Tainan police yesterday questioned a man named Chen Chih-hsien (陳智賢) in connection with the death of a woman surnamed Chung (鐘), while prosecutors asked a court to place Chen in judicial detention.
Chen, 54, on Tuesday morning visited Chung, 45, and they started to quarrel over gambling debts and other personal issues, prosecutor Chuang Shih-chin (莊士嶔) said.
A preliminary investigation and testimony from acquaintances suggested that the couple had been together for more than a year, but they argued frequently over money and other issues, Chuang said.
Chen told police that he strangled Chung in a fit of anger and, after realizing that he had killed her, tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrists and chest.
He called the 110 emergency hotline in the afternoon to report the incident and emergency responders arrived to find him crouched beside Chung’s body, police said.
Chen probably sat beside Chung’s body close to three hours before making the call, they said.
Prosecutors and coroners yesterday examined Chung’s body and found signs of contusions and abrasions on the neck, indicating the likelihood of death by strangulation, officials said.
It was Chung who took him to underground casinos, where they lost money most of the time and incurred debt, Chen told police, adding that she had demanded that Chen pay them.
Chen also said that he wanted to break up with Chung, but she refused, adding that she had emotional problems.
However, Chung’s family disputed Chen’s account and asked for a thorough investigation.
They said that Chen was a killer who placed the blame on the victim.
Chung’s body was found on the second floor of a building on Tainan’s Dongfong Road, known to be a “house of ill repute,” police said.
They suspect that Chung was operating an illegal brothel at the premises, they added.
The building has a three-decade history as a holdover from what was once the city’s red-light district, but the prostitution business has declined since the early 2000s, losing out to bars, tea houses, karaoke parlors and clubs, some of which allegedly provide illegal sex services, police said, adding that the businesses mostly employ women from China and Southeast Asia.
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