"Abuse?" Wu Xiumin responded first. "You mean that all these people were abusive, so Li Fei, who experienced it personally, found them and killed them out of revenge?"
"I'm not sure about the first victim, but the rest..." Zhao Yu pointed at the victims on the whiteboard and said, "I can pretty much vouch for that being the case with the rest of them! As Sun Xiuer was a human trafficker, she specialized in selling children. During the process, the possibility of her abusing the children was quite high!"
"I've seen the investigation report from 2003. After the third victim, Li Huamin, was divorced, she took care of her two children on her own. Even though the children were her own blood, we couldn't eliminate from the suspicion of abusing the children, as she wasn't very mentally stable to start with," Zhao Yu said.
He then pointed to another name on the board. "The fourth victim, the accountant Zhang Xiaoxiao, married a divorced entrepreneur, who had one child from a previous relationship. As the child was not her own blood, doesn't that sound like it could be a bit fishy too?"
He then pointed to the next name on the board. "The fifth victim, Xi Yanmei, was a private school teacher. Hence, she was naturally always dealing with children. As for Bai Lili, there's no need to discuss her any further..."
When he mentioned Bai Lili, everyone redirected their gazes at Cui Lizhu. If their guesses were correct, no doubt Cui Lizhu had witnessed, or maybe even suffered through some of these atrocities personally.
"Hey, what are you looking at me for? I was only two years old! You can't be thinking that I could remember anything!" Cui Lizhu pouted.
"Cui, on your body… Mm… Are there any scars?" Ran Tao stared at her and boldly asked. "You know, like cigarette burns, small wounds from needles, or that sort of thing?"
After he asked this so bluntly, the scene quickly went silent. As Cui Lizhu creased her eyebrows, she felt like his request was too ridiculous.
"Mm…" Zhao Yu tapped his lips with his index finger and thought for a moment, then said, "Her body seems quite clean. I don't think I saw any scars..."
What the h*ck?
Everyone was surprised at his bizarre words, while Cui Lizhu sent him a death stare. Wu Xiumin placed her palm to her forehead and scoffed. "Bloody gangster!"
"Cough cough." Zhao Yu realized his immodest mistake and quickly resumed his previous solemn demeanor. He quickly instructed Zeng Ke, "Zeng Ke, get in touch with the victims' children. Try to verify our guesses with them."
"Alright!" Zeng Ke agreed and went directly to complete his tasks.
Ran Tao creased his eyebrows, then asked, "If it was because of abuse, shouldn't the special investigation group have known that by now?"
"Not necessarily..." Zhao Yu suddenly thought of the content in Captain Jin's notebook.
He then said, "It's not that they didn't consider this before, but because there were two other victims' identities that had yet to be confirmed, and because Bai Lili was the first person that the police investigated, they didn't know about Bai Lili's kidnapping Cui Lizhu at the time."
He went on to better explain this, saying, "At that time, Bai Lili was a single woman and didn't have a job. Hence, she was a very unlikely candidate to be suspected of abusing children! Besides, it would have only been mere speculation on their part, as they couldn't verify anything back then!"
"Oh… But now, the current situation is entirely different!" Wu Xiumin said excitedly. "As Li Fei was abused by his master's wife, he was surely traumatized. In turn, he harbored hatred for whichever woman was abusing children. In psychology, this is called post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD for short. If he had this, whenever he lost control, it would lead to severe and uncontrollable consequences!"
"That could be the very thing!" Ran Tao exclaimed.
He was equally excited, so he added, "Also, as Li Fei was a burglar, he stole things from many people's houses. So, he might have come across a scene where these people were abusing children! Oh God! Who would have thought that the cause of the Headless Female Corpses Case was due to this kind of darkness?"
Then, someone knocked on the office door. It was Captain Sun, who immediately walked in with a stack of documents in his hand.
"Sir..." Captain Sun said, his face full of regret. "Unfortunately, regarding the master and his wife that Gao Wanlin mentioned, we couldn't find them! This matter happened too long ago and they also hid their goings about very carefully. Hence, I'm afraid it might take quite a long time to be able to dig up their detailed information."
He shook his head, then glanced up and tried to offer a reassuring smile. "However, don't you worry, I will send more manpower to investigate this!"
He then passed the document stack to Zhao Yu. "This is Li Fei's portrait that the portrait expert drew according to Gao Wanlin's description. I already sent it to the department to do a comparison. But, as you know, there's a vast difference between a portrait comparison and real life visuals, so it's hard to say if they will be able to find the person!"
Zhao Yu took the stack of documents and took a look at Li Fei's portrait, which was on the top. It definitely fit the description about Li Fei's having a gloomy face and cold eyes!
"Also, there's another thing that requires your decision!" Captain Sun said. "We are prepared to send out the wanted notice, but I'm worried that once Li Fei sees the notice, it will alert him that we are after him, which would only place us at a disadvantage!"
"Right! Okay, then let's just circle this within the internal police network for now. We will not publicize this just yet!" Zhao Yu said. "Give us some time. We shall see if we have any other methods to find out where he is in the meantime!"
"Alright! If there's anything else that you need for us to do, just inform us!" Captain Sun said sincerely, "I have arranged for some of my men to keep guard at the location that was provided by Gao Wanlin, as well as at Du Manting's cemetery. They will be there twenty-four seven, so you don't have to worry about that!"
"Alright, thank you for your hard work!" Zhao Yu thanked him. Captain Sun was an experienced police detective, so he had expertly considered every detail.
After Captain Sun left, Zeng Ke already had new updates to share. "Team Leader, you got it right! The few victims were really abusing children! And… The situation seemed to have been more serious than we even imagined!"
Zeng Ke held up the stack of information as he gave his report. "According to the answers to the questions I told the local police station to ask, it was found that the victims all shared the same problem…"
He took a breath, then listed the disturbing details. "Such as, Li Huamin, who was not in her right mind. Her children admitted that they were always abused by her and were always covered in bruises! She even fractured one of her youngest son's bones!"
He shook his head. "Zhang Xiaoxiao's son also admitted to similar treatment. When he was young, his stepmom always abused him in various ways. She didn't let him eat or sleep for days at a time, and she even abused him sexually!"
Zeng Ke then pointed to the document in his hand and said, "However, among them, the worst was the very first victim of the Headless Female Corpses Case, Cheng Weihong. She had a daughter when she was younger, but the daughter died at the tender age of one. While she and her husband declared that the child had died of sickness, her neighbors had always been suspicious that they might have killed the child because they really had wanted a son!"
"Oh my God, how could they do that?" Wu Xiumin spoke with righteous indignation. "That's a human life!"
Zeng Ke spoke a little softer now, as the mood in the room had quickly changed. "Although it was just a rumor, the possibility of it being true is very high. This is only further suspicious because their daughter was diagnosed with congenital disease, which put a huge strain on their finances, which were limited to begin with. Later, they did actually have a son, but he had brain damage, so maybe that was karma."
"Oh, Cheng Weihong died at the age of forty-six!" Zhao Yu abruptly blurted out, as he was looking at the information on the whiteboard in a new light.
He then said, "Her daughter's death occurred when she was still pretty young. So, let's assume that her daughter was really killed by her husband and her. If Cheng Weihong was really killed by Li Fei, how did Li Fei find out about that?"
"Well, that shouldn't be too hard to explain..." Ran Tao said, "Li Fei should be close to Cheng Weihong, right? They must be related!"
"Mm!" Zhao Yu first nodded, then shook his head. "Unfortunately, as the dead body was identified too long after the incident took place, the police couldn't do anything about it. This was because the statute of limitations had a time clock window that prevented it!"
True enough, it had been too late to find out the truth. After that, Li Fei was nowhere to be found. Hence, the team had to find other methods to help them find Li Fei...
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