Chapter 48 - The culprit will be hiding here

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Hansol went to the National Forensic Service1.

After Hansol left the Prosecutor's Office, Kim Soo-hyeon must have contacted Im Jaemin. If he had understood what Hansol meant, he would have known what it was all about.

Im Jaemin has already confirmed that Hansol knew something. This indicates that Hansol has given a serious warning. Im Jaemin would not have alerted people who sympathized with his plan that Hansol was aware of, and Hansol understood Im Jaemin's position and issued a fair warning.

"Who's next?" Hansol mumbled.

Prosecutor Kim was rather brazen, but he is a person who Hansol would have to meet through CIF at least once.

'Obviously, my father would order Prosecutor Kim to have dinner with me. So naturally, the place to eat is set… and he would deny that he had anything to do with my father. That's something we are aiming for.'

Just the thought of embarrassing Prosecutor Kim made Hansol feel good. With his gentle smile, he turned the steering wheel.


As soon as Hansol arrived at NFS, he looked for J.

"He appeared to have died as a result of a head injury. The estimated time of death was 4:36 a.m. Before he died, it was confirmed that the ropes were tied to the limbs. Blood clotted because it didn't flow properly, just like deep vein thrombosis.2" said J.

"At four in the morning…."

"What about four?"

It can be considered that J is a close friend of Hansol, but he didn't even tell him that his father was behind this.

The story was still only in CIF. No matter how long J had been with him, he couldn't fully trust this man.

His father obviously must have put a person next to Hansol, and it could have been J.

"It's nothing. Was there anything unusual?"

"He was alive when the rope was tied, so I checked to see if there were any traces of assault, but there were none. There is a chance that the other party was intending for this."

"Hmm… it is possible. There's a possibility that the culprit was aiming for this. The victim didn't have any doubts and could be someone he knew. Then, he had to be someone the victim looked down on."

"We already found the identity. CIF's team leader Woo-jin took the data earlier. I sent an email."

"Okay. Then I will go and check it in the office. You did well, J."

Hansol said that and went to the office.

As he entered, he noticed the detectives, including the team leader, focused on the investigation. Detective Kang Woo-cheol seemed to be doing errands for the others.

"Woo-cheol! Get me a cup of coffee!"

"Okay!"

"Ah, Doctor Im. Is your work done?"

"Yes. It was done well. It won't be good for this weather, but iced americano is the best to cool off for hot investigations. Let's all have it."

Detective Kang Woo-cheol took the coffee from Hansol's hand and handed it to the others.

"I stopped by the NFS, and they said that the team leader already has the second autopsy report."

"Ah, it was forwarded to your email as well. Check it. The identity of the victim has been revealed in it."

When he heard that they had already found the victim's identity, he wondered how the results were out this quickly since he expected it to take more time.

"How did they find it?"

"This time, Dong-jin had used his strength. Explain how you found out."

Detective Shin Dong-jin shrugged his shoulders and explained, "I looked at the victim's face, and it felt like I had seen it somewhere. My memory isn't that great, and the body was swollen… but I remembered about ten years ago when I saw him in charge of an illegal debt case. He was the guy from then. The victim's name is Kwak Dong-sik. 43 years old. He was in and out of gambling places doing illegal lending to people, and he seemed to have hurt others and was killed."

Knowing this would have taken a long time, but Shin Dong-jin's memory helped them.

"And then you could think of the circumstances around the victim. Since the victim is now an illegal loan shark, he must not have just a single person having a grudge against him… well, we can't call all of them to investigate, though."

Everyone nodded at Hansol's words. They couldn't call all of them to investigate.

"Did you check the call logs of the victim?"

Team Leader Woo-jin answered.

"Ah, this jerk… he was lending money illegally, so he must have carried a few phones with him. There is only one thing in his name, and there were no friends or families in his contacts. It would be nice to get ahold of his other phones… but we couldn't. Maybe the suspect thought of it."

"… hmm. The case is a bit difficult. Where do you think the victim died?"

They had to analyze each step now to follow the traces of the criminal. If they rushed, they could miss the culprit.

Im Jaemin was the one who contacted the police first.

The suspect had to be related to Im Jaemin. It could be a patient the man treated.

The fact that he died of head injury at 4:36 AM meant it was a countdown.

Kwak Dong-sik is the 4th victim.

The scene was set by Im Jaemin, and the case was committed by the suspect.

"Ah… before that, do we have the CCTV of the police booth? It's a way to find traces of Im Jaemin."

"Well, we called and told them to contact us if they found something, but it seems Im Jaemin knew about blind sports in advance."

As expected of him. The thought ran through Hansol's mind. Previously he would manipulate the situation from behind, but this time he appeared as a witness and disturbed the event.

"Let's go past Im Jaemin. We are investigating the charge of a directed murder, but he isn't in our jurisdiction. Im Jaemin's intervention sounds like he is trying to stir up the investigation. So let's focus on Kwak Dong-sik."

Agreeing with Hansol, the others nodded.

Then, Inspector Jung Yu-mi handed the data about the victim.

Name: Kwak Dong-sik. 43 years old. The same information as before.

Family relations: an only child raised by a single mom and is raising his son after the divorce from his wife 3 years ago. His son is now 14 years old. The son knows his father is missing since he was not yet informed that his father was dead.

An illegal loan shark who had been to prison multiple times. His interest was 60%, while the legal rate was 24%.

Went to Kwak Dong-sik's house to investigate, but no books were found. The ledger is presumed to be kept elsewhere or likely for the suspect to have removed it.

As vicious usury3, there seemed to be a lot of resentment towards him. It has been confirmed that he did not have a healthy relationship with his son and had no contact with his mother. The divorced wife also ended her relationship with the victim.

'Hmm… this is the level of surviving alone in the real world. A man abandoned by his parents, wife, and even his child. No matter how the devil he is, someone is on his side. Not just that, there's nothing concrete between borrowers.'

Hansol asked Inspector Jung Yu-mi, "Did Kwak Dong-sik have any close friends with other loan sharks, gangsters, or thugs?"

Jung Yu-mi said no.

"I think he had a very closed-off personality. It must have been like one couldn't get on to his side even if they wanted to. So, we could hear from people around him that he had a personality which would make people leave him, especially his wife who he divorced put emphasis on it."

"And his son is in our custody. Was there child support for it?"

"When asked about it, she said Kwak Dong-sik didn't want to receive child support from her and could raise the son well with his own money. That was why his ex-wife could happily remarry."

"And we have the alibi for her?"

"Yes, Detective Shin Dong-jin secured it, and the others also went to secure alibis from different people. It was done quickly."

Then all that is left… are people who had a grudge against him.

The ones who borrowed money from him are people in urgent need of cash and suffered, unable to pay it back.

Considering what was being told about his personality, he couldn't have done favors to those who couldn't pay him back. So what was needed was the ledger of the victim.

"… as a result, we concluded that the person who killed the victim was someone who contacted him through one of the phones he had registered using other names… in other words, it had to be someone who borrowed from him and knew of this. Finding the location of the phone or the ledger should be the priority."

"Ahh… Dr. Im, we are already looking for it, but the problem is that we cannot search all of his places right away. After investigating, we came to know the victim had several places. So we need to investigate them again, one after another. That bastard bought little buildings in each place to set up his office on the top floor. We did search and seizure, but nothing came. But.."

Team Leader Woo-jin had a serious expression.

"If it was the personality of Kwak Dong-sik we came to know, he wouldn't have allowed another person to enter his office, right? But someone else's fingerprints had come out. And we are checking it out."

"…!"

It was a hopeful answer.

"Once we get the results, we will summon them, take their statements, and check their alibi. But we cannot rule out the chance of them being a suspect. We have some hope here."

"Ah, I forgot another thing. The vehicle used to abandon Kwak Dong-sik's body was caught on CCTV?"

Team Leader Woo-jin shook his head. It rained heavily that day. The CCTV screens were covered with rainwater, so they couldn't see the license plate clearly.

'… damn it.'

"Can't we know which way the vehicle was going? I think we can check it from that direction?"

"The CCTVs on the other roads were out of order. So from what we were working on, the vehicle went further to Gangwon-do. But the car number couldn't be found so we cannot investigate each car that entered the place. Not with our little members."

It was another difficulty.

There was little hope that the fingerprints could find a possible suspect, but the following news was hopeless.

However…

'My father reported it, a witness. The victim died around 4 in the morning. Fourth victim. Father must see this like chess. If I had been father….'

And something flashed into his mind.

"The victim was abandoned like a hangman. So the director of the murder would be the same as the previous ones. We presume it to be professor Im Jaemin. Four people were killed and were abandoned in a Hanged Man position. With one connection: all of them were related to Im Jaemin. We cannot find Im's medical records, but the suspect must be someone who respects and follows him."

"Oh. Yes, that's true. And?"

Team Leader Woo-jin looked interested, and Inspector Jung Yu-mi added.

"To go into the countdown and openly abandon the body as the 4th victim, 1/3 of 12 means that he isn't afraid of the police, right? And it also means that some people in the Police who respect him are starting to act like pseudo groups, which means that person in the group is protecting Im Jaemin…."

"And they are serving a single god. We need to find the place where they gather. The culprit will be hiding there."


Angel's Corner

Completely out of topic, what's your favorite noodles and why?

  1. was interchangeably used with National Forensic Lab. We will continue using National Forensic Service/NFS for consistency. ↩️

  2. DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is a blood clot in a vein, usually the leg. ↩️

  3. the illegal action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high interest rates. ↩️

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