DNA test to confirm body is that of Fanling wounding suspect

Body found in compacted paper cube suspected to be that of Fanling knifeman

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 November, 2012, 3:13am

A DNA test will confirm whether a person crushed to death in a giant waste paper compactor was a man suspected of slashing a colleague earlier that day.

Detectives believe the body was that of a 43-year-old mainlander who took a fruit knife to the woman, Lam So-fung, 49, at a recycling plant in Kui Sik Street, Fanling.

Officers do not know whether the suspect committed suicide or accidentally fell down the machine's five-metre-long chute.

Lam was attacked at about 8am on Wednesday. She was slashed on the face, neck and right wrist, and an artery in her neck was pierced, leaving her in critical condition.

After the attack, work at the plant was suspended, as officers from the police tactical unit searched the premises. The fruit knife was found discarded on a first-floor staircase.

However, police could not find the attacker and left that afternoon. It was only when blood was seen seeping from the side of a two-cubic-metre block of waste paper that officers discovered the man's body near the centre of the block, police said. It took officers a couple of hours to retrieve the man's remains. "The body could not be seen from outside. It was discovered after blood came out from the side of the block," a police officer said. "The skull was flattened and we cannot fully identify him, but we think he is the person wanted in connection with the wounding case."

Police say a key found on the body belonged to the locker of the male worker. Inside, officers found his mainland and local identification documents and personal belongings.

The officer said the clothing also matched descriptions of what the wanted person wore.

However, a DNA test was needed to confirm the man's identity. The results would be available in about a month.

It is understood the mainlander was an imported worker who had worked in the factory for about four years. He operated the giant waste-paper-compacting machine that killed him.

"We are still investigating whether he accidentally fell into the machine or he jumped in to it to commit suicide," a police officer said. The man is believed to have fallen into the machine before police were called to investigate the knife attack.

The machine occupies two floors of the plant. Waste paper is fed in through a chute on the first floor, is compressed it as it passes through a tube and blocks emerge on the ground floor.

After 10 hours' surgery at Prince of Wales Hospital, Lam's condition was yesterday reported to be stable and improving.

A motive for the attack has not been established.