Chen Shi was slightly startled and asked, "Was there no security guard on duty last night?"
"Yes, the security guard said that Old Wang was on duty and had left early in the morning. The keys were left on the table and the TV was still on. Maybe he was too sleepy so he went back to sleep."
"Inquire about his address and go over to confirm... Xiaodong should go!"
Xu Xiaodong was surprised. "Why me?"
"Because I’m playing favorites."
"I have nothing to say!" Xu Xiaodong said before he left.
Chen Shi stopped him. "By the way, go to the property managers and take the hard drive back to see if it can be restored."
Lin Dongxue took the opportunity to take a good look at the body. She said, "It's a pity to die at such a young age. Could it be a crime of passion?"
"We’re not sure yet. But I think the murderer is probably someone in his social circle."
"It would be good if it’s not a serial killer."
Peng Sijue said, "Let's protect the crime scene first. Old Chen, go to my car and get a body bag. We’ll take the body back."
While they were talking, a car stopped outside. They could hear crying from inside the car before the door was even open. A neatly-dressed middle-aged couple rushed out of the car and ran straight towards the building. The woman howled, "My son!"
"Who had informed the family?" Chen Shi asked in shock.
"No one notified them... Maybe it was a neighbor!"
"Block them and stop them from damaging the scene."
As soon as the couple saw what it was like in the house, they cried even more tempestuously. Lin Dongxue comforted them, "My condolences. We are criminal police and we are investigating this case at the moment."
"Who is so cruel as to kill my son? It was his 30th birthday as well. Why? Why?! If I’d had known, I’d have called him back home yesterday! It’s my fault! My fault!”
The mother of the deceased cried continuously and kept using her handkerchief to pound her husband's arm. The husband whispered and soothed her while holding back tears.
The most uncomfortable thing for the police was facing the family of the victims. No matter how much they comforted them, it wouldn't ease the sorrow of the couple. Chen Shi reached out and closed the door. After the woman had finished crying, he said, "Sorry that I still have to ask you questions in this moment of sorrow, but it’s for investigating the case..."
"No, you can ask!" The deceased's mother said. "We will cooperate fully with the police. As long as we can bring the murderer to justice, we are willing to spend whatever money it takes."
"It's not convenient to talk here. Why don’t we change the location?"
The four of them went to a place in the neighborhood where there were stone chairs. After sitting down, the woman was still wiping away tears endlessly. Chen Shi asked, "How should we address you?"
"My surname is Song. My wife’s surname is He.” The husband replied.
"When was the last time you saw your son?"
The husband and wife glanced at each other, and the husband said, "Three or four days ago, it was probably the weekend. Our family has the habit of having a meal together every weekend no matter how busy we are."
"Are you a family of three?"
"We also have a younger son who is currently studying in university, but it’s summer vacation and he’s staying at home!"
The woman cried, "When I received the call, it was like a bolt from the blue. We haven't even told him yet! I don't know how to break it to him."
"What did you talk about when you last met?"
The husband recalled, "We talked about some work-related stuff..."
The wife said, "Both the father and the son are dentists. I couldn’t even join in on their conversation when they talk about their profession.”
Judging from the manner in which the husband and wife spoke, the couple seemed to be very affectionate with each other. Chen Shi continued to ask, "What else?"
"We talked about some movies and games, mainly because the brothers were interested in them."
"And..." The husband recalled, "Oh, yes, Yuwen seems to have acquired a girlfriend. I said that he should bring her home for a meal together when he had the chance, but he said that the relationship wasn’t confirmed yet."
"Was there anything else?"
Suddenly, his wife said, "He said that his younger cousin Wanjun was coming back to the country in two days and a reunion was planned."
"Ah yes, that did come up. She’s the child of a relative who is studying abroad."
Lin Dongxue wrote it all down and asked, "Has he had any conflicts with anyone?"
Both the husband and wife said no. Chen Shi remembered the information revealed by the wife and asked, "Last night was his thirtieth birthday?"
"I want to see his circle of friends on WeChat and Weibo. Although we found his mobile phone at the scene, it was destroyed by the murderer."
The husband took out his mobile phone and showed it to Chen Shi. Last night, the deceased had posted something for his circle of friends. A black forest cake topped with candles that had numbers on them. From the background, it should have been his workplace. The following was written: "Thank you for everyone’s blessings, please have some cake!"
Going back to his old posts, they found that the deceased didn’t post frequently. Most of them consisted of him sharing some interesting jokes. Chen Shi asked, "Was Song Yuwen a very cheerful person?"
The husband sighed. "Yes, my son's character has always been confident and cheerful. Since childhood, he’s been the pistachio in the family. Although he’s not very smart, he had a good trait. He didn’t like to admit defeat. When he was a child, he took second place in his exams and couldn’t sleep because of it. His results have been very good all these time and we basically haven’t had to worry about it. At first, he wanted to study computers, but I asked him to study dentistry, as the employment prospects of this field are very good. He protested, saying that the field was very boring. However, he obediently did as I asked later. After he went into this line of work, he has done quite well. He’s now the director of the clinic!"
"What about his younger brother?"
"His younger brother, Song Yuqiang, and his older brother are like opposites. He was quite lively and smart when he was young, but he didn't like to study. I don’t know how many tutors we’ve hired. Later, when he entered the period of rebellion, we were worried to death. I had hoped that he would become a dentist as well, but I couldn't control him. As a result, he applied to major in art. Of course, as a parent, I will still support him."
"Do the brothers have a good relationship with each other?"
"Very good. They’ve played together since childhood. The brothers always told each other anything before we found out."
After writing down the information, the wife grabbed Chen Shi's hand and said, "Officers, you must catch the murderer and give us justice."
"Yes, yes, you can be rest assured!" Chen Shi comforted her.
After saying goodbye to the sad couple, Chen Shi said, "How do you feel about this family?"
"It seems to be a family with a strict parenting style and the family background is good. The couple is also very loving. In short, it’s a happy family... Unfortunately, it was ruined by this incident. The murderer is really abominable. Do you think it could be jealousy?"
“How would we know right now? Chen Shi said out loud as he pondered over it. "Is there any special meaning in his dying on his birthday?"
The two went back to help Peng Sijue take the body to the car. When the three drove back towards the bureau and saw the main building of the bureau, Lin Dongxue said, "Aiya, did we forget something?"
"Fuck, we forgot Xiaodong... Forget it, forget it. He has his legs and can walk back himself."
The body was sent for autopsy. Chen Shi asked Lin Qiupu for a few people and began investigating the deceased, his interpersonal relationships, recent expenses, and communication records before his death.
At noon, Chen Shi proposed that they go out to eat claypot rice. Lin Dongxue asked, "Why hasn't Xiaodong come back yet?"
At this time, Xu Xiaodong called them and asked anxiously, "Where are you guys? Hurry back. I’ve found a second body!"
"What? Where did you find it? Are you the only one over there?" Chen Shi asked.
"It was found in a nearby river. It may be the missing security guard. It isn’t just me. There are several comrades from the nearby police station."
"We’ll come over immediately!" Hanging up the phone, Chen Shi said to the waiter, "Excuse me, please pack our meals for takeaway!"
1. Pistachios in Chinese can be directly translated as “happy nut”.
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