At 4:00PM, Xu Xiaodong was sitting in the interrogation room. The interrogator was from the third team and asked him, "Xu Xiaodong, how did you know the victim?"
"How did she die? She was still fine last night. If you don’t let me know anything, how can I answer your questions?" Xu Xiaodong was completely confused, but vaguely understood that Li Mengran had been killed.
The interrogator knocked on the table. "You are a police officer. You should know the interrogation process. We can’t tell you the details of the case. You’re the person being questioned right now. Tell us what you know."
"I didn't kill anyone!"
"It's up to us to decide whether you killed or not."
"I really didn’t kill anyone! Bring out the polygraph, I'll show you!"
"Answer the question!"
Xu Xiaodong reluctantly glanced at the one-sided mirror. Li Mengran's death made him very heartbroken, but he had to sit here to verify his innocence. He said, "Last time, in the case regarding a group of scammers, I went undercover as a candidate and met Li Mengran there."
"What gang of scammers?"
"Just ask the local police or ask Brother Chen."
"I'm asking you now!"
"Are you really treating me like a criminal?"
"Spit it out!"
Xu Xiaodong gritted his teeth and had to recount the entire case. The interrogator asked again, "You and the deceased are dating?"
"No, I have a girlfriend and am a policeman. How can I do that kind of stuff? Yesterday, she said that she was beaten by her father and ran away from home. I happened to get off work, so I drove over to find her. I persuaded her to go home and sent her home at around 10:00."
"The surveillance of the deceased's community didn’t show you taking her back at 10:00." In reality, the community’s surveillance camera didn’t capture anything at all due to a system upgrade.
"You can check the surveillance at the parking lot. I took Li Mengran home at about 10:00 and went to pick up the car."
The interrogator picked up the testimony record and said, "But the family of the deceased claimed that the deceased never returned after leaving the house in the afternoon."
"I saw her go upstairs! I swear! At 10:00 in the evening!"
"Right, we don't need you to swear. Have you ever had physical contact with the deceased?"
"What do you mean?" Xu Xiaodong was a little annoyed.
The interrogator took out a report and said, "We found a piece of hair belonging to you in the deceased's hair. How would you explain this?"
"I remembered now. It was too cold yesterday night. I took off my coat and put it on her. Maybe that was when it got on her."
"Sure. I suppose that’s passable.”
"What do you mean it’s passable? This is a fact. Do you think I’m making this up?" Xu Xiaodong shouted.
"Calm down. Aren't we still investigating right now?"
Lin Dongxue and Chen Shi arrived at the bureau and saw Little Li pacing around the corridor. She seemed very anxious. Lin Dongxue comforted her and said, "We have all known Xiaodong for a long time. He’s not that kind of person."
Little Li said, "I'm not angry with him, I just... Why did he suddenly become a suspect? And the third team is interrogating him. They’re completely treating him like a criminal."
Lin Qiupu came out of the back room and said, "It can’t be helped. Xiaodong is one of ours. We have to avoid suspicion this way. I believe he wouldn’t have killed anyone."
Chen Shi hooked his index finger to beckon Lin Qiupu over. "Come here."
"Who are you talking to!"
Chen Shi took Lin Qiupu to a place where no one was at and said, "Are you a captain for display purposes? Your own people are tied to a case and you pushed it to others so that you seem impartial?"
Lin Qiupu got angry and said, "So you think we should conduct the questioning ourselves? What would the other teams think? They’d think I'm covering for my subordinates."
"Is the opinion of others so important? As a captain, you didn’t help your subordinates at all. Do you have no confidence in your own fairness or do you not trust Xiaodong? You say with confidence that you believe in him, but from Xiaodong's point of view, how disappointed in you do you think he is? Have you thought about that? He’s being questioned by the third team. The case is definitely also going to be investigated by them. There is no initiative at all. In addition to that, I don’t know a single person in the third team and have to get to know them as well! A captain like you is... Haii, I’m so angry that I want to smoke!"
Lin Qiupu's face flushed red. When Xu Xiaodong came out with handcuffs on his hands, Little Li cried and said to the comrades of the third team, "We’re all police. Why does he need to be handcuffed?"
The interrogator said, "Even though he’s a police officer, he can’t be sheltered."
Xu Xiaodong comforted, "Relax, I’m innocent. I’m just staying in the detention room for a day... With Brother Chen here, I can definitely have my grievances washed away.” He glanced at Chen Shi, but deliberately ignored Lin Qiupu. Lin Qiupu could also see a hint of disappointment in his eyes.
Chen Shi said, "Let’s go and look at the evidence!"
After Chen Shi left, Lin Qiupu suddenly remembered and muttered to himself. "Who are you anyway? How can you lecture me like that?"
He was at a loss in the corridor. After thinking about it, he decided to go to the chief to see if he could win the initiative and become the primary team for the case.
Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue went to see Peng Sijue. Peng Sijue noted, "The evidence is looking really bad for Xiaodong. He may be the last person to have seen the victim. Plus, his hair was found in the deceased's hair."
Lin Dongxue said, "I have found the surveillance that shows that the hair was left by Xiaodong when he covered her with his jacket."
"That doesn't prove the transfer of hair. Maybe they could have had other physical contact."
"Captain Peng, you know Xiaodong’s character."
"But the court doesn't know that. They only look at the evidence. If you changed it to a stranger and this evidence was in front of you, would you suspect him?"
Lin Dongxue was speechless and Chen Shi said, "In fact, you don’t need to worry too much. The case has just begun. There will definitely be more and more evidence. It will definitely prove that Xiaodong is innocent... I have entered the interrogation room twice as well. What’s the big deal?"
Lin Dongxue smiled bitterly, "The more you care, the more blinded you get... Captain Peng, did the autopsy report come out?"
"Well... There is only the head at the moment, so I could only find out the following: The deceased's skull was cut by some kind of flat weapon. It wasn’t a one-off cut. The murderer only split her spine after three tries. She may not have stopped breathing yet when this happened. We found blunt impact injury at the back of the head, causing massive hemorrhage in the arachnoid. The deceased should have been in a deep coma when she was beheaded."
Peng Sijue showed them a few photos and began to draw on the paper. "I noticed an interesting detail. The surface of the weapon was very uniform. It shouldn’t have been a knife or an axe. The surface of the cut wasn’t very neat. It was slightly curved."
"It wouldn’t have been a homemade guillotine, right?" Lin Dongxue said.
"What are you thinking?" Chen Shi looked at the photo. "It’s a sharp shovel. There’s also a high probability that it was used to hit her in the head to begin with. Look, the cross section is stained with soil... Old Peng, did you test the soil yet?"
"It’s in progress. I sent someone to consult a soil expert in Long'an to see if they could locate the approximate position."
"Who would kill with a shovel? And it's so sharp, it must have been sharpened beforehand." Lin Dongxue pondered.
Peng Sijue took out a boxcutter from the box containing the physical evidence and said, "Ah, yes, the DNA of the deceased was found on this. The fingerprints of the deceased and someone else were found. It’s obviously not the murder weapon, but we can’t rule out a second weapon. After all, the body hasn’t been located. Would you like to investigate this?”
Chen Shi observed the knife. "Is the blood new?"
"It’s old blood!"
Chen Shi picked up the other evidence in the box and glanced at it. Then, he suddenly noticed something and said, "Let’s go.
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