The Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday said it was still looking for key evidence in its investigation of the death of a professor and her husband in New Taipei City (新北市) before it can renew its request for the detention of three of the suspects.
The bodies of Shih Chien University assistant professor Chang Tsui-ping (張翠萍), 58, and her husband, Chen Chin-fu (陳進福), 79, were discovered separately on the coast of New Taipei City’s Bali District (八里) last week.
Investigators said the couple was last seen at a coffee shop in Bali on Feb. 16.
Chen’s body was found on Feb. 26 and Chang’s body was discovered nearby a day later.
Prosecutors last week charged four individuals with the couple’s murder, including Hsieh Yi-han (謝依涵), the manager of the coffee shop where the couple was last seen, the coffee shop’s owner, surnamed Lu (呂), and two of Lu’s friends.
Prosecutors said the four were suspected of killing the couple after failing to extort money from them.
Prosecutors asked the Shilin District Court to detain the four, but judges ruled to detain only Hsieh and released the other three on bail.
Prosecutors said all four denied committing the murder and because investigators have not found critical evidence, such as the murder weapon or the scene of the murder, judges decided there was not enough evidence to suggest the three were involved in the case.
Prosecutors yesterday led police officers in a search of buildings and land along the coast in Bali District to determine where the couple were killed and where the bodies were originally disposed of.
Investigators were also looking for any implements used to transport the bodies.
Investigators say that according to witnesses’ accounts, the couple knew Hsieh and Lu well.
Witnesses say Chen, a rich businessman, was close to the 30-year-old coffee shop owner, who wanted to become his goddaughter.
Witnesses have also said that the suspects were trying to source funds to open a new coffee shop, investigators said.