Police search for evidence in slain Hong Kong model case

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police began scouring the mainland Tuesday for evidence linked to the brutal killing of model Abby Choi, whose body parts were found in refrigerators and pots.

Ex-husband Alex Kwong, her father Kwong Gao and her brother Anthony Kwong were charged with murder. A house rented by Guang Kao in the suburbs of Hong Kong near the border with China. Alex Kwong’s mother, Jenny Li, faces a charge of perverting the course of justice. All four were jailed without bail.

They have yet to enter their pleas, and their attorneys do not appear to have commented to the media about the case. The hearing was adjourned until May.

On Tuesday morning, more than 100 officers, wearing protective gear, went to the northeastern New Territory landfill in Ta Kwu Ling, about a 15-minute drive from mainland China, to search for missing body parts with excavators and shovels. Police had earlier said they were still searching for his hands and torso.

“The suspects threw away several bags of evidence on the morning of Feb. 22. They could be some human body parts, or they could be the victim’s clothes and phone, or they could be weapons,” Superintendent Alan Chung told reporters.

Chung said they have yet to find anything substantial except for the bones, which police cannot determine whether they are human or animal.

Choi’s family, dressed in black, gathered near the house where his body parts were kept Respect must be paid. They had previously visited a mortuary to identify her. Some mourners were emotional, but the family did not respond to questions from reporters.

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Alex Kwong appeared in another court on Tuesday for an earlier theft case, where he was granted bail.

Another woman, who was arrested on charges of helping other suspects in the case, has been released on bail pending further investigation, police said. She is believed to have had an affair with her ex-husband’s father, the force previously said.

Choi, who had more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, went missing on February 21, according to a report later filed with Hong Kong police. Her last post was on February 19, featuring her photo shoot with fashion magazine L’Officiel Monaco.

Choi had financial disputes with her ex-husband and his family involving tens of thousands of Hong Kong dollars (millions of dollars), police said, adding that “some people” were unhappy with how Choi handled his finances.

The gruesome killing has upended many in Hong Kong and mainland China, as the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city has one of the lowest rates of violent crime.

Choi’s friend Bernard Cheng earlier said he first thought she had been kidnapped.

“I never imagined that someone so good, so loving, so innocent, so innocent, would be killed like this,” he said. “My heart is still heavy. I couldn’t sleep well”

Cheng said Choi has four children between the ages of 3 and 10. Alex Kwong, 28, the father of the two, is looked after by Choi’s mother. Choi is remarried to Chris Tam, the father of the younger children, who stays with her family.

Cheng said Choi had a good relationship with her family, including her in-laws, and would travel together with the families of her current and former husbands.

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Although violent crime is rare in Hong Kong, the case brings to mind some shocking murders. In 2013, a man killed his parents and their heads were later found in a refrigerator. In another infamous 1999 case, a woman was kidnapped and tortured by three members of an organized crime group before her death. His skull was later found stuffed in a Hello Kitty doll.

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