How Chinese murder victim’s nail polish led to her suspected killer

Police managed to identify woman’s body dumped in a river partly by studying the distinctive pattern and decoration on her nails, news website reports

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2018, 12:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2018, 2:46pm

Police identified a murder victim dumped in a river in eastern China by her nail polish, manicure and tattooed brows, eventually leading them to her suspected killer, according to a news website report.

The body of the woman was found in the river in Jiaxing in Zhejiang province on March 19, Thepaper.cn reported.

The corpse was badly decomposed and impossible to identify by its features, according to the article.

“The body was found in a major shipping channel. It had no distinctive features other than the nail polish and tattooed eyebrows, creating a huge challenge for us to solve the case,” Song Shu, deputy chief at the public security bureau in the Xiuzhou district of Jiaxing, was quoted as saying.

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Police speculated the woman lived in Honghe or Tongxiang in the southwest of Jiaxing as her nail polish patterns were only available in salons in that area.

Cao Ming, director of criminal cases at the bureau, told the website: “The dead person had red nail polish on both her hands, with butterfly-shaped patterns on her thumbnails. We found out the pattern was quite unique after visiting the related nail salons.” 

Police also discovered holes about 7mm in diameter in the plastic bag that contained the body. The bag was of a type used to package woollen jumpers, further narrowing down the likely murder scene to an area with wool factories.

The investigation ultimately led to the identification of the woman, 23, whose full name was not given in the report.

The police later detained her boyfriend, 31. He worked in a woollen jumper factory and later admitted killing the woman and dismembering her body at their flat after an argument.

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He later threw her body into a river about 4km (2.5 miles) from their home.

The victim had no family and few friends in Jiaxing so her boyfriend did not flee because he believed no one would discover his girlfriend’s disappearance, the report said.

The man has been detained on suspicion of murder.