Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
In order to not attract Wu Fangfang’s and the others’ attentions, Ran Tao and Wu Xiumin brought Cui Lizhu to a professional dentist to do an examination. In the end, they certified that Tao Xiang had not lied to Cui Lizhu.
She was really born in 1996, which meant that, when her biological father passed away, she was only two years old. Moreover, Zhao Yu had used an Invisible Appraiser to determine the date of the photo. The Appraiser had shown that the photo had been printed in 1998, which was the crucial year!
Plus, Zeng Ke had finally found more information on Cui Lizhu’s mother. It turns out that she didn’t pass away due to illness, but a tragic accident. At that time, Cui Lizhu was not even one month old!
These uncovered facts helped the team to roughly determine the timeline of the case. In 1996, Cui Lizhu was born, and she lost her mother that same year. In the beginning of 1998, her biological father was arrested and imprisoned. He then died from health issues about half a year later.
That same year, Cui Lizhu and Bai Lili had appeared in the photo. During the winter of 1998, Bai Lili became the last victim of the Headless Female Corpses Case.
“Bai Lili came from the Linqi tribe from Northern Qi in the Meng Xiang Province.” Zeng Ke pointed at the information on the whiteboard and said, “After she got into Nanjiang Teachers’ College, she pursued her studies in Nanjiang. She even stayed there for an internship after she graduated. After that, there are no other records in the file!”
Zeng Ke paused, then continued. “Some said that she returned to her hometown, while others said that she moved to her boyfriend’s house. But, because Bai Lili and her family weren’t on good terms before she was killed, no one knew about her real situation at all!”
“This has been certified!” Zhao Yu immediately announced, then clarified, “The 03 special force once investigated her hometown in Mengxiang. The people in her hometown said that she never returned after she went away to college! The special force even found Bai Lili’s classmates and certified that she had been staying in Nanjiang city! But, none of them knew what she working on exactly!”
The 03 special force that Zhao Yu was referring to was the investigation group that Captain Jin Zhenbang was in. They had been the ones to begin recording about the case in the yellow notebook.
“Look!” Zhao Yu pointed at Bai Lili’s information as he analyzed aloud, “My information certified that Bai Lili was from a poor family. Theoretically, with her excellent results, it shouldn’t have been difficult for her to find a good job! But, she obviously opted for other career options. Then, look at Bai Lili in the photo. Look at her clothes. Aren’t they mature and fashionable? She obviously dressed like a rich man’s wife…”
“Oh…” Ran Tao seemed to realized something. He opened his mouth and was ready to say something else, but Wu Xiumin covered his mouth rudely.
“Shut up, you!” Wu Xiumin gave him a death glare and said. “Wait until he is done talking, will you? Stop causing trouble, please. I can’t stand you anymore!”
“Look,” Zhao Yu pointed at Cui Lizhu’s biological father’s picture on the board, then said, “Cui Fangyu lived in Bai Ling City, which is not far away from Nanjiang. In fact, it is merely a hundred and fifty kilometers away! Plus, Cui Lizhu was involved in a logistics business, so if he were to go to the city often, would there be a possibility that…”
“Are you trying to say that she was Bai Lili was my father’s mistress?” Cui Lizhu creased her eyebrows, clearly concerned by this idea.
“Mm… I have a question…” Ran Tao raised his hand again. Before Wu Xiumin could stop him, he asked, “Aren’t we supposed to be solving the Gem Theft Case? The gemstone was stolen six years ago, so what are we doing now? Even if Bai Lili was Little Zhou’s stepmom, that has nothing to do with the gemstone, right?”
“Ugh! You are so embarrassing!” Wu Xiumin covered her face. “In the future, don’t tell anyone we know each other, okay? You are brainless!”
“Bro Tao,” Zeng Ke said in a hurry, “Don’t you understand? Team Leader was not only dealing with facts regarding the Gem Theft Case!”
“Mm? Oh… Oh… Oh…” After he exclaimed for a while, Ran Tao gradually understood the relationship between the two cases.
“Well, mine was merely an assumption!” Zhao Yu then continued to talk about his thoughts. “So, what we have to do next is to find all Cui Lizhu’s relatives and everyone who knew Cui Fangyu, to see if any of them knew about Cui Fangyu’s and Bai Lili’s relationships with Tao Xiang!”
“Alright, let me take care of that!” Zeng Ke nodded. “I will work overtime today to get it done!”
“Thank you for your hard work!” Zhao Yu pointed at Bai Lili’s photo and said. “Next, let’s assume that Bai Lili was still in Nanjiang back then. Would the photo have been taken in Nanjiang? If we can confirm the location, it might be useful to the case investigation!”
Then, Wu Xiumin found an issue and voiced it, “Team Leader, the Headless Female Corpses Case is so strange! Don’t forget that Bai Lili’s dead body appeared in Ganlong City, which belonged to the Jin’an Province. The distance from Nanjiang would be… Mm…”
“It’s five hundred and fifty-five kilometers!” The figure left an extremely deep impression in Zhao Yu’s mind. This was because, from the very moment that he received the yellow notebook, he had memorized its contents by heart!
“That’s actually pretty far…” Wu Xiumin creased her eyebrows and said. “After the murderer killed her, he then sent the dead body so far away, placing the dead body in an unknown forest. This…”
Just then, Cui Lizhu suddenly cut in and said, “There’s also a possibility that the murderer first kidnapped her, then only killed her after they arrived at their destination, right? I’ve been a thief all of my life, and I’ve never seen anyone behave so psychotically!”
“How old are you? What do you mean all of your life, saying that like you are so old?!” Zhao Yu pouted. “That is not even the sickest part. The sickest part was that the murderer took care of the dead body so thoroughly. He drew out all of the blood in the dead body, then replaced it with a preservative. If it had been during winter, the dead body could have maintained its pristine state for at least a whole month without rotting!”
“Oh my God!” Cui Lizhu gawked, her mouth agape. “That’s definitely not my dad. My dad is a thief, but he doesn’t know how to embalm anyone! How would he know those preserving techniques?”
“You are right.” Zhao Yu sighed. “Back then, the police had suspected that the murderer was indeed an expert embalmer, who had the experience to take care of dead bodies!”
“Then, what about their heads?” Cui Lizhu asked in fear, almost not wanting to know the answer. “The deceased’s heads, where did they go? Could it be that the psychotic murderer kept them as part of some sick collection?”
“Then, that would be a great thing!” Zhao Yu shrugged. “At least we could find some evidence that way! Our biggest difficulty now is that we have no evidence! Even if we found a suspect, unless he confessed, we couldn’t do anything to him!”
“It’s not my dad, so don’t worry!” Cui Lizhu said. “Go ahead and make fun of him, but my dad is scared of blood! And, his brain is so muddled. If he really had been the killer before, he would have accidentally revealed this secret in his incoherent ramblings, right?”
“Hehe, that’s an interesting take on it!” Ran Tao couldn’t help but ask, “But, the Tamil Star was stolen by your dad, as you said earlier, and his brain is indeed so muddled. So, why didn’t he reveal the secret of where he hid the gemstone as well?”
“Well, that obviously means that the gemstone is not in my dad’s possession” Cui Lizhu rolled her eyes at Ran Tao, thinking that he was silly to not see something so obvious to her.
After Zhao Yu overheard their conversation, he clicked his tongue a couple of times and asked Ran Tao, “Tao, what did you say earlier, about him accidentally revealing a secret?”
“I was asking why Tao Xiang didn’t reveal the secret of the gemstone’s whereabouts!” Ran Tao repeated himself.
“Oh…” Zhao Yu leaned backwards and muttered to himself, “It seems like I have to take a trip to Nanjiang…”