A University of Hong Kong professor has been arrested on suspicion of killing his wife after police found a body stuffed in a suitcase in his office, the latest grisly murder to transfix the crowded city.
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 the office of 53-year-old Cheung Kie-chung.
The associate professor from the Department of Mechanical Engineering had reported his wife missing on August 20, saying she had not returned home after an argument.
Police said they became suspicious of Cheung after CCTV footage failed to show his wife leaving their home, while Cheung was 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 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 on 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.
Law said Cheung told investigators he had a dispute with his wife on the night she disappeared over toilet hygiene.
Cheung is also the warden of the dormitory where his family lives and a member of the university’s governing council.
Zhang Xiang, the university president, said Wednesday he was shocked and saddened at the murder and described it as a tragedy. He said the university would offer support to students and colleagues affected.
Another Hong Kong academic is currently on trial for using a yoga ball filled with carbon monoxide to kill his wife and daughter inside a car.
The southern Chinese city, famed for its cramped housing but low crime rate, is occasionally rocked by high-profile murders that 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.
He stuffed one of their bodies in a suitcase and placed 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.