Lin Qiupu looked helpless and said, "I find that everyone in team two now suffers from severe ‘Chen Shi dependence’. Didn't we solve cases before Chen Shi appeared?"
"No major cases were solved." It was unclear who whispered this.
"Who was it? Who said that?! Stand up! Xiaodong, was it you?"
Xu Xiaodong, who was sitting in the corner, was embarrassed and said with a full mouthful, "Not me. I'm eating!"
Everyone laughed and Lin Qiupu knocked on the table. "If you have any ideas, then let it be known. The case is in its ice-breaking stage, so just make bold assumptions if you have to!”
Everyone was silent. The case sent out an uncertain atmosphere from head to toe. The other branch had already admitted their defeat. Most people didn't say anything, but they also felt that it wouldn’t be helpful to follow the old clues.
Lin Dongxue stood up and said, "Captain Lin, I looked at Captain Peng's report. It mentioned that the victim died of carbon monoxide poisoning. What’s going on?"
With regards to this odd point, Lin Qiupu didn't dare to recklessly draw conclusions either and asked, "What do you make of it?"
"The carbon monoxide poisoning may have been from a gas leak. Perhaps the child was killed accidentally because the kidnaper had a mishap. Then, they created a farce and didn’t show up to get the ransom.”
"Then they went a bit overboard!" said another police officer. "Since the killer couldn’t be found, they could have just buried the body in the first place."
"But Dongxue's thinking is very good!" Lin Qiupu emphasized. "The murderer's purpose may not be money, but to kill. It doesn’t make any sense for the child to have died from an accident. This is because I heard a recording of the conversation between the kidnapper at the time where Hao Jie’s voice could be heard. That is, during the incident, Hao Jie was still alive... Until the last call on the evening of December 3rd, Hao Jie was still alive. This much is certain!"
"If the killer wanted to kill Hao Jie, and since Hao Jie's father's interpersonal relationship has already been investigated, is it possible to start investigation from Hao Jie's side of things? Didn’t we just solve a similar case?" Lin Dongxue was referring to the Li Mengran Case.
Lin Qiupu considered it and said, "Hao Jie is only a child in elementary. He’s different from Li Mengran. His peers don’t have the ability to commit crimes. Also, the voice of the kidnapper was processed. It was obviously an adult.
"Let’s listen to the recording!"
Lin Qiupu played the recording with a computer. A processed voice said, "Hao Zhiqiang, your son is now in my hands. Prepare a ransom of 10 million. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait to collect your son’s corpse!"
Hao Jie's father yelled, "Who are you?! Don't make this kind of joke. Otherwise, I’ll call the police!"
"Haha, call the police? If you dare call the police, then just wait for the corpse!"
"We won’t. We won’t. Can you let me hear my son's voice?"
"Come here!" The kidnapper roared, and then a boy cried, "Dad, I'm scared! Come and save me."
Hao Jie's father cried and said, "Ah Jie, don't be afraid. Dad will think of a way. Have you eaten?"
"I have. The bad uncle bought me a box of lunch, but I'm so scared!"
"Where are you now?"
"I'm at- Ahhh!!!”
On the phone, Hao Jie seemed to be treated roughly. Then, the kidnapper said fiercely, "Don't play any more tricks. Get the money ready!"
"Where should I deliver it to?"
"I’ll tell you."
"Listen, don't hurt my son. If you dare to even touch a finger on him-"
The call was suddenly hung up.
Then, Lin Qiupu played several other recordings, which can be said to be a typical kidnapping case. They could hear that the kidnapper was always only one person. In addition, Hao Jie would answer all his family’s questions every time they spoke. It was impossible for the kidnapper to have forged this using recordings.
After everyone listened to the recordings, there was only silence in the conference room before someone suggested, "If no suspects could be found around, wouldn't it have been a professional kidnapper?"
"In that case, it’s impossible to solve the case as soon as possible."
"Don't say such words of defeat. Since we can’t start with a motivation right now, let’s start with the murder facts and visit the place where the corpse was abandoned. Hao Jie’s date of death should be after December 3rd. Let’s ask around to see if anyone suspicious was around that area back then."
"Captain, that’s in the middle of nowhere though. Who would we ask?"
Since half a year had passed, Lin Qiupu also felt like it would be difficult. "Ask the hill ranger, the drivers who pass around there, and conduct a carpet search to see if there’s any evidence. Adjourned!"
Nobody showed any enthusiasm when investigating this kind of old case. When they got to the scene, they found that the place was already cordoned off. Everyone was divided into several groups and they used thin wire to poke around the leaves on the ground to look for any evidence that was previously not found.
This work was time-consuming and laborious. Almost all of it was worthless rubbish. Lin Dongxue was very tired and had a sore back. Then ,she suddenly saw an electric tricyclist passing by slowly on the road. She asked, "Would that person have witnessed anything?"
"Let’s go and ask!" Everyone couldn't wait to find something else to do.
Everyone ran down the hill. The old man on the tricycle saw a bunch of people running towards him, so he sped up out of fear. The crowd struggled to keep up and stop him. Finally, they showed him their credentials. The old man immediately said, "I paid the tax!"
"Old man, we are the criminal police. We’re currently investigating a case. Do you pass by here every day?" Lin Dongxue asked.
"Yes, I sell wood ear fungus. I go to the city every morning and return in the evening."
"On December 4th of last year, did you see any suspicious people?" After the words left her mouth, Lin Dongxue didn’t have any hope in her. It was a long time after all.
The old man looked up and tried to recall for a long time. "Was someone killed?"
"Uh... It's indeed a murder."
"I came back one night at the end of last year and saw a car parked here. Two people were moving something around. It was quite big and looked quite heavy. I glanced at them and the person yelled at me, saying, 'What are you looking at?!' They were wearing a mask. I was wondering if they were bad guys, but I didn't dare to report it to the police, for fear they’d take revenge."
"When was that?" Lin Dongxue asked excitedly.
"I can't remember it very well, but it's definitely not in December. I'm sure I wasn't wearing a traditional Chinese cotton jacket  at that time!"
"And there were two people?"
After asking some other questions, they made sure that the old man told them everything he knew before letting him go. The old man asked them if they would buy some fungus. Lin Dongxue hesitated for quite some time before buying a catty, and several other police officers also bought a bagful.
Everyone stood on the side of the road holding the fungus and discussed that they felt that the clues provided by the old man might not help much. It was obviously not in line with the case. First, there were two people. Secondly, he said that the bag was very large. If it was the corpse of a child, a single person could have carried it.
Old Zhang said, "It’s not the first time that a corpse has been found in these barren parts. I think this uncle may have just provided clues for a different case."
Xu Xiaodong said, "Since it's not peaceful here, why not send a few people to guard it?"
"Are you going to guard it?" Old Zhang laughed.
Lin Dongxue said, "Should we continue to search the hills or go home and eat fried fungus?"
Although they were reluctant, they continued to search the hill as they tried to lift their spirits up.
1. They look like this but can have patterns, silk fabric, etc. Depends on the style. https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/U-kAAOSw-1hbSBDR/s-l400.jpg
2. Unit of measurement. Around 600 grams. Commonly used as a unit of measurement in China but is used in some other counties as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catty
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