi stood up and said, “I'll drive.”

When the four got to Miss Jiang's residence, it was actually her boyfriend's house. Lin Dongxue found that the place was chaotic but the layout was very warm, unlike the place where Ma lived, which was spotless but had a sense of depression and control.

On the table, there were photos of Miss Jiang and him. Miss Jiang was obviously younger. She said, “This was taken back then but he actually kept them. I’m very moved.”

“He seems to love you very much.”

Miss Jiang glanced at Chen Shi standing at the door and whispered to Lin Dongxue, “Is that police officer your boyfriend?”

“Ah... This...”

“I noticed that you two always inadvertently made eye contact. I think you guys look good together.”

“Thank you!” Lin Dongxue said as her face heated up.

When the cat saw strangers, it stumbled under the sofa. It was finally caught and the veterinarian checked it. “This cat has signs of illness. You have to take it to the pet hospital for a stool test... Has it scratched you?”

“No, Mimi has always been very good and never bites or scratches people.”

Chen Shi asked, “How is its relationship with Mr. Ma?”

“It's said that pets follow the owner. Ma Jianjun and I often quarrel, so Mimi doesn't like him very much. Sometimes Ma Jianjun wants to hold it and it gets so frightened that the tail stands on point so much. It looks like it would explode!”

“Explode?” Lin Dongxue said.

“It's a threatening action by cats.” Chen Shi remembered that when his Moqiu first arrived, it often did that as well.

Miss Jiang, who was concerned about the health of the cat, agreed to go to the pet hospital. The four drove to the pet hospital. After a half-hour inspection, the doctor said with certainty, “This cat does have Bartonella Henselae[1], which is commonly known as cat-scratch disease.”

Chen Shi informed Peng Sijue of the results and Peng Sijue said, “Come back. I may have made a major discovery.”

When the two returned to the bureau, Peng Sijue took Mr. Ma's dissected body out again. He held the body's hand and said, “There is a slight red and swollen scratch on the back of the hand. I initially judged that it was from the cat, so It wasn't written in the report.”

“But you didn't expect this cat to carry bacteria?” Chen Shi said.

“Yes, it seems that the victim didn’t properly handle this after being scratched. He had slight infection and inflammation, so his liver temperature was a bit higher than that of normal people. That is to say, we judged the time of death was wrong. The time of death was about 11:00!”

Lin Dongxue was surprised and Chen Shi said, “I remember you said that there were a lot of carbonated drinks in the victim’s stomach contents.”

“Now we’ve also found four cola cans which were drunk on the same day.”

“Due to his discomfort, he drank a lot of Coke?”

“Coke contains the same ingredients as painkillers, caffeine, and a cooling sensation which will make people with slight fevers feel comfortable... Coca-Cola was originally a cold medicine, but it became a drink just because it tasted good.”

Lin Dongxue said, “This is impossible! At ten past eleven, the victim spoke to us through the window. The camera recorded it and I saw it with my own eyes.”

“Was he the person who was speaking though?” Chen Shi asked.

“Absolutely. Because we talked before, I know his voice sounded exactly the same.”

“You didn't see the face?”

“The room was dark, but I could see an outline, which was him! Captain Peng, although he had been infected and inflamed, wouldn’t it have gone away by that time?”

“From the blood sample, it shouldn’t have.”

Chen Shi said, “The murderer set up a 'trap' that sent the Weibo post with a delay in order to make us think that the time of death was different. The victim must have died before 12:00.”

“But not earlier than 11:10.” Lin Dongxue emphasized.

“It's better that we go to the scene and measure the time it would have taken the killer.” Chen Shi suggested.

So the three returned to the scene. Lin Dongxue stood outside the window and said, “At ten past eleven, the man scolded the reporter across the window and said things for about two minutes. Then he went in... Five minutes later, he sprayed water out through the window and the reporter's machines got wet.”

Chen Shi recorded on his mobile phone. “If that’s the case, the victim would have been alive at 11:17. What about after that?”

“It took the reporters more than 20 minutes to check the machine and change clothes.”

“Where were you then?”

“Standing just below the unit building. Xu Xiaodong and police officer Luo were with me.”

“I remember you said that the machine in the TV interview vehicle short-circuited because of water.”

“Yeah, yeah. The TV station suspected that it was done by Uncle Geng's side and the two sides almost got physical with each other.”

“Did you pay attention to the entrance to the unit the whole time?”

“No, how could I stare at the same place for half an hour? Moreover, I didn't know there was a murder there.”

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartonella_henselae 

 

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