Tue, Sep 18, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Japanese teacher quizzed over corpse found in bag

SUSPECT The police said that 48-year-old Chou Mei-yun had been tied up with nylon rope, had multiple stab wounds in her chest and thigh and marks on her neck

By Flora Wang and Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Kaohsiung Police Bureau said yesterday that a female Japanese teacher working in Taiwan has been questioned after a woman's body was found in a garbage bag in Kaohsiung City early on Sunday morning.

A man found the body inside a large black garbage bag in front of a store in the city's Yencheng District.

The man told police the bag had been abandoned on the street a few days ago and that stray dogs had been hanging around the bag ever since.

The man told police that he cut a hole in the bag and was surprised to see a human leg.

Police on Sunday said the deceased was 48-year-old Chou Mei-yun (邱美雲), who had been missing since last Tuesday.

Members of Chou's family identified her by a surgical scar on her stomach, said Chang Shu-yi (張樹義), a Kaohsiung police officer in charge of the investigation.

Chang said Chou was a broker who helped Japanese citizens find work teaching Japanese in private schools.

Police said footage from a surveillance camera near the place where the body was found showed the Japanese teacher riding a scooter and towing a big black garbage bag.

But during questioning the suspect told the police that she had loaned her motorcycle to an American man.

Chang said the teacher had had frequent cellphone contact with Chou before she disappeared.

Police suspect the deceased might have argued with the Japanese woman about brokerage fees before the incident, Chang said.

Detectives were able to collect five fingerprints from the body and the bag that did not belong to Chou, he said.

The police did not reveal the identity of the suspect.

The victim had been tied up with nylon ropes and had multiple stab wounds in her chest and thigh, as well as marks on her neck that suggested possible strangulation, Chang said.

He said the murder was likely not committed by a single person, while police said they have identified four others suspected of involvement in the murder.

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