Chapter 422: The Scream in the Song

After entering the house, Chen Shi turned on all the lights. He checked around the blood stains and said, "This blood wasn’t sprayed out. It should have been leaked out. There are traces of dragging on the ground, so the body should have been moved here from somewhere else."

"They didn't even clean up the blood?" Lin Dongxue said.

"Maybe they felt that it was unnecessary. After all, the corpse was left here!"

"The bedroom was ransacked."

"Let’s go and see what’s missing."

Chen Shi went to the bedroom. There was a computer on the table. He dragged the CPU out and looked at it. The dust on it had been wiped off. He picked up the CPU to gauge its weight and then pressed the power button. However, the computer couldn’t be turned on.

"The hard drive was taken away. There may have been chat records and the like."

"But when I came here with Xiaodong earlier, we were lucky to meet a friend of Ling Shuangshuang and got some chat records from her."

"Let me have a look!"

Chen Shi took Lin Dongxue's mobile phone and looked at the screenshot of the chat record as well as the photo. Luo Zuyu's face wasn’t shown in the photo. Based on what was visible behind the car window, it looked like a parking lot. From the car’s interior, they could more or less figure out the car model.

He praised, "Very valuable evidence!"

The bedroom drawers were all opened. Chen Shi found several different types of power cords in a drawer. However, the electronic equipment in the house only consisted of a computer with the hard drive removed and a digital camera.

Chen Shi suspected that the gang had seized Ling Shuangshuang's tablet, laptop, etc. to prevent leaving any evidence behind. They were indeed cautious.

"How did this female fan contact Luo Zuyu?" Chen Shi wondered.

"Maybe it's a message via Weibo or she might have written her number down on the packaging of the flowers. According to her friend, Ling Shuangshuang was the one to hand over the flowers when they welcomed him at the airport."

"You should contact Weibo officially later to see if you can find Ling Shuangshuang's chat history."

"Okay, I’ll note it down."

Then the two went to the bathroom. Chen Shi put on gloves and squatted down to investigate. "The body had been cleaned and the back of the head was injured... There are some scratches on the body. There’s no redness or swelling though, so they should have been left on the body after death. Maybe it happened when they moved the corpse."

He carefully felt the bones of the corpse. The bones were intact. Then he checked the livor mortis[1] and pupils, saying, "The pupils are completely clouded and adhering to the crystalline lenses. The livor mortis doesn’t lose its color upon pressure and her back has large merged areas of vibices. This should have been caused by the transportation of the body. I can only estimate that the time of death happened more than two days ago. We have to let Old Peng check the body for a more accurate result.

Then he pried the drain cover open and retrieved all the hair and fibers inside as evidence.

Chen Shi asked, "Has the identity been verified?"

"No, but I’m guessing that it is the female cleaner."

"Take a photo."

Chen Shi swept the hair off the face of the victim, raised her head and asked Lin Dongxue to take a photo. Meddling with a corpse in such a small and dim bathroom, Lin Dongxue was worried that the corpse would suddenly open her eyes. Horror movies had already implanted such fantasies deeply into her mind. As a result, it took her a few tries before she could capture a clear photo because her hands were shaking.

Chen Shi comforted her, "It's a good thing to be afraid of corpses. It indicates that you respect death.”

"Why aren’t you afraid?"

"I am afraid. If you asked me to stay with a body alone, I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

The body was as pale as paper and even her lips were no longer red. Lin Dongxue felt her heartstrings getting tugged. "She must have been killed by that gang. How unfortunate."

"Yes. We’ll avenge her... Go to the car to get a bag. We’ll take the body away.”

Fearing that Chen Shi would be uneasy staying there alone, Lin Dongxue rushed to grab a body bag and opened it up. The two of them moved the body together and put it into the bag. Then Chen Shi picked up the corpse in his arms and went out with Lin Dongxue.

Finally, the body was moved to the car. The two went to the property management office and took a copy of the surveillance video from the past few days. Currently, there wasn't any extra manpower and time for them to investigate around the area, so they left.

Chen Shi asked Lin Dongxue to go to the hotel to verify the identity and conveyed the body back to the bureau himself.

Upon seeing the body, Peng Sijue said, "I can't help you right now. I have other jobs on hand. You know there’s a big case going on right now."

"I didn't expect that you would be able to help to begin with. I’ll leave the corpse here with you for now!"

"Wait..." Peng Sijue called on another forensic pathologist. "Little Zhou, make a preliminary evaluation of this body and then give the report to Old Chen."

Chen Shi saw that Peng Sijue was wearing sterile clothing and had blood on his body. There were two bodies waiting to be dissected in the forensic laboratory. He asked, "Who are those?"

"Members of the underworld gang that were shot last night. It’s said that the first gun has now been found. The murderer really mailed a dozen guns to strangers whom he didn’t know."

"You guys must have been exhausted over the past few days. I’ll finish up on my side as soon as possible and come over to help you guys."

At this time, Lin Dongxue also came back. She had confirmed the identity of the deceased with the hotel. It was truly the missing female cleaner. Chen Shi said, "Old Peng is already tied up by the gun mailing case. It’s impossible for us to completely investigate the scene right now. To find evidence, we can only use the fastest way available."

"What’s the fastest way?"

Chen Shi pondered, "Actually, we all know that the whole group is collectively lying. Who do you think will be the weakest link?"

"Luo Zuyu himself. He’s irritable and naive."

"I also thought of this. But Luo Zuyu isn’t easy to approach. I think I can start with that female entertainer."

"Should we go and find her now?"

"It's too late. We’ll go tomorrow!"

Xu Xiaodong ran in and said, "Hey, you guys are here? Listen to this."

Xu Xiaodong inserted a USB flash drive into the computer, which contained an unrecognizable file and an installation package. After installing the audio analysis software, he loaded the file and said, "This is the new song that hasn’t been released yet. The colleagues in the information department parsed out the audio tracks. I don’t understand the specifics. But anyway, we can listen to it now. "

On the screen, several audio tracks were displayed in a parallel format as voiceprints. It was very intuitive. Xu Xiaodong played one of them, and a scream of a woman was heard.

Although Chen Shi had expected it, he was still startled when he heard it on the spot. "Replay it!"

Xu Xiaodong played it again several times and Chen Shi said, "There’s a sharp echo. It should have been recorded in a closed environment with smooth walls."

"That should have been the bathroom... He actually added the victim’s scream into the new song. He’s truly a cold-blooded psycho." Lin Dongxue said in shock.

"Play the whole song again."

Xu Xiaodong played the whole song and the scream wasn’t easy to make out spliced with the other sounds in the mix. In fact, there were many strange background sounds in the mix and it matched very naturally with the overall rhythm.

Chen Shi said, "If this voice belongs to the victim, Ling Shuangshuang, then it’s undoubtedly ironclad evidence to convict Luo Zuyu with!"

1.  Postmortem skin changes include livor mortis, vibices, Tardieu spots, and marbling. Livor mortis refers to the bluish-purple discoloration (lividity) under the skin of the lower body parts due to gravitation of blood after death. Onset of lividity, its location and color, provide information on the time and cause of death. Vibices are pale marks on a dead person's skin that are caused by dermal pressure (e.g. marks around the neck from a rope). Dark pinpoint spots (Tardieu spots) are seen when capillaries rupture due to increased gravitational pressure (e.g. in the legs of a hanged person). A prominent purple discoloration of subdermal vessels appears later in the process of decomposition and leaves a marbling pattern. Not to be confused with rigor mortis. 

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