Investigators yesterday continued their probe into the death of Jung Shen Co (巨陞公司) chairman Chen Hung-yu (陳宏育) and his wife in Taroko National Park, with prosecutors saying that the wounds on the couple’s bodies were consistent with falling from a height, but some uncertainties remain unsolved.
Coroner Hsiao Kai-ping (蕭開平) conducted an autopsy with officials from the Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office amid suspicions of foul play in the deaths of Chen and his wife, Fan Chin-mei (范錦美), who were found on a roadside cliff along the Central Cross-Island Highway (Highway No. 8).
“The wounds on the couple’s bodies are consistent with falling from the roadside down into the cliff and also matched the conditions found at the scene,” Hualien County Chief Prosecutor Wang Yi-jen (王怡仁) said. “Judging by the autopsy results, we believe that the two were alive, ventured out of their car and plunged to their deaths.”
The bodies have been transferred to a forensic medical laboratory for more detailed examination and to find out whether the two had ingested toxic substances, drugs or medicine that might have contributed to their deaths, he said.
Due to other evidence and uncertainties in the case, there had been questions about whether the couple had died from suicide, an accidental fall, or foul play, he said.
The couple was found on Wednesday last week after their families reported that they had gone missing along a stretch of the highway and that the car Chen had been driving was found parked on a shoulder.
Rescuers said that the bodies were found together 200m down the cliff and investigators first believed that the couple might have been taking pictures and slipped or that they might have committed suicide.
However, a dashboard camera believed to have been in the car at the time was missing and the investigation failed to locate the couple’s camera and mobile phones, leading to suspicions that a third person might have been involved.
Family members scoffed at the suggestion of suicide, saying that the couple had no reason to kill themselves, did not leave a suicide note and did not act differently before their trip.
The company was operating normally and had no financial problems, they said.
Prosecutors said that they would continue to gather evidence and continue to question family members.
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