MCAB - Chapter 119
Jun Zishu and Wang Duoduo both noticed the mother's reaction. When Jun Zishu handed the photo of the anklet to the mother, the other party hesitantly took it with trembling hands. Then, when she gazed at the photo, tears started leaking from her eyes immediately.
The man beside the mother trembled, his face turning pale like his wife.
The other two pairs of parents looked at the two with sympathetic gazes, feelings of rejoice on their faces. However, when they recalled that their respective daughters were still missing, their faces quickly sank again.
At this time, the DNA test results also came out, and Yang Tianxiao signaled Jun Zishu and Wang Duoduo with her eyes.
"The four of you may leave first."
"Officer, my daughter…"
"We will inform you as soon as we have news."
Whether it was good news or bad news.
"My Little Yin…"
When the other parents had left, the victim's mother finally couldn't hold her sorrow back any longer as she crumbled into her husband's arms and started crying loudly.
The man's eyes had also reddened. However, he kept his tears in as he comforted his grieving wife.
Jun Zishu and the others watched in silence as they waited for the grieving couple to calm down. Such incidents always made their hearts sink and filled them with helplessness. Unfortunately, apart from doing their best to catch the killer to comfort the relatives and the souls of the departed, there was nothing else they could do.
Yang Tianxiao poured two cups of warm water and placed them in front of the couple.
"Next, please cooperate with our investigation," Jun Zishu said.
The man nodded in response. His wife, though, still looked to be emotionally unstable.
Wang Duoduo had already left to pull up information on the deceased, while Yang Tianxiao continued comforting the couple. Out of the members of their criminal investigation team, Yang Tianxiao was the only one capable of doing so. Although their Captain Jun was also a woman, they'd be better off not relying on her for such matters.
By now, the grieving woman had already stopped crying loudly and switched to sobbing. Then, while her husband was wiping her tears, she asked, "Can I see her?"
The woman looked at Jun Zishu with reddened eyes.
"I'm afraid I cannot do that right now."
The corpse was still incomplete. The family members would probably go crazy if they saw the corpse in its current state.
"What happened? We should have the right to know, right? You could've easily identified that corpse so long as you compare it with her photos… Wait… Mutilated corpse… My daughter…"
The woman's voice shook as she closed her eyes.
Jun Zishu remained silent, her silence affirming the woman's conjecture.
Yang Tianxiao remained with the deceased's parents while Jun Zishu went to Wang Duoduo's side.
"Chief, the information's here. I've verified the victim's identity," Wang Duoduo said as he pointed at the screen.
Chen Yin, female, 20, an only child, studying in the English Department of Lanhai University.
Father, Chen Jianlong, 44, hotel manager.
Mother, Liu Yiping, flower store owner.
None of the three had any criminal records. At a glance, the three looked like an ordinary family.
The girl on the screen wore a bright smile on her face, and the background of the photo was a lush green meadow. There was not the slightest hint of gloom on the girl's face.
Jun Zishu's initial speculation leaned towards a crime committed by an acquaintance.
If it was a crime committed by a perverse serial killer, it was unlikely that there'd be only this singular case. Moreover, the emotional contrast in the killer's actions and the unaesthetic way of dismemberment suggested that the killer committed the crime while harboring strong personal emotions.
Sometime later, Yang Tianxiao came to inform Jun Zishu that the deceased's parents had stabilized and were ready to receive inquiries. So, Jun Zishu grabbed a piece of paper and approached the couple while doing her best to appear gentle.
"Our initial speculation is that an acquaintance might have committed the crime, so please do your best in cooperating with our investigation."
"Okay, Officer. Ask away," the husband said.
"Try to remember when exactly your daughter went missing. Records show that you've reported her missing on the 20th, and the case was established on the 21st. The autopsy report shows that she should've died between 8 and 10 pm on the 19th. Please try to recall carefully."
In other words, before the couple had realized, or just realized that they couldn't contact their daughter and that their daughter had gone missing, their daughter had already died.
"You don't need to hurry. You can start by remembering the things that took place starting from the morning that day. What did she say to you? What did she do at that time?"
Jun Zishu gradually guided the couple so that they could have an easier time recalling their memories.
"It was a Friday that day. I went to work like usual in the morning. She was still at school in the morning. When I came home for lunch, I saw her watching TV on the sofa. Her mother made her favorite dish, and I gave her some pocket money before heading out for work again. When I returned from work in the evening, she wasn't at home," Chen Jianlong said with a heavy heart and let out a long sigh. Never did he think he would never see his daughter again.
"Little Yin came home in the afternoon that day," Liu Yiping started recalling her memories, her expression looking a little blank.
Jun Zishu listened carefully to Liu Yiping's words. Compared to Chen Jianlong, Liu Yiping's description should be clearer.
"She called out to me when she opened the door. She doesn't have classes on Friday afternoons, and her school is close to our house, so she would usually come home after finishing morning classes on Friday. I made her favorite dish that day, and we ate together as a family. Then, she returned to her room to play with her phone.
"In the afternoon, she came out of her room with her clothes changed. She had dressed up prettily and told me that she was going out to play.
"She wore a white long sleeve and sweatpants at the time. She had also tied her hair into a ponytail.
"I asked her if she was going to meet with Qianqian, and she nodded. She said that she wouldn't be coming home for dinner and that she would eat with Qianqian.
"I said okay and watched her leave. I tried to call her when she didn't come home after 10 pm, but none of my calls got through. I gave Qianqian a call, and Qianqian told me that Little Yin didn't visit her in the afternoon and that Little Yin must've met with someone else.
"I grew anxious, so I got my husband to start looking for her with me. We called all of her classmates and teachers she was close with, including those from high school and middle school. However, nobody knew where she went."
Liu Yiping had deformed the cup in her left hand slightly while her right hand held onto her husband's hand tightly, seemingly trying to draw strength through such a method.
"We thought she might have snuck out to play and didn't tell us about it because she was afraid that she might worry us. We didn't sleep well that night as we waited for her to come home. However, there was still no news from her even the next day. Her phone also remained turned off. So, we lodged a report, and the police had us record a statement before we returned home. We continued looking for her afterward, but she still didn't come home. After she had been missing for 48 hours, the police started investigating the case. However, there still hasn't been any news of her even until now."
It was the 24th today, so five days had already passed since the victim had died.
"Who is Qianqian?" Jun Zishu asked after waiting for Liu Yiping to finish. She had only heard of one name thus far, and she guessed that this person should be the victim's close friend.
"She is Little Yin's close friend. They've known each other since high school. They then got into Lan-U together and joined the same department afterward. They are also roommates at school," Liu Yiping said, her voice sounding weak and powerless.
"What a good relationship they share."
Jun Zishu fell into thought. Typically, even close friends wouldn't have the same aspirations and enroll in the same university.
However, Lanhai University was only an ordinary university. Its English Department offered plenty of spots as well. If both girls managed to score a passing mark, the chances of them getting accepted were high.
"Did Chen Yin show any abnormal behavior that day? Such as being more happy or downcast than usual."
"Mm… No." Liu Yiping shook her head after thinking for a moment. "She behaved about the same as usual when she came home. Nothing special happened. But she did appear quite happy when she went out. She would always be happy when she went out to play."
"Has she come into conflict with anyone recently? Or has she had any conflicts with anyone in the past?"
Dismemberment. Either the killer was afraid of being found out, the killer had a perverse fetish, or the killer held a deep grudge against the victim.
"No. Our Little Yin has always been an outgoing person. She is very sociable and has many friends. She also behaves reasonably and rarely gets into conflict with others. If she gets angry, it must be because someone else has done something bad.
"Recently… Recently, I don't know. She doesn't tell me everything that happens at school. She also has many friends, so I'm very sure."
Liu Yiping originally wanted to say that her daughter hadn't come into conflict with anyone recently. However, after thinking it over, she realized that she wasn't clear about some things.
"Okay, thank you very much for your cooperation. May we go and take a look at your home?"
"Of course. Of course."
"Tianxiao, you come with me. Duoduo, check the victim's social connections. Visit the victim's school with Zhou Lan and take a look there."
The Chen family's house was decorated stylishly, giving off a warm and refreshing atmosphere. At a glance, one could tell that the owners had put a lot of care into decorating their house.
Jun Zishu quickly scanned the house and noticed that the water dispenser was empty, nobody bothering to replace it.
The flowers in the vase on the coffee table were wilted, and the water was muddy.
There was a plate of food placed on the dining table, and it looked like a bunch of leftovers had been poured into the same plate. The garbage can in the living room was also nearly full.
Looking at these details, Jun Zishu could tell that the house's owners had lost interest in taking care of their living environment and quality of life, which was in line with the current predicament they faced.
There was a family portrait hung above the TV in the living room. The family in the photo looked harmonious, and it showed a loving couple doting on their daughter.
"This is Little Yin's room," Liu Yiping said as she opened the door to her daughter's room.
After putting on their rubber gloves, Jun Zishu and Yang Tianxiao entered the room and scrutinized it.
It was a relatively comfortable room that was filled with the colors of light-blue and white. Books packed the bookshelf, and the study table was tidy. There were also some photos stuck to the wall above the study table.
Jun Zishu walked closer to inspect the photos. There were photos of landscapes and photos of anime characters. Out of these photos, two stuck out the most.
One was a group photo of Chen Yin and one other girl. The two of them looked at the camera with happy smiles on their faces.
The other was a back view of a long-haired girl in a dress facing the sea.
"Who is this?" Jun Zishu pointed at the other girl in the group photo.
"That's Qianqian. Liu Qianqian."
"What about this one?" Jun Zishu pointed at the other photo.
"That is also Qianqian. Little Yin even bought that dress she is wearing."
Jun Zishu caressed her chin and nodded.
Afterward, Yang Tianxiao photographed all of the photos while Jun Zishu opened Chen Yin's closet.
The clothes in the closet were neatly arranged and divided into different categories.
"Your daughter has good living habits."
"I tidied this for her. She's a more carefree child than meticulous."
"Is that so? Does Chen Yin have a habit of writing diaries, articles, or something similar?"
"No, she has never liked writing diaries since she was a child."
Jun Zishu scanned the bookshelf and saw that it held quite a lot of books. The top two layers held famous foreign books, while the bottom two layers held books of colorful designs.
Pulling out a book from the bottom layers, Jun Zishu found that it was a romance novel with a refreshing cover. At a glance, she could tell that this was a book young girls would like.
The other books stored in the bottom two layers were roughly the same as the first one, so Jun Zishu pulled out another book and casually flipped through it.
There was a bookmark clamped in the book, and Jun Zishu held down the marked page with a finger as she inspected the bookmark.
On the back of the bookmark were English words written with curlicues. The words were beautifully written, and they read as followed:
Don't run away from me.
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