A married couple went on trial yesterday for allegedly luring a teenage girl to their home to be raped, before stuffing her body in a suitcase.
Husband Bai Yunjiang and wife Tan Beibei confessed to committing the crime last July in Heilongjiang province and apologised to the victim’s family at a closed-door hearing at the juvenile court.
The pair were charged with murder, robbery and rape, state Xinhua news agency reported today.
Hu Yixuan, the 17-year-old victim, was lured to the home by then-pregnant Tan. Tan feigned a stomach ache and asked the girl to help her home as it was raining, according to police.
Once at the house, the teenager was given a yogurt drink spiked with drugs, police said.
Bai allegedly raped the girl, who put up a fierce fight but was smothered with a quilt by the couple, almost suffocating her.
Unable to stop the girl’s screams, the couple killed her and placed her body in a black suitcase. It was unclear if they hid the body or disposed of it.
State media cited police sources as saying Tan was caught having an affair, so she offered her husband a girl as a peace offering.
Yesterday the victim’s parents walked out soon after the trial started at 9.30am, as details of the crime were recounted in court. The hearing at the Jiamusi Intermediate Peope’s Court lasted for more than four hours.
Hu’s uncle, Hu Yongsheng, who stayed for the proceedings, told reporters afterwards that the couple confessed and expressed remorse.
The family is demanding they be sentenced to death and immediately executed.
“The ideal result is that both of them are sentenced to death,” said Sun Hongbo, the victim’s mother told Xinhua. “Who’d ever think helping a pregnant woman can bring this [tragedy]?”
Tan’s attorney tried to extenuate her crime by saying Tan was held under duress by her husband. The lawyer said she was merely an accessory to the crime.
The uncle said Tan Beibei was “very calm” during the trial but her husband was emotional, unable to accept the charges.
“[Bai] admitted he had attempted to hunt for [victims] twice – one was his daughter’s classmate. But since she was too young, he stopped himself,” Hu Yongsheng said.
“The other case was similar to what Tan Beibei did – luring a girl to the stairway. But that girl received a call from her family all of a sudden, so she escaped,” he said.
Meanwhile, the prosecution sought higher damages of 893,000 yuan (HK$1.13 million) as compensation, including funeral expenses. The trial continues.