Taipei--Police said Friday that they had cracked the case of the murder of a local model for online commercials, who was found sexually abused and strangled, pinning the death on her friend's boyfriend, a 23-year-old already wanted for a number of offenses.
The man, identified as Cheng Yu (??) by local news tabloid Apple Daily, confessed to the crimes during police interrogation that day.
According to police, the model, born in 1993 and surnamed Chen (?), had been a friend of a woman surnamed Liang (?) for over two years. With Liang's assistance, Cheng, who claimed to work as a consultant at a perfume company, invited Chen for a business meeting in Nangang District March 1.
Chen's family reported her missing on Thursday, the same day as staff at a hotel in Taichung discovered a mobile phone in a storage room next to an elevator and later learned that the phone belonged to a missing woman after answering a call from Chen's sister. The hotel then informed local police.
The police identified Cheng through CCTV images provided by the hotel as the person who had discarded the phone. They caught Cheng and his girlfriend at the hotel as they were preparing to check out and found that the man was on a wanted list for his involvement in several other crimes, including fraud and offenses against morality.
The couple was then taken to the Taichung City Police Department for questioning. Meanwhile, hotel staff found Chen's personal belongings, including her identity card and national health insurance card, in a garbage bin in the room where Cheng and Liang had stayed.
During questioning, Cheng confessed that he lured Chen to an abandoned shopping center in Taipei's Nangang District, where he strangled the woman and robbed her of her credit cards and cash.
Taichung and Taipei police found Chen's body in the shopping center overnight based on Cheng's account. As the dead woman was not wearing panties, the police suspected that she might have been sexually assaulted before being strangled.
The police charged Cheng with robbery and homicide, and turned him over to the Shilin District Prosecutors Office in Taipei for further investigation.
As for Liang, who claimed to have had no part in Cheng's actions, the police said she is also under investigation, as she was discovered to be wearing the dead woman's watch, which she claimed to have been a gift from Chen.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel