Young pair arrested in HK after discovery of 2 deceased Infants in bottles
Published: Mar 13, 2024 12:11 AM
Handcuffs Photo: CFP

Handcuffs Photo: CFP

A young man and a young woman were arrested after two infants were found in glass jars in a flat in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in a horrifying case, as reported by local media outlets.

The alarming discovery was made by a cleaner who was tidying up the vacated apartment on Friday. The bottles were 30 centimeters in height, and the bodies showed no obvious signs of injury, Chief Inspector Au Yeung Tak of the New Territories North division told reporters.

The bodies were "soaked in liquid and kept in bottles," according to Hong Kong local broadcaster RTHK. The young couple, believed to be the parents, now face charges of failing to conduct a lawful burial of a body, as stated by the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF).

The two infants, whose bodies were found in glass jars, were boys, with one born in 2023 and the other in 2022, according to a court hearing on Monday, where the young couple suspected of being their parents were present, as reported by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

The SCMP quoted a source familiar with the case, suggesting that the dead infants may have been stillborn, as indicated by their sizes.

DNA tests are yet to be conducted to verify if the suspects are the biological parents of the deceased infants, as the babies did not have birth records. The suspects are a 24-year-old man surnamed Lam and a 22-year-old woman surnamed Chow, believed to be a couple who previously resided together in the flat, according to the HKPF. The police believe the male suspect has ties to triad societies.

The preliminary autopsies were also unable to determine the time or cause of death, as reported by the police, according to the SCMP.

"This case is a tragedy, and we appeal to the public, especially pregnant women and expectant parents, to seek professional medical advice and take proper care of their babies," said the HKPF.

The case was brought to trial at the Fanling Magistrates' Court on Monday. The judge, upon the prosecution's request, adjourned the case to June 3 for further hearing to await DNA comparison and relevant medical reports to confirm the cause of death of the infants. The two defendants are to remain in custody, with their bail reviewed on March 19. They did not apply for bail.

Under Hong Kong's law, prevention of lawful burial constitutes a maximum sentence of seven years' imprisonment.

This case has also sparked widespread discussion on the Chinese internet in recent days. Many netizens, while expressing condemnation, described the case as "frightening, like a thriller plot," and called for the standardization of procedures for registering the birth of infants.