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Crime in Hong Kong

Ritz-Carlton murder suspect tells Hong Kong police he was too drunk to recall what happened

Investigators also looking into whether business failure led South Korean to kill his wife and son

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 January, 2018, 3:09pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 January, 2018, 9:52am

A South Korean man arrested over the murders of his wife and six-year-old son at a five-star Hong Kong hotel told police he was too drunk to recall what had ­happened, the Post has learned.

Police were also investigating if a failed business in Seoul had led to the actions of Kim Min-ho, 42, CEO of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in South Korea.

On Monday, Kim was being held for questioning at Tsim Sha Tsui police station and had not been charged.

The arrest was made after his wife, Song Wha-jeong, 42, and son, Kim Tae-yun, were found dead in bed in a luxury suite at The Ritz-Carlton hotel in the city’s tallest building – the International Commerce Centre – in Kowloon West on Sunday morning.

Man arrested over murder of wife and son at Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

“Initial examination showed multiple cut wounds were found on the neck of the woman and a cut wound was found on the throat of the boy,” Superintendent Chan Tsz-leung of Yau Tsim district said.

He said an autopsy would be carried out to ascertain the cause and time of the deaths.

As there were no signs of a struggle in the hotel room, Chan said police would also look into whether the pair had been drugged before they died.

Chief Inspector Frances Lee King-hei said police would continue to investigate the case with help from South Korean authorities and the country’s consulate in Hong Kong.

“Police will investigate the case in all directions, including the motive, as well as other details,” she said.

The consulate is closely cooperating with Hong Kong police to investigate this incident
South Korean consulate

The South Korean consulate on Monday told the Post it had been well informed of the incident from an early stage.

“The consulate is closely cooperating with Hong Kong police to investigate this incident, while providing necessary assistance to the family of the victims,” it said.

It said it would be directing further questions about what happened to the force, citing the investigation under way.

The case came to light at about 7am on Sunday, after Kim called a friend in South Korea claiming he had failed in business and that he and his family were about to commit suicide. His friend alerted South Korean police, who notified the consulate in Hong Kong.

Police rushed to the hotel at about 8.30am on Sunday after receiving a report from hotel staff.

Song and her son were found unconscious in bed and certified dead by paramedics, according to police. Officers found a 13cm ceramic knife at the scene.

Kim, suffering minor cut wounds to his hands and face, was found sitting in the living room of the suite, dressed in his underpants and unconscious.

Initial investigation indicated Kim had consumed alcohol but it was unclear whether he had taken any drugs, police said.

Chan said the man was arrested for murdering his wife and son.

The suspect was treated for minor injuries at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he was held in a custodial ward.

A police source said the South Korean family arrived in Hong Kong for a sightseeing trip on January 6 and visited Macau before returning and checking into the hotel on Wednesday.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel occupies the top floors of the 490 metre-high ICC building, overlooking Victoria Harbour. It has 312 guest rooms.

Kim’s company, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, is a franchise of the US-based confectionery manufacturer and retailer of the same name. It has more than 375 stores in the US, Canada, the Philippines and South Korea.

Additional reporting by Danny Mok and Christy Leung