Dragonair flight attendant Arbe Chan, found dead in wardrobe, was strangled

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, 12:31pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 November, 2016, 12:41pm

A flight attendant whose body was found in a wardrobe in her bedroom at the weekend was strangled to death, police said.

"The postmortem examination found the woman died of strangulation," one police officer said. "But the pathologist cannot be sure of the exact method used by the killer."

The officer said the killer could have used hands, rope or other objects. Evidence had been seized from the crime scene, but the officer refused to reveal what had been discovered.

Marks were found on the neck of Arbe Chan, 26, a Dragonair flight attendant, when her body was found inside the wardrobe of her family's flat at Allway Gardens in Tsuen Wan on Sunday.

Although police believe she was killed while alone at home on Wednesday last week, the officer said the autopsy could not confirm the exact time of her death.

Chan's 25-year-old former boyfriend is the prime suspect in the murder case after he was captured on CCTV last week at the building where she lived.

Police are seeking help from mainland authorities to trace the Hongkonger after immigration records showed he left the city for the mainland via a land crossing on Saturday. Yesterday, a police spokeswoman said no one had been arrested in connection with the murder.

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

In September, she called police, saying her boyfriend had beaten her. He was arrested, charged and placed on a good behaviour bond by Tuen Mun Court over the incident. Chan was understood to have since found a new boyfriend. According to police, Chan was last seen at home on Wednesday last week.

Her body was found under clothes and other items in her bedroom wardrobe at about 2.15am on Sunday after her family had not heard from her for several days and her father and younger sister searched the two-bedroom apartment and made the gruesome find.

Her family initially thought she was at work and out of town, according to police.

Her sister, who shared the bedroom, told police she did not notice any smell coming from the wardrobe. Officers believe the body would have decomposed slowly because of the cool, dry weather so the smell was unlikely to have been noticeable.

This week, detectives searched Allway Gardens for evidence and checked footage from surveillance cameras in the housing estate. Officers from the force's Identification Bureau were also sent to dust for fingerprints at her home.

The investigation by the Tsuen Wan district crime squad is continuing.