Woman, 88, may have known killer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 October, 2010, 12:00am

An 88-year-old woman found dead in her Kwai Chung home on Monday night was suffocated and might have known her killer, police said.

'We found no sign of forced entry at her flat. It is possible that she was killed by a visitor she knew after she let the visitor enter her flat,' a police officer said yesterday.

There were abrasions around Lee Wai-lan's mouth and nose and blood in her mouth. 'There were at least three one-centimetre-long scratches on her nose, lip and lower jaw,' the officer said. 'Her mouth and nose were probably covered with a hand.'

A police spokeswoman said a postmortem examination showed Lee died from suffocation.

Last night, officers were studying her background and trying to contact friends, including mahjong partners. Inquiries had found she always played mahjong at home.

'We will look into whether she had a dispute over gambling debts with others,' the officer said.

Lee has lived with her 45-year-old niece on the 21st floor of Fu Nga House, Tai Wo Hau Estate, for several years since her husband died.

On Monday, her niece found Lee unconscious in bed in pyjamas when she returned from work at about 10pm. Lee was declared dead at the scene.

Police said friends came to play mahjong at about noon but no one answered the door and they left.

Officers said there was no sign of a break-in, struggle or ransacking and they were still checking whether any valuables were stolen.

'Up to now, there is no indication suggesting she was killed in a robbery gone wrong,' another officer said.

An elderly neighbour said the building's security was good.

The flat was still cordoned off yesterday as police continued looking for evidence and conducted door-to-door inquiries in the building.