Missing woman murdered and dismembered by husband: Hangzhou police
Published: Jul 25, 2020 04:27 PM

Photo: Screenshot of Pear Video

A Chinese woman, who was reported missing for 18 days, was killed by her husband who dismembered her corpse and threw her body parts in the community's septic tank, police in Hangzhou of East China's Zhejiang Province said at a press conference on Saturday. 

The woman's husband, surnamed Xu, 55, has been detained and the investigation is continuing, police said. Xu was a driver for a company in Hangzhou, according to police. 

Police said they started searching for the 51-year-old woman, surnamed Lai, after Xu reported the "missing" case to the police at 8 pm on July 6. Police said Lai is last seen in closed circuit surveillance video returning to her home at 5:04 pm on July 4.

Eighteen days after she was reported missing, police found human body tissue in the compound's septic tank. DNA tests show that the tissue was Lai's, according to the press conference. 

Police said they had searched the residential compound's elevator shafts, water tanks, storage cabinets and ventilation shaft and even nearby location before ruling out the possibility that Lai might be hiding somewhere close by.

Police said Xu confessed on Thursday that he killed Lai on July 5 because of family conflicts.

Local police said that Xu was very good at disguising his feelings during the investigation.

Xu told the police he was in bed with Lai before she disappeared. He even appealed for her return in media interviews and explained how he discovered his wife was missing, saying that they had not had any recent conflicts.

In one interview he said it was impossible Lai left the residential community because "she was not that smart," which cast suspicion on him.

Lai's long absence, the unsuccessful search and Xu's unflappable demeanor had sparked a huge reaction on social media, with some netizens speculating Lai had been murdered by Xu. 

Speculations included unfounded claims that Xu is a retired military scout who could leave no tracks after committing the crime, while other said Xu worked for the community's property management and was familiar with the surveillance system.

"Such speculation is inconsistent with the verified facts," Hangzhou police said in a Saturday statement.