Ex-boyfriend is prime suspect in the murder of air hostess Arbe Chan

Jobless man caught on CCTV in Arbe Chan's apartment building last week, police source says. He is thought to be on the mainland

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 5:16am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 4:36pm

An ex-boyfriend is the prime suspect in the murder of a flight attendant whose body was found in her bedroom wardrobe at the weekend, a police source says.

Officers will seek help from mainland authorities to trace the man, who is thought to have crossed the border on Saturday, the day before the body of Arbe Chan was found in her family's flat in Tsuen Wan.

One police source said the 25-year-old Hongkonger was caught on CCTV last week at the building where Chan lived.

"Up to this stage, he is our prime murder suspect," the source said. "We will seek help from our mainland counterparts through our colleagues at the liaison bureau to track him down on the mainland."

The source believes Chan, 26, a Dragonair flight attendant, was killed while alone at her home in Allway Gardens on Wednesday last week.

Chan's younger sister, who shared the bedroom, did not notice any smell from the body. The officer said the body would have decomposed slowly because of the cool, dry weather so the smell was unlikely to have been strong.

"Her family initially thought she was at work and out of town," a police officer said.

After learning that Chan was not at work, her 55-year-old father and her sister searched the two-bedroom apartment and found the body hidden under clothes and other items in the wardrobe at 2.15am on Sunday.

Police believe she was strangled or suffocated as marks were found on her neck. An autopsy will be carried out today.

Yesterday afternoon, a team of detectives together with officers from the force's Identification Bureau went to the family's flat to collect evidence and dust for fingerprints.

Chan's Facebook page indicated she had suffered emotional problems due to her relationship with the 25-year-old jobless man. She met him last year, but their relationship had soured a few months earlier and she had wanted to break up with him and recover money he owed her.

In September, she called Tuen Mun police, saying the man had beaten her. He was placed on a good behaviour bond by Tuen Mun Court over the incident. Chan was understood to have a new boyfriend.