A university professor has been arrested on suspicion of killing his wife after police found a body stuffed into a suitcase in his office, the latest grisly murder to transfix the crowded city of Hong Kong.
Officers discovered the body of a woman, wearing only her underwear and with electric wire around her neck, hidden in a suitcase inside a large wooden box in 53-year-old Cheung Kie-chung’s office at the University of Hong Kong.
The associate professor from the Department of Mechanical Engineering had reported his wife missing on Monday 20 August, claiming she had not returned home following an argument.
Police said they became suspicious of Cheung after CCTV footage failed to show his wife leaving their home, while Cheung was also seen moving a large wooden box out of the premises.
On Tuesday afternoon police searched Cheung’s office, a five minute drive from the dormitory on the leafy campus where he lives with his wife and children.
“There was blood seeping out from the suitcase and it stank,” superintendent Law Kwok-hoi told reporters Tuesday night.
He said the victim might have been strangled, but the identity and the cause of death still needed to be confirmed by a post-mortem examination.
He added that Cheung told investigators he had a dispute with his wife on the night she disappeared over the toilet hygiene of their elder daughter.
Cheung is also the warden of the dormitory where his family lives and a member of the university’s governing council.
The latest murder comes as another Hong Kong academic is currently on trial for using a yoga ball filled with carbon monoxide to kill his wife and daughter.
The southern Chinese city, famed for its cramped housing but low crime rate, is occasionally rocked by high-profile murders that dominate media coverage and often involve gruesome attempts to hide or dispose of bodies.
In 2016, British banker Rurik Jutting was jailed for life for the murder of two Indonesian women in Hong Kong, stuffing one of their bodies in a suitcase and placing it on his balcony.
The year before, a local man was jailed for chopping up his parents and storing their body parts in a freezer.