Woman's body found floating in suitcase

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 April, 2012, 12:00am
 

A suitcase pulled out of Victoria Harbour by two swimmers yesterday was found to contain the corpse of a woman.

A murder investigation was launched after the grim discovery off Hung Hom, near the Harbourfront Landmark, at about 7.30am.

The light blue suitcase was spotted floating in the harbour by one swimmer. Curious about its contents, he enlisted the help of another man in the water to drag it out.

'The suitcase gave off a strong foul smell when we brought it to shore,' he said. 'We stepped on it to break it open, but failed.

'Then we saw hair spilling out of the suitcase and we immediately called police.' After officers sealed off the promenade, they prised open the suitcase and found the corpse inside.

The body was that of an Asian woman, aged between 20 and 40. She was wearing only her underwear.

An initial examination found there were no obvious wounds on the body, said Superintendent Joseph Yeung Chi-choi, police assistant district commander for Kowloon City.

He added: 'The body had been in the water for several days and had become swollen. We believe she had been dead for between four and seven days.'

Detectives from the marine police regional crime unit were treating the case as murder, Yeung said.

The Mak's brand suitcase is 90cm long, 60cm wide and 30cm tall. The brand is not well known in the city and it is understood police will try to find out where the suitcase originally came from in an effort to locate its owner.

A senior police officer said: 'We are investigating whether it [the suitcase] was hurled into the harbour from the shore nearby or was thrown into water from a vessel.'

Yesterday, three floating casinos were anchored near the area.

Such ships usually collect passengers in Hong Kong and then sail to international waters to allow gambling.

The senior officer said a thorough search of the promenade would be carried out. Also, CCTV footage from nearby housing estates would be checked. 'An undersea search will be carried out if necessary.'

Anyone who knows the identity of the woman or has information is urged to contact police on 2803 6240.

Last night, officers were trying to match the woman's description to people previously reported missing.

Chun Ka-yee, 33, was reported missing in Hong Kong earlier this year. She was last contacted by her family on October 5 and was reported missing on January 16 this year.

She is about 1.56 metres tall and weighs 45kg. Anyone with information about her case can contact police on 2703 2316.

In 2010, the body of an unidentified man whose legs were bound with plastic tape was found stuffed in a locked red suitcase in bushes near the entrance to Tsat Sing Kong village in Pat Heung.

In 2007, the body of businesswoman Ip Sau-fun was found in a suitcase in a manhole in Stanley.

Two murders were reported in the city in January. Police figures shows homicide reports fell to 17 last year from 35 in 2010 and 47 in 2009.

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