A man unearthed the body of his slain wife from a shallow grave on a hillside near their village a day after she was strangled to death during a fight with two neighbours, a jury heard yesterday. Kam Chi-keung told the Court of First Instance he became worried when he returned home from work at 9pm on June 16 last year and could not find his wife, Chau Siu-lee, 34. After checking with neighbours and hospitals, he filed a missing persons report at Tsuen Wan police station at 2am. Mr Kam said that at 6.30am he decided to search an overlooking hillside after recalling a conversation with a villager who told him she had seen another neighbour, Lau Chuen-fat, 43, covered with mud. Lau, the only defendant in the murder trial, told her he had got dirty while fixing water pipes at the village. He has pleaded not guilty to murder. Mr Kam told the court he followed a trail of broken taro plants on the hillside and came across signs that mud had been displaced. He started digging at a mound and saw the soles of his wife's feet. In her opening address, prosecutor Anna Lai told the jury the deceased and her husband were not on good terms with several families who shared the village hut at Sheung Kok Shan Tsuen. Fellow villager Kwong Chau-kuk told the court she was attacked by Chau and sought Lau's help when Chau began beating her with a water pipe and a wooden stick. As Chau and Lau became locked in a struggle, she became afraid and left. The prosecutor said that in a videotaped interview with police, Lau said he stood on Chau's throat with his foot after punching her because he was 'really angry'. Lau allegedly said that after a 'long time', he removed his foot and noticed Chau was barely moving. Ms Lai said Lau told officers he became scared and decided to bury the naked body on the hillside. The court heard Chau was probably dead when she was buried and that the cause of death was asphyxia due to blunt pressure applied to the neck. The trial continues today before Mr Justice Michael Lunn.