The two disputed with each other, but couldn’t confirm whether the male victim was Cheng Chao or not. Lin Dongxue asked, "Do you know his blood type, or the contact information of his parents?"
The father shook his head. "I don't even want to see his face. Why would I know that?"
The mother recalled, "He came to our house to eat that day. Didn’t he say that his father passed away early and that his mother remarried out to the rural area?”
"Oh, yes. I don't know which poor area he popped out of. Of all the people he could have picked up, why did he choose our daughter? Did we owe it to him in our past lives?” said the father cruelly.
Lin Dongxue asked again, "Where does he live?"
The two shook their heads together and the mother said, "Xiao An should know."
"Who is Xiao An?"
"An Xu, the son of my husband's classmate. Once..." The mother was a little ashamed. "One time, I told him about Cheng Chao. He told me that he would teach him a lesson, so I’m guessing that he should know."
"Okay, tell us his contact information."
Not long after sending away the old couple, a young man driving a luxurious car came to the bureau. This person was An Xu, the person who pursued Jiang Mei.
Upon knowing Jiang Mei’s death and the facts of the case, An Xu was so shocked that he widened his eyes and snarled, "I have to skin that damn broke boy."
Lin Dongxue replied coldly, "Maybe you don't need to do it yourself."
Lin Dongxue took An Xu to identify the reconstructed face of the deceased. An Xu glanced at it and claimed, "Yes. Yes, it is him for sure!"
"How are you so sure?"
"I..." An Xu scratched his head and smiled. "Recently, I went to find him and taught him a lesson. I told him to stay away from Xiao Mei. I pressed him against a wall while holding his collar and was looking straight at him, so I have a pretty clear picture of what he looks like!” Whilst talking with him, Lin Dongxue noticed the big gold chain on his neck was dazzling and annoying to look at.
Lin Dongxue immediately recorded this incident down as An Xu babbled, "Hey, Miss police officer, I only went over to tease and taunt. I didn’t actually beat him up.”
"How long ago was it?"
"Last month? No, the month before that."
If it happened such a long time ago, the deceased should have no scars from it. Lin Dongxue reprimanded, "What you did was assault. If the other party reported it to the police, you would have to at least be detained at the station for a few days."
"I will pay attention next time! I will pay attention next time." An Xu beamed. "I was just a bit impulsive. I felt like I had a connection with Xiao Mei as soon as I met her. She is beautiful and quiet. I also really like her personality. I love her from the bottom of my heart. Both our parents were happy for us to be together. Who knew what kind of drugged soup this poor boy gave Xiao Mei. I sent her flowers and jewelry, but she hasn’t given me a single good expression. She never even stopped to think about what the poor boy can even give her."
"Emotional things..." Lin Dongxue couldn't help but want to speak out, but since this kind of thing had nothing to do with the case, it was better not to be said aloud. So, she swallowed the words and rephrased, "Jewelry? Do you remember what jewelry Xiao Mei wore?"
An Xu roughly described it while Lin Dongxue wrote down everything one by one. Then, she asked him about Cheng Chao’s address. After answering, An Xu excused himself as his company still had things he needed to sort, so he told them that he wouldn’t accompany them over.
Lin Dongxue called Xu Xiaodong and brought a forensic scientist to Cheng Chao’s residence. When the landlord opened the door with a key, he growled, “This kid has not returned for a few days. He still owes three months’ rent. I called him but it doesn’t go through. Hell, the thing that landlords fear the most is encountering such a rogue... Officers, did something happen to him?"
"This is still under investigation; it is not convenient to disclose anything at this stage." Lin Dongxue said.
"Okay, okay, remember to inform me if you have any updates. If this room is left empty, I will lose 50 yuan a day. My whole family relies on this rent to survive!"
Everyone looked around Cheng Chao's residence. The tables, chairs and other things here were rented together with the house. Apart from a computer and some daily necessities, there were basically no personal belongings. Xu Xiaodong opened the kitchen cabinet and found a bunch of instant noodles bags and said, "It seems that he is truly very poor. He often eats noodles for the whole day... Just like me."
"Why would you compare yourself to him? Your money is all spent on games and your cat." Lin Dongxue laughed.
Xu Xiaodong was embarrassed and scratched his head shyly.
Cheng Chao’s economic situation really wasn’t comparable. The water, electricity and gas bills were found in the drawers for every month. It seemed he didn’t pay for the utilities unless they were about to cut him off.
In addition, they found a receipt from a pawnshop. Cheng Chao had pawned a golden bracelet a month ago and exchanged it for a few thousand yuan. It was probably given to him by Jiang Mei.
It must be understood that Cheng Chao was a warehouse stocker in a supermarket. His income was meagre, and half of the money earned was used to maintain his hobbies – painting and art.
They did find a lot of tools for painting in his house such as an easel for painting. Lin Dongxue turned on the computer and found that there were unfinished Manhua and that all the browser history contained these websites. He had been trying to submit a manuscript to a Manhua website.
In addition, the computer desktop was a photo of Jiang Mei. Her face that donned a smile was as beautiful as a flower.
At the thought of the couple being forced apart by her parents, Lin Dongxue could not help but sympathize.
The forensic technician found some hair and dandruff samples from the comb and bed and brought it back to test whether the deceased was Cheng Chao. The results of the test this time were vital to the investigation. Lin Dongxue waited anxiously. After work that evening, Peng Sijue called her on the internal landlines.
"The DNA found in the room matches the male victim," informed Peng Sijue.
Lin Dongxue sighed with relief as his identity was finally confirmed, but Lin Qiupu had a completely different reaction. After hearing this result, he paced back and forth in the office. "Was it really done by a stranger?"
“Could it be An Xu?”
"Who is An Xu?"
"The man Jiang Mei’s parents introduced to Jiang Mei. He is a rich second generation
. He claimed that he had threatened the victim with violence and told him to break up with Jiang Mei."
"You talked to him?"
"He said he will come by in the afternoon tomorrow."
Lin Qiupu shook his head. "This person has a motive for killing Cheng Chao, but why should he kill Jiang Mei? Don't forget, the female victim died of poisoning and died before the male victim."
"So my reasoning should be the closest to the truth. The two were originally going to commit suicide for passion, but then they engaged with a third-party."
"This situation is the most troublesome..." Lin Qiupu kept rubbing his chin and the section above the mouth.
"Brother, did you find any leads at the local police stations?”
"Nothing was found. You should get off work first. We’ll stop here for today.”
At the door, Lin Dongxue thought of one thing and turned back. "Could this third party who suddenly interacted with them be An Xu?"
Lin Qiupu widened his eyes, but he was hesitant. He waved his hand to gesture her to leave work.
After changing clothes and leaving work, Lin Dongxue was going to call a taxi. At this time, Chen Shi sent a text message, "Would you like to eat my cooking tonight?"
"I want to eat skewers."
"Are you treating me?"
"Okay, okay, my treat, you gold-digger... Pick me up at the main door of the city bureau.”
"I will arrive in five minutes. If I haven’t arrived, please read this message again."
Looking at this message, Lin Dongxue chuckled.
1. This term is generally considered a pejorative. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuerdai
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