Zheng Bai moved the boxes and placed them in their proper position, and he searched through one of the files.
Frowning, he said, “How can we find anything wrong among all these cases? These are all from last year, many of them were accidental deaths, the bodies have already been cremated, and the crime scenes were not properly preserved. How are we supposed to investigate?”
These cases were all abnormal deaths, and even if there were problems in some of them, it was like finding a needle in a haystack with just a few documents.
Xia Mingxi looked at the files and furrowed his brow, “I used to be most afraid of getting a question wrong when I was a child. I was afraid of not being able to spot the wrong answer and being afraid of changing the right answer to the wrong one.”
Qiao Ze sighed, “The review team has already screened to this extent, let’s check the remaining dozens of cases again.” Then he looked at Su Hui, “Don’t we still have a consultant?”
Lu Junchi assigned a task, “Xiao Xia, you first organize all these cases into an Excel spreadsheet, sort them by time, and record all the information such as age, gender, and cause of death.”
Then he turned to the three male police officers and said, “Each of you take a box and start checking, paying attention to whether there are any human factors, whether there are beneficiaries, and whether there is any post-layout component at the crime scene. Anyway, you all should take a look first, and if there are any problems, we’ll discuss them together.”
Lu Junchi’s brief words made a seemingly difficult task organized and efficient.
Su Hui saw that he had not been assigned a task and asked, “Do you need my help?”
Lu Junchi replied, “No, they are all elites in the Major Crimes Unit, so they have experience with these cases. You just take a break for now. We’ll trouble you to join us when we discuss it later.”
Lu Junchi did not explain in detail, as he thought these accidental cases were different from other cases, and some of them would make people fearful.
Ordinary cases made people angry and want to catch the killer as soon as possible, but these cases would only make people sad and mourn the unpredictability of life.
Lu Junchi believed that Su Hui’s current state was not suitable for dealing with those cases, and he did not want to create an over-dependence on Su Hui within the team.
Even if they only flip through these cases once, it will take a long time. Several subordinates immediately started working.
Although Lu Junchi’s classification method allowed them to speed up and become more organized, it was not an easy task to find clues and link the cases from these past cases.
After Xia Mingxi inputted five or six cases, she began to feel depressed: “Why didn’t I know that there were so many accidental cases in the city before?”
There are quite a few, and several accidents happen every day on average. Even the ones that are currently screened out with suspicions are only every few days. Moreover, the methods of death are varied and strange.
Su Hui looked at them screening and kindly reminded them, “Everyone, remember to pay special attention to the testimony part.”
Qiao Ze didn’t understand the link and frowned, “Professor Su, why do we need to pay attention to this?”
“These accidental cases are different from normal cases. We lack some information,” Su Hui explained, “Because the deceased cannot speak, many things are described by their relatives and friends and recorded by the police. That is to say, it is only one-sided, and when we look at the dossier, we unconsciously believe that what is recorded on it is true.”
He paused here, and Lu Junchi was the first to react, “If there are problems with the case, the testimony is the first thing that cannot be trusted.”
The people in the office suddenly realized.
Qiao Ze thought about the logic inside, “If the testimony is false, there may be lies and loopholes inside, which means that the testimony can be a breakthrough.”
Su Hui’s face was calm, and he nodded lightly.
Zheng Bai looked at the dossier in his hand, “Why are there more and more accidental cases? What could be the reason?”
“There are many reasons,” Xia Mingxi chimed in.
“Perhaps we can find a serial killer who disguises their crime as an accident to cover up their tracks,” Qu Ming said.
At this point, Zheng Bai poured cold water on them again, “But when we were in the review group before, Tao Lizhi said that she couldn’t guarantee that there were problems with these cases.”
In other words, perhaps there is no evil in front of them, and these are really just ordinary accidental death events.
Lu Junchi’s voice was low, “These cases have already been closed by various sub-bureaus. I hope that everyone can have a free conscience. We can choose to let them go, but those are real human lives. Anyway, if there are doubts, we will investigate to the end. If there are no doubts, we can also be grateful that the world is not so dark and bad.”
Without knowing it, it was almost time to get off work. Speaking to this point, Lu Junchi suddenly saw two middle-aged women sneakily peeking their heads into the office door.
He looked up and furrowed his brow, asking very alertly, “Who is it?”
This building was in the deepest part of the bureau, and visitors generally couldn’t get in. Even if they wanted to, they had to register their identity information and undergo verification.
Qiao Ze responded, “Let me go and check…” He turned around and immediately froze. “Captain Lu, I’m sorry…it’s my mom and my neighbour Aunty…”
Lu Junchi paused for a moment before saying, “You go and deal with it.”
As soon as Qiao Ze opened the door, his mother dragged a middle-aged woman inside.
“Mom, what’s going on…”
“Well, Qiao Ze, have you finished work? Your Aunt Zhan is really in a bind… I brought her here. You must help her…” Qiao Ze’s mother grabbed his hand and said, “I don’t want to delay your work. Can’t you check the location of Yue Yue’s phone? You can help Aunt Zhan check Yue Yue’s phone location…”
The woman called Aunt Zhan also pulled him aside and said, “Aunt Zhan really has no choice but to come to you. A life is at stake. You can’t just sit back and watch…”
For a moment, everyone in the Major Crimes Unit looked up in that direction, including Su Hui.
Qiao Ze didn’t expect his mother to present him with such a difficult problem as soon as she arrived. He furrowed his brow and said, “Mom, we all follow the rules here. We need approval from our superiors to check things, and it’s not something we can do just because we want to.”
If checking a phone’s location was that easy, chaos would break out outside.
“Yueyue is really my daughter. I have her household registration book to prove it. She’s not yet an adult, and I am her guardian…” the woman next to him anxiously asked, “Can you ask your leader? Who is your leader?”
Qiao Ze didn’t dare to speak, and he looked over at Lu Junchi. The woman went straight to Lu Junchi, grabbed his clothes, and knelt down with a thud. “Police officer, my daughter has run away from home and has been missing. I’m afraid something has happened to her…”
Several people were dealing with non-normal cases, and they all gasped when they heard this.
If a girl is taken away by a bad person or encounters an accident, it is very dangerous.
Lu Junchi said, “Stand up first and talk. Have you reported this to the police?”
“We have reported it. We reported it in the morning, but the police at the station kept saying they were searching. They came to ask me about the situation, but their tone made me feel like they suspected that my daughter just had a big temper and ran away from home. My daughter’s phone is still on, but she doesn’t answer any calls. I asked the police if they could use the location to find her, but they kept being vague and said they were following procedures… I am desperate and anxious like ants on a hot pot… If anything happens to my daughter, I can’t live anymore…” The woman cried.
Lu Junchi had heard about the slow efficiency of the station’s work. Their authority was the highest, and they could directly access information, but the station had to apply to their superiors for approval.
When a girl leaves home, it is a matter of life and death.
“Auntie, don’t worry too much for now.” Lu Junchi didn’t want to make things difficult for her and instructed Qu Ming, “Old Qu, call the station to verify the situation. Qiao Ze, register her identity information. If there is indeed a police report, then check it for her.”
Qu Ming sighed and went to make the call.
Lu Junchi packed his things, while Xia Mingxi handed a tissue to the weeping woman. “Auntie, how old is your daughter? What’s her name?”
The woman, Auntie Liao, choked up and said, “My daughter’s last name is Fang…”. She barely got a few words out before she broke down.
Qiao Ze’s mother helped to answer, “She’s 15 years old, and just started her third year of junior high at Huadu No.1 Middle School. Her name is Fang Jiayue.”
“When did she leave home?”
“Last night, around ten o’clock…”
Su Hui listened on the side and suddenly asked, “Why didn’t you report to the police last night?”
Ms Zhan calmed down her emotions and cried out, “My ex-husband and I divorced and I remarried. My new husband’s last name is Zhang, and he and my daughter have never really gotten along. My daughter has run away before and stayed at her friend’s house for a night, and then went to school the next day and came back home obediently at noon.”
She wiped her tears and continued, “Last night they had a little argument again, and my daughter ran out. At the time, my husband stopped me from reporting to the police, saying it was the same as the previous times, and that she would come back when she ran out of money. I also thought Yueyue would just stay over at a classmate’s house for the night, but this morning when I went to the school gate to wait for her and asked her teacher and her best friend, they didn’t know where she had gone. That’s when I panicked and called the police…”
The people in the office listening to her were at a loss for words. Her husband stopped her, and yet she didn’t report it to the police? If something had happened, the best time for rescue had already passed, and they could only hope that the girl was still safe.
Su Hui continued to ask, “You said her phone is turned on. How many times have you called her?”
Aunt Zhan replied, “I’ve called my own phone number dozens of times, and I’ve had her teacher and classmates call her too, but she didn’t pick up.”
“Did the calls all just end naturally? What’s the phone model?”
“Yes, they all just ended naturally. It’s an old phone model, and we didn’t buy a very expensive one for her.”
“The phone isn’t turned off, so it doesn’t seem like something has happened,” Su Hui reassured her. “And after so many calls, the phone still has battery, so it’s likely it was charged in between. Maybe she just put it on silent and doesn’t want to talk to anyone, or she hasn’t checked her phone. Don’t worry too much, let’s wait and see.”
This greatly comforted Aunt Zhan, and she wiped her tears and cheered up.
Qiao Ze’s mother chimed in, “Yes, at this time, it’s best to find the child as soon as possible. Being anxious won’t help. Aunt, if you were ill, how would you find your child?”
While they were talking, the situation on Qu Ming’s side had already been verified: “Captain, we’ve checked with the bureau, and they are handling the report, but they’re still in the process of gathering information, it is estimated that it will not be approved until tonight..”
Saving lives is a matter of minutes, every minute counts.
Lu Junchi said, “Then let Qiao Ze ask them to fill out a form according to the rules and help to check it.” Then he turned to Aunt Zhan and said, “But Auntie, our authority is limited, and this is not a case for the Major Crimes Unit. What I did was already beyond my authority. We can help give a heads-up to the local police if needed.”
This response was reasonable, and Aunt Zhan cried, “Thank you, thank you so much, leader. You are such a good person. I am already very grateful that you are willing to help. I don’t want to trouble the police comrades anymore…”
Qiao Ze entered Fang Jiayue’s phone number and located it on the computer, but he exclaimed, “This location is at…the entrance of the General Bureau?!” He pulled up the map and looked at it with some disbelief, furrowing his brows and saying, “How is that possible?!”
Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.