Sun, Dec 28, 2003 - Page 2 News List

DNA result settles murder case

MATCHING SAMPLES Taichung County police used DNA testing of fibres from the alleged murderer's nails, blood at the murder scene and a rope to prove his guilt


The police announced yesterday that the brutal murder of an insurance agent has been solved after the result of DNA analysis directly linked the suspect, Chen Chin-huo (陳金火), to the crime.

"The DNA result shows that Chen's fingernail samples match fibre found on the victim and at the scene. Although Chen denies having seen or having had any contact with the victim, this breakthrough overturns his claim," the police said.

According to the police, Chen's fingernail clippings were sent for forensic examination upon his arrest.

On Thursday, Taichung County police compared DNA found under Chen's fingernails, the blood at the crime scene and the rope that was an alleged murder weapon, to that of the murdered insurance agent, Shih Chin-chi (施金池), and found a match.

Shih went missing on Dec. 7 after telling her younger brother she was on her way to visit Chen, as he had contacted her and said he would introduce her to customers.

Shih's brother reported her missing on Dec. 9. The police later found Shih's motorcycle in front of Chen's motorcycle shop and arrested him on Dec. 12.

Though the police found part of Shih's remains at Chen's motorcycle shop, he has denied any link to the murder case.

The police and prosecutors were shocked to find Shih's bare bones. Chen at one point told the prosecutors he had eaten Shih's flesh, but no evidence was found to support his allegation.

So far, the police have failed to find any flesh or the knife used to chop Shih's body into pieces.

"Even if Chen manages to pass a polygraph test, with the scientific evidence the police have on hand, Chen is no longer able to deny his connection to the victim," the police said.

Based on the medical examination result, the police suspect that Chen had strangled Shih with a rope and dragged her to his shop's second floor, where he chopped up her body.

The piece of fiber which contained Shih's DNA was deposited underneath Chen's fingernails during the disintegration of her body.

An accomplice, Kwang The-chiang (廣德強), confessed to taking part in raping Shih and witnessing Chen strangle Shih with a rope.

The police suspect that Chen urged Kwang to set up an appointment with the victim to discuss taking out an insurance policy and later to rape her.

"Regardless of whether Kwang participated voluntarily, he was involved," the police said.

The police suspect Chen was also involved in the disappearance of Hsu Juei-fan (許瑞芬), another female insurance agent, who had gone missing 12 years ago.

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