Chapter 41: Officially Opening the Case

The next day, Chen Shi sent his crashed car to the 4S shop for repair and took the bus to the bureau.

October 7th. The headless female corpse case had just been opened. In the morning, just after the case discussion meeting, Lin Qiupu was still firm on his beliefs. He believed that the case’s geography and evidence all pointed to the current unconscious wanted criminal. The investigation was carried out around Jia.

He also explained the work of Lin Dongxue and Xu Xiaodong. The two were responsible for assisting Chen Shi in his part of the investigation. When they heard the news, they were both filled with excitement. One was because Lin Qiupu finally changed his attitude and was willing to cooperate with Chen Shi. The other was excited to be partners with Lin Dongxue.

When Chen Shi came, the two waited for him at the door of the city bureau. Xu Xiaodong said with high spirits, “Has brother Chen had breakfast? I’ll treat you!”

“Why are you so happy?” Chen Shi asked with a smile.

“Of course, I am happy! I am going to investigate the case with brother Chen. I am free and have a chance to make a meritorious deed, and...” He gave a meaningful look at Lin Dongxue.

“Don’t be so giddy, it's not easy to investigate with me.”

“Understood, let’s go. I’ll treat you to food.”

“No, we need to make the most of our time. Let's determine the identity of the deceased today. Is Captain Peng back?”

Lin Dongxue said, “He is here. He’s beginning the dissection already!”

“He didn’t wait for me?!” Chen Shi rushed into the station.

In the forensic laboratory, Peng Sijue and another forensic doctor set up the video camera and were recording the data of the body. Chen Shi stood outside the curtain and asked, “Captain Peng, can I come in?”

“Change clothes!”

“Don’t dissect yet.”

Chen Shi put on a disinfected protective suit. Xu Xiaodong stood outside and nervously said, “I don’t think I’ll participate in this autopsy!”

Lin Dongxue put a scented facial tissue on the inside of her mask and said, “Just do this!”

Xu Xiaodong smiled bitterly. “I can't stand looking. I’ll be outside if you need anything, contact me anytime.”

“You call the police stations in various districts and ask if there are any missing people who meet the characteristics of the deceased.”

“Okay!” Xu Xiaodong walked out with relief.

Chen Shi asked Lin Dongxue, “Are you not afraid?”

Lin Dongxue was a little hesitant. She said, “Afraid of this? How can I succeed in the future if I let this scare me?”

“Good job.”

The two entered the autopsy room, and Peng Sijue chided, “So slow!”

“Sorry, I changed my clothes and prolonged the time. Let me take a closer look at the body.”

“Yesterday, you said that the death time is more than forty-eight hours...”

“Was I mistaken?”

Peng Sijue said with a blank expression, “I have just measured the liver temperature and the death time should be more than fifty-eight hours from the present time.”

Chen Shi did not respond in the beginning. After thinking about it, he understood that Peng Sijue was joking with him. He smiled and said, “Thank you for your approval.”

“Don’t be too smug. Judging the time of death is only the basic work of the forensic doctor.”

“Right, right. I can only do this much. Anything more is out of my depth.”

Chen Shi checked the skin of the corpse, focusing on the rope binding traces on the wrist. There was a piece of rope on the side of the shelf. Another forensic doctor explained, “The rope was brought back by the forensic team last night. We compared it and it’s basically the same.”

Chen Shi picked up the rope and compared it. He said, “Truly a match, but it can't be said that this was the rope. This type of rope is used for long-distance transportation. You can buy it anywhere... Is the bundled posture clear? “

“We just discussed this.” The forensic doctor picked up a whiteboard with a sketch on it, showing the deceased was tied with their limbs behind them.

Chen Shi looked at the picture and disagreed. “No, what is the explanation for the rope marks on the ribs and the back?”

“Perhaps it's another rope bind after the initial one,” said Peng Sijue.

Chen Shi touched the rope marks on the body and said, “Look here, the marks are not uniform. The ones on the ribs are heavy, the back edges are light, and the back marks are interrupted by a large piece.”

“There was something else put in between.” Peng Sijue had already considered this.

“What could it have been? It should be a hard object, otherwise the rope marks would not have completely disappeared...” Chen Shi’s eyes looked at another empty iron bed, to which he walked over and said, “Who is dedicated and selfless? Please come up and lie down.”

Peng Sijue looked at Lin Dongxue, who said, “Why are you looking at me?”

“You are a woman!”

“So what if I’m a woman?”

“The deceased was also a woman!”

Lin Dongxue was defeated by his logic and had to sacrifice herself to solve the case. She did not expect Chen Shi to say, “No, Captain Peng, you come here!”

“I refuse!”

“Lin Dongxue is a girl, I am afraid she would be uncomfortable and stiff. We are both old men. Either you or I should do it.”

Peng Sijue thought for a few seconds before he came over and lay on the iron bed. Chen Shi tied the rope around him and said, “Like this, tie your hands and feet under the table, then make another one on the body... But then the back edge will leave a mark, indicating that the item needs to be narrower than the body. The body of the deceased is not fat, and the item is narrower than the body. What could it be?”

“Stool!” Lin Dongxue said.

“But a stool is not very common. It used to be seen a lot but who still uses those now?” said the forensic doctor.

Peng Sijue said, “When we inspected the body the second time, we found that the deceased had slight rust on her hands and legs, which we found was iron.”

Chen Shi immediately reacted. “The new rust is ferric oxide and old rust is iron oxide[1]. It seems that there is a metal support underneath this thing, and it is full of rust... A stool supported by iron?”

Lin Dongxue pulled out her mobile phone to search for it and exclaimed, “Oh, I didn't think of it! Hey, look at this, this thing is present in every unit!”

She lifted her mobile phone, which showed a foldable table and chair that is easily found in most restaurants. They were supported by iron.

Peng Sijue lifted his glasses frame and said, “This one-piece dining table and chair will not be bought by the normal family. The murder scene should be in a restaurant unit.”

Lin Dongxue said, “Then we should immediately go to the unit where the deceased was.”

“Do you know who she is?” Chen Shi asked.

Peng Sijue said, “Continue the autopsy!”

A few people came to the side of the body. Peng Sijue checked the neck of the deceased and said, “There is a regular jagged flap on the section, which seems to be sawn with a saw.”

“I mentioned this to Captain Lin yesterday.” Chen said indifferently.

“There is no obvious trauma in the body, the cause of death is...”

“My opinion is postural asphyxia.”

“Can you not interrupt all the time?!” Peng Sijue glared at him. “Xiao Wang, help me turn the body over.”

Adjusting the position of the corpse, Peng Sijue pressed the corpse on the back with his hand and said, “The colour blanching on the corpse has spread. The corpse was moved after death.”

Then he noticed a small piece of scorch under the side ribs of the body. Chen Shi found it at this moment as well. The two men were staring at the burn so much their heads almost touched. Peng Sijue straightened up and huffed, “You’re blocking the light!”

Lin Dongxue put her hand over her mouth and giggled.

“It's burnt, and it was done while she was alive. It seems to have ashes on it.” Peng Sijue said while sampling with a cotton swab.

Chen Shi touched the small piece of burnt skin and said, “This hot mark should not be caused by the direct contact of a cigarette butt. It should be caused by someone accidentally dropping the ashes.”

After the inspection, several people turned the body over again. Peng Sijue used a vaginal speculum to open the vagina of the body and check inside with a flashlight. Then he said, “There is a large area of the vaginal wall bruising, which was left while she was alive. The deceased was forced to have sex before her death… Maybe by many people.”

“What position?” Chen Shi asked.

Lin Dongxue rolled her eyes and grumbled, “Why are you always interested in this?”

Peng Sijue answered calmly, “The bruising is all concentrated on the side.”

“Then, it should be from the front. Combined with the rope marks on the body, the deceased was tied up and was then gang-raped by a group of people.”

“But there are no obvious scars on the body. I have performed autopsies on a number of rape cases and when forced, they will be more or less injured.”

“Maybe the deceased was unconscious at the time, is it possible that she drank alcohol?”

Peng Sijue touched his chin and thought about Chen Shi’s words, then said to the assistant, “Get ready to dissect!”

1. I believe ferric oxide is more commonly found, but I’m making an educated guess here. If rust enthusiasts could please help me out on this one, that would be much appreciated. 

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