Chen Shi thought it was really funny. After the experiment was over, the results were three words - check surveillance footage.
He went to the traffic control office the next day with Lin Dongxue and obtained the surveillance footage around Heping East Street. They really found a taxi stopping there that night, and a person had gotten out with a black bag in their hands.
They found the driver through the taxi company. The driver described the passenger that night as a garishly-dressed fat boy with permed hair. He had been carrying a bag of garbage in his hand. He told the driver that they were bottles he had drunk at work. He had nowhere to throw them so he was taking them home for disposal.
The fat guy had gotten into the taxi on Liyang Road so the two went there and asked around in the nearby housing districts on the afternoon of April 3rd.
The two made inquiries separately and searched for over an hour. Lin Dongxue bought a bottle of mineral water. While she was sitting on a bench in the community resting, a chubby guy approached her with a smile on his face, and said politely, "Beauty, I’m sorry, is there a 4S shop nearby? I accidentally scratched the car when I was driving, and I have to meet a friend in the evening. It’s very troublesome.” He pointed to a red Chang’an car parked outside the housing district. "That's my car."
"That’s your car?" Lin Dongxue was surprised.
"Yeah, I'm not very used to driving domestically-made cars. I used to drive German cars in Los Angeles. The stability is better. The only drawback is that they aren’t cost-effective. Haha... Hey, are you here alone? Are you waiting for someone?" The fat guy started weaving in questions.
Lin Dongxue saw through his routine. This was just a way to strike up a conversation, and his skill was very low-level. The car he just pointed to was Chen Shi’s, so it could be seen that he had also made up everything else.
Looking at his greasy smiling face, a little contempt rose in her heart. Lin Dongxue calmly said, "That car belongs to my boyfriend." Her one sentence cleverly rebuffed him.
"Oh, oh! I was just kidding. Don't mind me. I won't bother you then." He retreated tactfully.
When he turned to leave, Lin Dongxue suddenly noticed that his clothes and hairstyle were similar to what the driver had described, and abruptly stopped him. "Hey, stop right there!"
Lin Dongxue stepped forward and showed him her badge. The fat guy's smile faded immediately. Lin Dongxue asked, "Did you go to Heping East Street on the night of April 1st?"
The fat guy panicked, "Uh, I don’t understand what you’re talking about. I’ve never been there. I was watching A Better Tomorrow at home that night. That day was the anniversary of Elder Brother’s death. I rewatch his works at this time every year."
"Leslie Cheung. Beauty, do you like Leslie Cheung?" He said, raising his eyebrows.
Lin Dongxue almost wanted to swear at him. Why was this man so cheap? He was being questioned by the police, but he still dared to flirt.
She took out her phone. "Old Chen, come here. I may have found him."
Seeing Chen Shi arrive, the fat guy immediately stopped smiling and replied seriously, "I haven't been to Heping East Street. Why would I go there?"
"What is your name?" Chen Shi asked.
"What’s your occupation?"
"Pro... promoting shoe polishes!" Zhang Xiao glanced at Lin Dongxue subconsciously, perhaps ashamed of his lies just now. Then he became chatty again. "Do you want shoe polish? Oh, you’re wearing sneakers, but you must own leather shoes!"
"Why do you have so much to say?!" Lin Dongxue rebuked.
"Beauty, don't be offended. I admit that I was trying to flirt earlier, but this is the same as sending a hello on WeChat. There’s no offense!" Zhang Xiao smiled.
Chen Shi returned to the topic. "You said you hadn't been there, but the license plate of the taxi you took that night was LXXXX. Why don’t you come with us and confront the driver?"
"I still have to go to work."
"If it's really not you, I can compensate you for missing work, okay?"
Zhang Xiao scratched his face awkwardly, still trying to quibble, "I really haven't been there before."
Chen Shi contacted the driver to meet with them somewhere. When he heard the phone call, Zhang Xiao immediately panicked and said, "Okay, okay, no need to identify me. It's as if you’re identifying a criminal. I've been there."
"Why did you go there?"
"Have you ever thought about the reason why we approached you? Let me remind you that she is a criminal police officer from the city bureau. We’re investigating because something had appeared in front of us. You should know what it was!"
"Guns? Drugs?" Although he looked flustered, Zhang Xiao still put up an act.
"What did you do on Heping East Street that night?!" Chen Shi emphasized each word of his question.
"To throw... throw trash away."
"You live on Liyang Road, and you spent 20 yuan on a taxi to go to Heping East Street to throw trash away. Is that reasonable?"
Zhang Xiao was silent, and then said, "No, no, I went to look for a friend. Throwing the garbage away was an extra errand."
"Haha!" Chen Shi was already impatient. "Dongxue, subpoena him!"
"I will now formally serve you with a subpoena. The detailed reasons will be explained at the bureau. If you have anything to say, wait until you are in the interrogation room!"
"Your name is Dongxue? Your name is really nice. What’s your last name?"
Lin Dongxue rolled her eyes. She had never seen such a thick-skinned and shameless person.
When he got to the interrogation room, Zhang Xiao refused to admit to abandoning the body. There was a policewoman among the interrogators. Zhang Xiao kept asking her about this and that, with an ingratiating smile. Chen Shi found out that this guy had a "Jia Baoyu’s disposition". He got excited just from seeing a woman.
Listening to Lin Dongxue talking about Zhang Xiao’s botched flirting when they had first met, Chen Shi couldn’t help but think, “This guy has a deep routine. He couldn’t be a professional, right? A small group and a dead young woman? Haha, I seem to understand something now."
"Let’s wait for him to say it!" Chen Shi smiled.
"Tch, you’re acting all mysterious again."
At this time, Peng Sijue came over with a stack of documents and asked Lin Dongxue, "Where is Captain Lin?"
Chen Shi said, "What's the progress on your side? Looking for me is the same!"
Peng Sijue said contemptuously, "Going beyond the sacrificial altar and taking over the kitchen!"
"Let me take a look." Chen Shi disregarded his protests and took away the documents in his hand. Upon reading it, he saw that progress was well underway. The identity of the deceased had been discovered, and several ID photos were included in the documents.
It turned out that Peng Sijue hadn’t been idle over the past two days. The team had held a small meeting. There were two choices. One was to take the garbage brought back from the scene and conduct DNA identification on them one by one, and then to look for clues in the garbage that had been packed with the dismembered parts. The other was to perform 3D skull restoration on the deceased to confirm her identity, so as to find the murderer and the people who had abandoned the corpse.
Everyone unanimously voted for the second plan. Although 3D skull restoration was very time-consuming, it was much more challenging than testing garbage all day long. Compared with repairing a hundred earthen jars, making a crystal vase was of course more interesting.
Although the deceased’s head had been corroded by acidic substances, some facial features were still preserved. After a day and night of fierce struggle, the forensic department reconstructed her appearance on the computer through these special features, and then found a person in the household registration database with a similar set of photos.
This was what Chen Shi saw at that moment.
1. Leslie Cheung was also known as “Elder Brother”. He died of suicide on 1 April 2003.
2. Military general serving under the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty and early Three Kingdoms period.
3. “Xiaosa”’ means “natural and unrestrained” but is also used to describe people who are cool.
4. Principal character in Dream of the Red Chamber
5. Idiom for exceeding one’s place and meddling in other people’s affairs.
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