Thu, Feb 17, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Police arrest four in coedkidnapping

DEADLY ABDUCTION Four people are under arrest in connection with the Jan. 14 kidnapping of 22-year-old Chen Ching-yi

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Three suspects are taken into custody yesterday after Taichung County police arrested in them in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a university coed last month. A fourth suspect was arrested earlier this month.

PHOTO: LIAO YAO-TUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Four people have been arrested in connection with last month's kidnapping and murder of a university coed in Taichung County.

Chen Ching-yi (陳靜怡), a 22-year-old student at Providence University, was abducted after she finished her final exams on Jan. 14.

She went to the parking lot on campus to meet her boyfriend for dinner and was not seen again. Her body was discovered yesterday morning in Miaoli.

The four suspects were identified as Chen Shih-ho (陳世和), 31, Lin Jiunn-chi (林俊錡), 36, Chen Yi-wen (陳怡文), 30, and Lin Shih-jing (林飾菁), 27.

"Chen Shih-ho was the mastermind. He is also the victim's cousin," Tsai Chin-ba (蔡金霸), deputy director of the Taichung County Police Department, told a press conference in Taichung yesterday.

"They killed Chen Ching-yi on the sixth day after she was kidnapped," Tsai said.

He said the four suspects are deeply in debt, owing anywhere from NT$1 million to NT$5 million.

According to Tsai, Chen Shih-ho's wife is a stockbroker and had helped Chen Ching-yi's father with his investments, so Chen Shih-ho knew that the coed's family was wealthy. He said Chen Shih-ho asked Chen Yi-wen and Lin Shih-jing, who are boyfriend and girlfriend, to help with the abduction.

Lin Shih-jing then invited a former co-worker, Lin Jiunn-chi, to join the trio, according to Tsai.

The police official said Lin Jiunn-chi called the Chen family around 1am on Jan. 15 and asked for a NT$20 million ransom.

During a second phone call on Jan. 17, the victim told her mom, "I am fine."

The Chens, however, told kidnappers that they had only collected NT$5 million, angering the gang, who responded by hiking their demand to NT$50 million, Tsai said.

That phone call was the last contact between the kidnappers and the Chens family. No ransom was ever paid.

Lin Jiunn-chi was arrested at his home in Keelung on Feb. 4 after police traced the number of the phone used to call the victim's family.

Based on statements that Lin Jiunn-chi made to police, Chen Yi-wen and Lin Shih-jing were arrested in Chungli on Tuesday.

A few hours later, police arrested Chen Shih-ho at his home in Shalu Township, Taichung County.

Judges approved the detention requests made for Chen Shih-ho, Chen Yi-wen and Lin Shih-jing yesterday.

Lin Jiunn-chi has been detained since his arrest.

Tsai said the four told police that Chen Ching-yi died on Jan. 19 after they gave her too many sleeping pills in an effort to calm her down and that they had disposed of her body on Jan. 21.

"We discovered Chen Ching-yi's body near the West-side Highway in Miaoli this morning. It's a quiet location without any residences nearby, so the body wasn't found until today," Tsai said.

"The suspects said she died of an overdose of sleeping pills but the coroners will decide the actual cause of death after they examine her body," he said.

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