Police have handed a Filipino suspected of murdering a store owner in Taoyuan County’s Lujhu Township (蘆竹) over to county prosecutors for questioning.
The suspect has been identified by authorities as Darwin Gorospe Sarmiento, 31. He was arrested at a hotel in Shulin District (樹林) in New Taipei City on Saturday after allegedly killing a shop owner surnamed Lin (林) late on Friday.
Citing surveillance video footage from the store, police late on Saturday said that Sarmiento used a hammer to knock Lin unconscious before stabbing him in the neck multiple times with a screwdriver, causing him to bleed to death.
After his alleged attack on Lin, who ran a grocery store that also made loans to migrant workers, police said Sarmiento tied up Lin’s wife and children to prevent them from reporting the incident.
Lin’s wife was finally able to contact the authorities early on Saturday morning after wriggling free at about 3:36am.
The police said Sarmiento initially denied having anything to do with Lin’s death, but later confessed to the crime after being told that the store’s surveillance camera had captured the attack on film.
According to police, Sarmiento said he was in a bad mood when he entered the store to buy a calling card and so become angry when Lin said the shop was closed for the night and told him to go home.
Police said Sarmiento told them he did not intend to kill Lin, but had done so after knocking him out because he feared Lin would come after him once he awoke.
Lin’s wife told police she suspects that Sarmiento killed her husband after Lin refused to lend him money.
She said her husband turned down the request because Sarmiento already owed him money. A preliminary investigation by police found that Sarmiento worked at a factory in Lujhu, earned less than NT$20,000 a month and often borrowed money from Lin.
Sarmiento’s employer said he also often borrowed money from her, but generally paid her back on time and was honest to the point of returning a wallet he found and refusing a reward from the owner.
She said the incident was “regrettable” as Sarmiento’s contract expires in September, after which he could have returned home.