The restored image of "Mr. Shen" was finally completed. The two real estate agents were already starving. As soon as the dishes were brought over, they began gobbling it up zealously. After they had some food, Chen Shi said with a smile, "Gentleman, I still have something else I need to trouble you with."
The two who had been starving for the past half hour were a little bit unhappy when they heard this. However, since they had already eaten the food, they had to say, "Oh, it’s no trouble. Please let us know."
"I want to go to the house that Mr. Shen rented before. Can you inform the tenant?"
"Then, I’ll give them a call and you guys can go yourselves."
"You must be quite familiar with this area. It might take a long time before I find it, so I’ll trouble you two to bring me over.”
The two agents had to take them to the community. Lin Dongxue poked Chen Shi and pointed to a place. They saw a pet dog sniffing at the drains below the building. The owner was pulling the leash to urge it to leave, but the dog kept sniffing at the area like it had been possessed.
Chen Shi whispered, "There might be a second body here!"
Only the male owner was in the house. He heard that the police were coming and said that he was willing to assist in the investigation. Chen Shi asked, "Have you met the previous tenant?"
"No, the house was empty when I came over. I just moved in and lived here directly.”
"What was the date you moved in?"
"Umm..." The male owner took out his mobile phone and had a look. "May 11th. This was the picture I took on the day I moved in. I have a habit of taking pictures wherever I move. In case there’s any disputes after that, there would be evidence."
"It's a good habit. Can I take a look?"
Chen Shi took the phone and looked at it with Lin Dongxue. There were a lot of newspapers put up in the living room with some grease-like things on the newspapers. This was probably another corpse dismembering scene. They weren’t sure how the male owner would feel after he found out about this.
Chen Shi sent a copy of these photos to his own phone. Then, he said that they needed to go into the bathroom to have a look.
He squatted in the bathroom to inspect around the place. He took a sample in the gap between the tiles and tested it with reagents. There was no result. The male owner said, "My wife loves to clean. The toilet has been repeatedly cleaned with disinfectant."
"What did it look like before? As in, when you first moved in?"
"Although it's the same, it was a bit dirty. There was always some hair blocking the sewer. I feel like the previous tenant must have been a woman... Ah, yes, let me tell you something. Around June, there’d be a hum around the drains at night that was so noisy that nobody could sleep. I boiled a pot of water and poured it into the pipe. As a result, a large swarm of flies flew out when I poured the hot water in. It was so disgusting.”
“How big were the flies?"
"As big as watermelon seeds."
Chen Shi smiled. "There are both big and small watermelon seeds."
"About this big!" The male host gestured by squeezing his little finger.
"Did they have green heads?"
"Yes, how did you know?"
Chen Shi looked towards the water pipe and asked, "Was it from here?"
The sewerage pipe wasn’t straight. There are many bends in the middle, so there may have been rotten meat stuck in it, breeding this kind of rotten meat-eating fly. When Chen Shi was hesitating whether to unscrew the section of the water pipe to have a look, Lin Dongxue walked in with a hammer and asked, "Sir, did you buy this?"
"You should answer after some careful thinking. If it’s tested to have something, who would be responsible?”
The male owner was a little nervous. "No. What case are you investigating? Did someone die here?"
"I’m asking you about the hammer."
"This... It’s not mine. I found it in the corner when I moved in. I used it to hammer down a nail a couple of days ago and just left it there."
Lin Dongxue also saw the hammer in the photo, so she determined that it wasn’t the male owners.
Lin Dongxue handed the hammer to Chen Shi. The average person was unlikely to scrub the hammer clean. Even after a few months, the traces on it should have still been retained. Chen Shi wiped the surface carefully with an alcohol swab, then threw the cotton swab into the kit and waited for a while. After a while, the kit changed color.
Lin Dongxue said excitedly, "It's human blood!"
"Shhhh!" Chen Shi made a gesture for her to be silent and said to the host, "I need to borrow the toilet."
When Lin Dongxue and the male host retreated outside, the male host asked, "Officer, don't hide it from me. Did the last tenant do anything illegal?"
"This is not convenient for us to disclose. It’s still under investigation!"
"Ah, I actually regret moving here. It always felt weird. I often have nightmares at night. My child's grades have declined for a while as well. I feel that the Feng Shui here isn’t very good."
"I don't know too much about Feng Shui." Lin Dongxue smiled awkwardly.
"By the way, let me tell you something. There are always strange people coming over and asking me if I’ve seen Little Li. I don’t know of any Little Li. This group of people seems to be unwilling to give up and often wanders around nearby. My lover doesn't dare to come back from work alone. I have to pick her up every time. This situation has lasted for half a month. I wonder if this Little Li is the previous tenant.”
"Who are those people? Do you still have any impressions of them? Do you remember their license plate numbers?"
"They don’t look like good people. I feel like they’re triads. The license plate number... It should be a local license plate, but I can’t remember the number. The cars they drive are very loud. When they drive over in the morning, it vibrates so much that my heart feels like it’s going to come out.”
"Is there anything else?"
"If I remember anything, I’ll let you know, okay? Can I have your contact information?"
Lin Dongxue left him a business card and the male owner asked again, "I’ve already said so much. Can you tell me whether this is a homicide or not? I need to be mentally prepared.”
Chen Shi came out of the bathroom and said, "It's not a homicide. You can live in peace!"
"That's good then."
Leaving the male host, Chen Shi raised a small plastic bag with some dark things in it. Lin Dongxue asked what it was and Chen Shi replied, "It was scratched out from the sewage pipe. It took a long time for me to get mentally prepared, bring up some courage, and reach in. It looks like minced meat that’s been carbonized. There’s still a few hairs wrapped in it along with some dead flies.”
Lin Dongxue glanced at it and frowned. "How disgusting."
Chen Shi smiled. "With this psychological quality of ours, it seems like neither of us can be forensic pathologiests... What did the man tell you?"
Lin Dongxue repeated what was told to her and Chen Shi nodded. "That also counts as a clue. Let's go and talk to the security guard."
When they got to the security duty room and mentioned these suspicious people, the security guard said he was familiar with them. At that time, they often came over to harass the residents. When the security drove them away, they said the group came with very cocky attitudes to find someone. The security guards couldn’t do anything and had to call the manager to handle it. The manager said that this group were triads and to try not to provoke them. However, they had to be mindful of them and be alert. In case they really did do anything, it wouldn’t be too late to call the police then.
The security guard took out a book and said, "This is their license plate number that I copied down. See if it helps."
Chen Shi was overjoyed. "It's super helpful. Thank you!"
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