Thu, Mar 01, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Dead body found in water tank

By Max Hirsch  /  STAFF REPORTER

The water ran red and stinky from the faucets in an elderly Kaohsiung woman's home yesterday after a man drowned in her water tank, the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) reported.

The 78-year-old woman surnamed Chao phoned her son, who in turn called the police, after noticing an unholy smell and streams of red flowing from her faucets, the report said.

When police peered inside the water tank feeding Chao's pipes from the roof of her Daliao Township (大寮鄉) home in Kaohsiung County, they made a chilling discovery: a three-day-old, bloated corpse bobbing in blood-tainted water.

Chao reportedly began vomiting after learning that she had ingested, and bathed in, water from the tank while the corpse decomposed in it, before the stink of rotting flesh and blood became apparent.

After a crane removed the tank from Chao's rooftop, police identified the man as 31-year-old fugitive Wu Chen-chia (吳振嘉), saying Wu had been on the run since Saturday.

Wu reportedly fled a nearby drug raid on a stolen motor scooter, and tried to hide in Chao's water tank amid a neighborhood manhunt, police said.

Saturday's bust netted two of Wu's accomplices, who police caught with bags of heroin and amphetamines on their person, while Wu and another suspect fled the raid, police said. The fourth suspect is still at large, they added.

Police also found the stolen scooter yesterday near Chao's apartment, while Wu's next of kin confirmed his identity.

The alleged drug dealer reportedly fled the raid via a narrow alley and later scaled Chao's apartment in search of a place to lie low.

The water tank seemed like the ideal spot until Wu discovered, after having already immersed himself in his watery coffin, that the tank lid's latch locked from the outside, and could not be pried open.

Chao, meanwhile, showed no signs of illness, beyond briefly vomiting, but will receive a physical checkup soon, the report said.

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