An officer responded, "The deceased's girlfriend, Du Juan, works in a club. She is a DJ. She studied at an art college in this city a few years ago, but later dropped out to work in the club. She’s only twenty years old this year."
Lin Dongxue said, "Isn’t the age gap between the two of them too huge?"
"Some girls like uncles!" Chen Shi said and was pinched below by Lin Dongxue. He continued, "Call her over for questioning. The girlfriend probably knows more about the victim than the average person."
"Do we also need to question his friends and colleagues?" Old Zhang looked at the list of interpersonal relationships in his hand.
Chen Shi said, "This case is an extension of the gun mailing case. The person who sent the guns was aiming at people with grievances. In addition, the murderer was a woman. I believe that the motive was resentment that had accumulated over a long period. We don’t need to ask those acquaintances since it’ll be a waste of time, but we can visit those who have a close relationship with him. The point is to investigate what secrets the deceased had in the past and who he had hurt. By the way, he died on his birthday. Could it be related to his birthday?"
Old Zhang said, "By the way, communication records show that the deceased had a call lasting half an hour with a certain number the day before his death. The number was found to be Australian, so we can't find out anything from our end."
"Just call them directly and ask. What time is it in Australia right now?" Chen Shi said.
Everyone checked the time zone and said, "It's 11:00 in the morning."
After dialing the number, everyone waited quietly. Then a clear girl's voice came from the phone, "Hello? Who are you looking for?"
"Hello, we’re from Long’an City Public Security Bureau. Do you know Song Yuwen?"
"I do, what's wrong?"
"Can we ask what is your relationship with him?"
"I’m his younger cousin."
Chen Shi remembered that the deceased's parents mentioned that there was a cousin who was studying abroad. He asked, "Are you called Wanjun?"
"Yes, my name is Shi Wanjun."
"The situation is like this… It may be a bit of a shock for you..."
After explaining about the death of the deceased, the other party said “ah” and was silent for a long time before saying, “Cousin Yuwen was killed? Has the murderer been arrested yet?”
"We are investigating it right now. We saw that you two had talked to each other, so we called to ask... Yes, I remember that you’re supposed to return to China soon. Are you currently in China or abroad?"
"I originally intended to return to China, but some things at school delayed me, so I’ve already told my family that I plan to come back for Chinese New Year."
"What did you discuss with Song Yuwen on July 25th?"
"We just had a casual conversation. I originally said that I was going to come back to China. His birthday was coming soon and cousin Yuqiang was also at home. We planned to go out to have fun together. In the end, I couldn't come back, so I called to inform him and we chatted idly for a while... My relationship with him has always been very good. I didn’t expect such a thing to happen!"
"Do you have any other questions?"
Chen Shi pondered for a moment. The girl's answers were very natural, but he felt like something was a bit off, and he felt that her behavior was overly calm.
When the other party saw that he was silent, she repeated, "Is there anything else you’d like to ask? I'm about to go out, and if there’s nothing else, I’ll hang up."
Chen Shi said, "If it is convenient, I would like to know your ID number."
The other party provided her ID number without hesitation and Chen Shi noted it down. Then he asked, "What is your school called?”
"Queensland University of Technology."
"Okay, thank you."
After hanging up the phone, Chen Shi said, "Send an email to this school to see if there’s a Chinese student with this name studying there."
At this time, a police officer from the information department knocked on the door. "Captain Lin, we retrieved the deleted video from the hard drive you sent us yesterday."
Lin Dongxue still wasn’t used to being called "Captain Lin". She said, "Thank you!"
The other party handed her a hard drive and Lin Dongxue plugged it into the computer. Everyone moved their chairs closer and started watching the surveillance video on the night of the incident. At about 10:00, the deceased drove into the housing district.
At 11:30, the security guard trotted out of the duty room and went outside. He never came back and the duty room remained empty.
Chen Shi said, "By this time, the unfortunate security guard was already killed. Rewind the footage a little. The murderer should have left the housing district around this time."
Lin Dongxue rewound the video, but during that period, only an old man with a dog on the leash in his hand left the housing district. They rewound it an hour back. During this period, three people entered and exited the community successively. They didn’t match the characteristics of the murderer.
Chen Shi was stunned. "Something’s wrong. If the killer deleted the surveillance footage, it must have been shortly after the security guard was killed. Go back to around 11:30."
There were no people with the same characteristics as the murderer in the footage. Chen Shi counted all the people who entered and exited the community from 6:00 to 11:30. A total of six people both entered and exited. One of them was a young man in black. He came in with a box in his hands, and his hands were empty when he left approximately after 11:30. By that time, the security guard had already been out for 20 minutes.
Lin Dongxue asked, "Isn’t this person a bit suspicious? I was wondering if the murderer was a crossdresser?"
Chen Shi shook his head. "The timing isn’t right either. The security guard had been out for 20 minutes before this person left. Even if the security guard was doing a number two by the river, he should have come back already... There is another key point. We determined that the murderer had deleted the surveillance footage. The duty room was fully monitored by the surveillance camera and the murderer would have been recorded as soon as she came in!"
Xu Xiaodong said, "Can the murderer become invisible? That’s a little scary!"
The listener heard something that the speaker didn’t intend. Chen Shi suddenly remembered what Zhou Tiannan had said. He had said that the person was a ghost.
Chen Shi shook off these thoughts. He didn’t believe that there were ghosts in the world. Even if there were ghosts, ghosts who killed people with guns were way too "unique". This footage seemed to be unable to support his speculation. So what was wrong was his own speculation.
Or maybe the security guard stayed outside for 20 minutes because of something. Or the murderer really cross-dressed?
Chen Shi instructed, "Everyone should split up to verify the people who entered and exited the housing district that day. Those who appeared in the footage before and after the incident have to be found. I will go back to the crime scene to re-examine it in order to confirm whether there are other entrances or surveillance monitoring in the neighborhood… Huh? Where’s Old Peng?”
Lin Dongxue looked back and said, "He left just now when we were watching the footage."
"Let him go. Ah, right, Xiaodong, you stay and continue to watch the footage. Expand the search range from when it gets dark to before dawn. Watch very closely.”
Xu Xiaodong wailed for a while, "Can’t you assign me an interesting task? You’re telling me to sit here and watch something for ten hours?"
"If you feel bored sitting here and watching the footage... Then just watch standing up!" Chen Shi clapped. "Let's get going! I’ll treat everyone to hot pot when we come back tonight."
1. Actual university in Brisbane.
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