New Taipei City police yesterday said that they were looking for a 34-year-old man surnamed Lin (林) and a male accomplice as the main suspects in the death of a 90-year-old woman surnamed Lee (李) at her home in the city’s Sinjhuang District (新莊).
Police released surveillance video footage that they said showed the two men on Thursday leaving the murder site together.
In the video, the man identified as Lin is seen leaving on a motorcycle and the alleged accomplice taking a taxi.
Investigators are treating the death as a murder, with theft the motive, as the house was left ransacked, and family members reported that money and credit cards were missing.
Lee was found tied up with nylon rope along with her 67-year-old daughter, who survived.
Lin is reportedly a friend of Lee’s son and had been staying at the family’s home as a live-in carer for older family members.
Police said that they received a request for help from Lee’s family members on Thursday evening, after they failed to reach her by telephone and she did not open the door.
Local firefighters broke open the door, and when family members entered the house, they found Lee and her daughter covered in linen and towels, under which they were bound.
Lee was already dead, but her daughter was unconscious and was rushed to a local hospital, where she was out of danger and recovering after receiving medical treatment, police said.
The daughter told police that she and her mother were attacked by Lin.
She said she fell unconscious after Lin gave them capsules, which he said contained liver and kidney medication.
It was horrifying that Lin had murdered and robbed their grandmother, as they had treated Lin like part of the family and offered him a place to live, investigators cited family members as saying.
Lee’s son knew Lin for more than 10 years and the two families became quite close, they said.
When Lin was in his 20s, it was decided that he would to move into the Lee residence as a live-in caretaker for the grandmother, they said.
Over the past year, the daughter ran into health problems and moved back in with her mother, and so Lin was supposed to help take care of the two elderly women, they said.
However, family members told investigators that the relationship changed when items began to disappear and Lin started to ask Lee to lend him money, they said.
In one instance, the family gave NT$7,000 to Lin to help him pay his bills, but later found out that he did not use the money for the intended purpose, they said.
Family members were cited as saying that they did not want to resort to legal action and instead asked Lin to move out.
When he refused to do so, they started to worry for the safety of the two elderly women living in the house, they were quoted as saying.
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