Missing woman in E China dead, husband detained
Published: Jul 24, 2020 01:40 AM

Photo: Screenshot of Pear Video

A woman from Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, whose mysterious 18-day disappearance attracted huge public attention and social media speculation, has been found dead and her husband has been put under criminal coercive measures, local police said Thursday night. 

The police statement didn't say if the woman's body had been recovered or what charges her husband might face. 

The 53-year-old woman, surnamed Lai, was reported missing on July 5 by her husband, surnamed Xu, who claimed he was sleeping by her side before she disappeared.

A suction sewage vehicle was allegedly seen near the residential community where the woman lived on Thursday, reported, sparking speculations that her body was found in the compound, which was not confirmed in the police statement. 

Lai's family called the police on the afternoon of July 6 after finding no clues to her whereabouts. She was believed to have left wearing pajamas and a pair of sports shoes, and didn't take other belongings such as her cellphone or ID, Xinhua reported on Sunday. 

The police have checked all surveillance cameras in the building, residential compound, and nearby streets and searched the basements, rooftops and swimming pools in the compound but failed to find any trace of the woman. 

Lai's sudden disappearance soon triggered widespread speculation with many netizens pointing a finger at Xu.

"People might think we had a quarrel or something, prompting her to leave like this, but actually we have not had any conflicts recently," Xu said in an interview with a Zhejiang-based news program on July 15. 

Despite his unflappable demeanor, many netizens said that it was unusual the Xu waited 36 hours to call the police. 

The case is still under investigation, said the police's statement.