Volume 34: Sudden Disappearance
After going back "home" to visit his "parents", Chen Shi felt that he was finally relieved of something that weighed on his heart.
At 8:00 PM on September 10th, Chen Shi drove back from a neighboring city with snacks he had bought for Tao Yueyue. The car drove smoothly on the highway and he was quite bored while driving. He listened to the radio to pass the time.
I should get home at about 9:00 in the evening.
A white Mercedes-Benz appeared in front of him. Interestingly, there was a Husky in the front passenger seat poking its head out with its tongue sticking out. Chen Shi waved at the dog and the dog turned to look at him.
The driver was a woman wearing sunglasses. It’s so late at night, but she’s wearing sunglasses while driving on the highway. Isn’t she afraid she’ll get into an accident?
The other party glanced at him from the rear-view mirror and suddenly stepped on the accelerator to accelerate away.
Ten minutes later, Chen Shi stopped and refueled at a gas station along the way. He also bought a burger and a beverage. Soon after he re-entered the road, he saw that the white Mercedes-Benz had stopped on the side of the road. He slowed down and passed by it. No one was in the car. Only the husky was left inside, scratching the window. There was a touch of red on the fur near the dog's mouth.
Occupational sensitivity made Chen Shi suspicious, so he stopped the car on the side, pulled the key out, and ran over. He looked into the car. The dog scratched the window even more vigorously. There was a pool of red under the seat, which seemed to be blood stains.
Did something go wrong?!
He decisively called Lin Qiupu. "I was on the highway when a female driver mysteriously went missing and there’s blood in the car."
"What?!" Lin Qiupu didn't seem to hear him clearly.
Chen Shi repeated himself, this time adding a sentence, "I suspect something’s gone wrong."
"That's in the outer suburbs. Even if we rushed over, it’d take us a couple of hours and we’re off work right now…”
"Hurry up. Get whoever is closest to come. I’ll send you my location."
"I’ll let the branch office know. By the way, why do you always meet with these sorts of situations?”
The police rushed over, but it took a while. Chen Shi thought that this woman might have been attacked. Maybe she was still alive. This dog might be able to help.
So, he went to his car to find a wrench and smashed the window of the Mercedes-Benz. Thankfully, nobody was around to see it. The glass shattered and the Husky jumped out anxiously, wounding its stomach.
The husky excitedly circled around Chen Shi, wagging its tail and sticking its tongue out. It had a collar and leash. Chen Shi was afraid that it would be hit by a passing car, so he pulled on the dog leash. "Don't worry, I’ll accompany you to find your owner."
The husky seemed to want to cross the road. Chen Shi looked to see that there were no vehicles on both sides. He took the husky and hurried over. The dog sniffed around on the other side of the road and then found a place to pee. It stuck its tongue out and sat down, watching Chen Shi.
"You really are a purebred husky. Where’s your owner?"
The husky kept panting and Chen Shi remained silent. He led the dog back and the dog lay down beside the car.
Chen Shi glanced into the car. The key was not pulled out and the car wasn’t turned off. There was a mobile phone and a box of cigarettes in the car. He looked around and thought that this was really strange. A living person suddenly disappeared.
After a while, the police arrived. The captain stepped forward to ask, "Are you the Consultant Chen Captain Lin talked about?"
"Hello, my surname is Zhang."
"Captain Zhang, this is the case..."
After explaining the situation, the police officers who arrived were very surprised. They only came with four people and didn’t bring a toolbox or surveying equipment. They checked around the Mercedes-Benz and didn’t know where to start.
Chen Shi suggested, "Contact the Traffic Management Bureau and bring up the surveillance footage. Additionally, there’s a security camera at the gas station. It’s best to send a few more people to see if there are blood stains or footprints around the area."
Captain Zhang furrowed his brows. "Really disappeared out of thin air?" He was still immersed in incredible shock.
Chen Shi was speechless. How many times did he have to say it before the other party believed him? He said, "I didn't see the moment when the person disappeared. This car was previously in front of me. I fueled up for about ten minutes. When I drove over, I saw the car had parked here.”
"That’s unbelievable!" Captain Zhang shook his head and sighed.
"Captain Zhang, I know it’s unbelievable. Don’t just stand there and share your sentiments. The top priority is to protect the scene and obtain first-hand evidence.”
"I have to make a call first."
Chen Shi simply wanted to laugh. The small branch office in the suburb hadn’t had that many criminal cases at all and had no experience in dealing with emergencies.
He called Lin Qiupu again. "The people you sent over from the branch office aren’t good enough. They’re totally rookies. Send someone from the head office and get Old Peng to come.”
"We can't come right now. Did you find the body?"
"There are blood stains but no corpse."
"This kind of case can only be officially filed after forty-eight hours. Special circumstances also have to wait for twenty-four hours. Maybe the person just took off temporarily."
"Who would leave their car and dog on a highway and leave without taking the car keys?”
"Notifying the branch office is already breaking standard procedure. Should we pretend it’s a criminal case and file it then?" Lin Qiupu's tone was full of dissatisfaction.
"Lin Qiupu!" Chen Shi was a little annoyed. "You’ve learned to use an official’s words with me now?"
"I’m too lazy to care about you!" Lin Qiupu hung up the phone.
Chen Shi sighed while looking up at the sky. He glanced at the husky who was crouching next to him and sticking its tongue out. This kind of thing was hard to understand over the phone. They would only know how abnormal it was if they were here.
His instinct told him that this matter may not be simple, but intuition couldn’t be used as evidence.
Chen Shi took out the uneaten burger in the car and fed it to the dog. Then, he walked back to the Mercedes-Benz. Captain Zhang had already called his subordinates to go to the surrounding wastelands to look for the lady. He also took the mobile phone from the car, went through her recent contacts, and called them. "Hello, I’m from the Public Security Bureau. The owner of this phone seems to have gone missing. I want to ask about her basic situation."
People answered over the phone, "You’re not a scammer, are you?", "Missing? I just saw her this morning. Would a missing persons case be filed so fast? You’re not a scammer, right!", "Since you say you’re from the Public Security Bureau, give me some evidence!"
Captain Zhang hung up the phone and shrugged helplessly. "I couldn’t find out anything."
"I'm sorry to have made you come out so late at night." Chen Shi said.
"Hey, it doesn't matter if we come out. I just hope it's a false alarm."
Chen Shi leaned into the car and sniffed. The bloody liquid inside was indeed blood and it was very fresh. He pulled out the car key and went to the trunk of the car. After opening it, he and Captain Zhang were both stunned.
Inside was a cloth bag, which was filled with RMB. The amount was over ten million yuan. Chen Shi picked it up, looked at it and said, "It's old money!"
Captain Zhang said, "I will call for more people!"
1. I know it says that Chen Shi would get home within the hour above, so I’m guessing he means it would take a couple of hours to mobilize everyone and drive over? Assuming their starting point is further away than Chen Shi’s house.
2. Chinese currency.
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