Kaohsiung police yesterday detained a Lingya District (苓雅) resident as the prime suspect in the murder of a man whose remains were found this week in two duffel bags dumped into the Love River (愛河).
The suspect was identified as a 60-year-old man surnamed Lo (羅), who was reportedly an acquaintance of the victim, an 80-year-old man surnamed Wang (王).
After being first taken to a police precinct, Lo was transferred to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning.
Lo allegedly killed the victim over a debt of about NT$100,000 according to Weng Shih-min (翁士閔), captain of the investigation unit at the Sanmin First Precinct.
Lo reportedly went to Wang’s apartment on Saturday last week to demand repayment of the debt, but the men quarreled, and Lo allegedly strangled Wang, Weng said.
“Lo denied beating or torturing the victim, but admitted to using a cleaver to cut up the body so he could dispose the remains and to cover up the crime,” Weng said.
Surveillance cameras at Wang’s apartment building showed Lo leaving and then returning later that night with two duffel bags before leaving with the bags on a motorcycle, police said.
Lo had worked as a night market food vendor, while Wang, who lived on his own, was dependent on social assistance payment from the Kaohsiung City Government, they said.
Police were able to crack the case and track down Lo by reviewing surveillance camera footage from along the Love River, finding a motorcyclist with black bags behaving suspiciously early Monday morning, Weng said.
“After that we traced the motorcycle’s movement through the streets on the morning of June 22 to identify the suspect and to find out where he was living,” Weng said. “We were also able to positively identify the victim, based on fingerprints and a DNA test.”
National Police Agency Director-General Chen Ja-chin (陳家欽) arrived in Kaohsiung yesterday just in time for Weng and other police officials to announce they believed they had solved the case and detained a suspect.
“I planned to come here to check up and discuss the progress of the investigation into this serious murder. It was a pleasant surprise that the police here had worked so quickly, collecting evidence and piecing together the clues to solve this crime in about 40 hours after the remains were found,” Chen said.
“This excellent work was the result of the diligent efforts of local police investigators, with assistance from Criminal Investigation Bureau units. The suspect has been detained, and we have been able to provide Kaohsiung residents with details of the case, which has restored public order and safety,” Chen added.
Two sanitation workers cleaning along the banks of the river found one duffel bag floating in the water on Monday, and another on Tuesday.
After seeing traces of blood coming from the second bag, one worker opened it and found decomposing human remains, and the pair called police.
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