Police find alleged shoplifter dead in her apartment

Staff Writer, with CNA

Sat, Oct 07, 2017 - Page 3

A 42-year-old unemployed woman was recently found dead, apparently of starvation, in an apartment in Tainan after her mother — her main source of financial support — died in June and her younger sister refused to support her, police said.

The woman, surnamed Hsieh (謝), who was once a fashion designer, lost her job about 10 years ago and became financially dependent on her mother, who worked as a domestic helper, the Apple Daily reported on Sunday.

Police found Hsieh when they went her to her home to arrest her for failing to appear in court after she was allegedly caught shoplifting in late July and early August, it said.

Police broke into her sixth floor apartment and found Hsieh dead.

When questioned by police, Hsieh’s sister, who lives on the fifth floor of the same building and seemingly showed indifference toward her sister’s death, said that Hsieh might have died of starvation.

An autopsy is to be carried out later this week to determine the cause of death, police said, adding that an investigation would be conducted to determine whether the sister had committed a crime in abandoning Hsieh.

The sisters lived in an apartment with their mother, with the older woman living in a rooftop addition, police said.

Earlier this year, their mother quit her job due to illness and the younger sister, who is 40, became the breadwinner of the family.

However, after their mother died in June, the elder sister began shunning contact with people.

The younger sister, who made a living doing odd jobs but was recently unemployed, said she had encouraged her sister to receive medical treatment, but had left Hsieh alone after her advice was repeatedly rejected.