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49 The Third Victim

 The longer Xia Qingyi listened, the more irritated she became. She stood up and started to leave when she suddenly froze.

She seemed to have thought of something, something important.

If the first victim had been a student with a hidden identity of a prostitute, and the second victim was an ordinary white-collar worker with a hidden identity, then perhaps their hidden identities could be related as to why they were targeted by the murderer.

She thought back to the photograph. The girl was lying in the middle of the street, the ground covered in blood, and her clothes were still in place.

What kind of clothes was the girl wearing at the time? A short-sleeved yellow top, a pleated skirt, with high heels. Her hair was wavy, with traces of heavy makeup residue on her face.

She had not returned home straight after work, and went to a crowded street wearing heavy makeup instead. The time of death was midnight, there were no signs of struggle before her death. The murderer was so quick that she had no time to scream before her throat was slit and she bled to death.

She could be a prostitute as well.

This thought suddenly came to Xia Qingyi.

Immediately, her mind cleared. If this was true, this meant that the murderer's next target was definitely a woman who appeared to be proper in public, but was selling her own body.

Xia Qingyi wanted to contact Zhang Yang immediately and tell him her theory. After rummaging in her bag, she finally found the name card he gave her and called him.

The moment the call went through, she heard his flustered voice, seemingly talking to someone beside him. "Go and maintain order... other than police officers, no one else is allowed in!"

"And also... tell the crowd no photography allowed! The media is not allowed to enter either!"

"Zhang Yang...what's going on?" Xia Qingyi asked.

It was only then that Zhang Yang noticed that the person on the phone was Xia Qingyi, and said dully, "Another person was killed."

Xia Qingyi felt her heart skip a beat, and heard Zhang Yang's cold voice on the phone brimming with anger. "The victim is a teacher. Someone discovered her at the school field, with a slash across the throat."

"You're right, the time interval between the killings are getting shorter and shorter. It hasn't even been 3 days and there's another one."

"Have you found anything yet?" Xia Qingyi asked.

"We haven't made much progress. The superintendent scolds us every time we have a meeting." Zhang Yang had never worked a serial murder case, so the pressure from the superiors was making him miserable, and still they did not even have a suspect.

"The previous victim was actually a prostitute. If the pattern follows, the victim this time should also be a prostitute."

Zhang Yang frowned. "Prostitute?"

"Technically not one, we can only say that they are people who make use of their bodies in transactions."

Zhang Yang let out a sigh. "What's the use of knowing that they are prostitutes? There are still no leads on the murderer. Three people have already died and we are still unable to find any useful information."

In less than a month's time, there had already been three rape-homicide cases. The tricky part was that they had been unable to find any leads on the murderer, and even the security cameras did not capture anything unusual. Due to mounting pressure from the media, the superintendent had allocated more people to the station to help out, but still, no progress had been made.

Zhang Yang felt that if there were still no leads in this case, he would have to pack up and leave soon.

The phone went silent, but the screen remained bright when Zhang Yang looked at it, the timer continuing to run. "Hello? Hello? What is it?"

Xia Qingyi's distant voice came from the other end of the line. "He will continue to return to the crime scene."