Chen Shi returned home and called Tao Yueyue to the living room as he turned on the computer, plugged in a USB flash drive, and ran a software program on it.
He said, “Come here. Let's paint a picture of that criminal.”
Tao Yueyue asked, “Isn't this the software that restores faces in the Public Security Bureau? Where did you get it?”
“The person wasn't in front of the computer when I borrowed it. Don’t worry about these details. I’ll delete it after finishing.”
The two pieced together the nose, eyes, and ears in the software for a long time. Tao Yueyue frowned and knit her brows together the whole time. After an hour, they finally pulled together a face. Chen Shi asked, “Is this Zhou Xiao?”
“Uh, it doesn't feel like it’s the same... Uncle Chen, I can't remember too clearly.”
“All right!” Chen Shi sighed and deleted the software.
“But if I see him again, I can probably recognize him.”
The next day, Lin Dongxue went to the police station in charge of the disappearances of Jiang Hui and Jiang Ming. Since they’d been zeroing in on kidnappers as of late, the police stations paid more attention to the two disappearances. They went to many places over the past few days.
Their efforts harvested some progress. In the surveillance footage of a hotel, it showed someone wearing the school uniform the day after the two children disappeared.
The figure flashed across the alley.
The camera was originally facing the corridor. It was taken through the glass and wasn’t very clear. The police showed it to Lin Dongxue. Lin Dongxue said, “This school uniform is a female student’s.”
“From the nearby references, the height and body shape are similar to Jiang Hui’s.” The officer said.
“Did you go there?”
“This surveillance footage was sent to us as a clue when we issued a reward for public leads. It was received last night. We are planning to head over now. Will Officer Lin be joining us?”
“Okay, let's go!”
Lin Dongxue went to the scene in a police car. The alley was narrow. One end led to the road and one end led to a hotel. The police found a button here that was suspected to be on the school uniform.
In addition, a dead female cat with an assortment of colors was found. Its eyes were already very cloudy.
While looking at the screenshot of the surveillance video on their mobile phone as reference, they finally stopped at a door. Lin Dongxue pushed in and found that it was a safe passage in a home appliance mall. She went in and looked around while the local police went to the person in charge.
The person in charge said that the mall was closed at 6:00 every night and the door would be locked.
The policeman asked, “At 8:00 PM on April 2nd, are you sure the door was locked?”
“It must have been locked.”
At this time, Lin Dongxue came out of the door. “I just asked the employees. They said that although the mall closes at 6:00, as long as there are customers, the employees have to work overtime. Sometimes they don't get off until 8:00 or 9:00 PM.”
“Who said that?!” The person in charge was a little nervous.
“Rest assured, we are not from the Labor Bureau. We are police. A child came in on the evening of April 2nd. Do you have any surveillance of that?”
“The surveillance is all in the mall.”
Immediately, the police inspected the surveillance footage and found a shot of the two children walking in at 6:00PM on April 2nd. It was no doubt that it was Jiang Hui and Jiang Ming. Lin Dongxue asked the clerk who was still at work at the time. They couldn’t recall them as they saw too many customers every day.
Lin Dongxue secretly wondered. Why did the two of them go in, but only one came out? Surely…
Lin Dongxue entered the safe passage from the inside of the shopping mall. There were four safety exits on each floor. The safe passage surrounded the outside of the shopping mall. There were two exits on the sides and stairs in the passage that goes up and down.
It was daytime right now so there weren’t people in the safe passage. Only one janitor was sweeping the floor.
She went up to a security exit and found that a key was needed to lock it, so she asked the person responsible whether the keys for all security exits were the same and who had access to the keys.
The person in charge said, “There are three keys that can open all the doors. One is here with me and one is a spare that’s placed in the security room. The last one is used by employees who take turns to lock the door.”
“Who locked the door that day?”
“I'll find out for you.”
When they found the employee, he said that the door was locked at 7:00 that night. Lin Dongxue asked, “Did you check the inside before locking?”
“What's there to check? There's nothing to lose except cleaning supplies.”
“How is the door outside the first floor locked?”
“It's locked from the outside!”
Lin Dongxue recorded his name and ID number. Then, she took a few photos of him so that she could see if his testimony checked out. If he locked the door at 7:00 that night, the surveillance footage of the nearby hotel would have captured that.
She also took a picture of the lock and the key and sent it to Lin Qiupu. “Is this kind of lock easy to open?”
Lin Qiupu replied. “It's easy. Anyone who knows a little about locks can open it.”
She called for the cleaner who cleaned here on the morning of April 3rd  and the cleaner said, “I didn't notice anything really. There was a dead cat on the top floor stairs though. I threw it out.”
“Apart from the dead cat, was there anything else?”
“Oh, there were a few flowers wrapped in plastic paper... I wonder who created a little funeral for the cat.”
“Please wait a moment.”
Lin Dongxue brought her to the alley and asked if it was the dead cat that she had seen earlier. The cleaner responded, “Yes, yes. This is the dead cat... Why are you investigating this?”
“It’s inconvenient to disclose that for the time being. Is it convenient to leave your contact details?”
She bagged the dead cat, said goodbye to the local police, and returned to the bureau.
Peng Sijue tested it and the results came out after a while. He said, “This cat was injected with dimethyl sulfoxide and poisoned.”
“Jiang Hui stole dimethyl sulfoxide from school. She was not trying to kill her brother. Judging from the bouquet placed on the scene, she probably euthanized the cat.”
“I don't know much about veterinarians. You can ask a vet from a pet hospital to find out if this cat was sick.”
“This doesn’t need to be investigated. The missing child is the key point.” The investigation of the case did not need to be so exhaustive. They could make choices and focus on the point at hand, which Lin Dongxue learned from Chen Shi.
“Where did the cat come from?”
“In the safe passage of a shopping mall. The missing child had been there. I didn’t feel good when I went in. It was empty and quiet and there was no monitoring in there. With the exception of employees who came in and smoked cigarettes, no one came in. If anyone locked the door, since the mall is so noisy, nothing would be heard from the inside or outside.”
“That being the case, I'll send a few people with you and go to the scene to pick up samples.”
“Thank you, Captain Peng!”
In the afternoon, Lin Dongxue brought several police officers from the forensics department to go and collect evidence. Each person handled a different floor. Lin Dongxue was walking anxiously on the first floor. She was very conflicted. She hoped that the case would progress, but she was also afraid of this case becoming a criminal case.
The phone rang and a police officer said, “Stains of blood were found on the third floor!”
Everyone immediately rushed over and sprayed Luminol reagent on the ground. The blood stains were clearly visible under the ultraviolet light, and it was clear that it had been wiped.
Lin Dongxue felt a little dizzy and said, “Get the evidence and take it back for testing!”
1. Editor’s note: This should be the 3rd unless this is separate from the girl being seen in the hotel surveillance footage. The hotel footage was the day after the two disappeared. I think the two disappeared on April 2nd. Chapter 235 says they disappeared 48 hours ago, and it was April 4th.