TAIPEI, Taiwan - Kaohsiung prosecutors yesterday sought to detain an alleged killer, suspected of murdering a female university student in Tainan and burning her body in Kaohsiung to cover up the crime.
The alleged murder of the student by a classmate, surnamed Huang, may also have involved rape, according to an ongoing investigation by Kaohsiung police. The victim's body was found burning in Kaohsiung's mountainous Shoushan region. Huang was later taken back to the scene of the crime to retrace his alleged actions.
The court began procedural hearings at 11 p.m. late last night.
The unnamed victim, a student at Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, was allegedly killed by Huang, also a student at the university. Huang is suspected to have used his motorcycle to transport the victim approximately 50 kilometers from Tainan to dispose of the body. He was reportedly discovered near a pile of burning brush by police. When authorities asked whether he was reporting the fire or had started it, Huang initially told police that he was a tourist. Huang only later admitted to the killing of his classmate after police discovered the victim's body, authorities said.
According to initial reports, Huang claimed that he had tried to restrain the victim after she refused his romantic advances. Huang said that the victim had recently separated from her boyfriend, and that he had expressed concern toward her and later romantic feelings, which he said she rejected. Huang has reportedly expressed regret for committing the crime.
Investigators at the Kaohsiung City Police Department, Cishan Precinct expressed doubts over Huang's account. Further investigation by police revealed that the victim, Huang and another man surnamed Chen were together for three straight days starting from March 6. They travelled and slept in the same room - Chen and the victim slept together on a bed and later on the floor, alternating with Huang, who slept on the floor that night and on the bed on March 7. After Chen left for Taichung, Huang and the victim shared the bed on the night of the 8th.
The victim's body showed bruising at the neck and bloated blood vessels in her brain indicated that she may have been strangled. Police are investigating whether Huang sexually assaulted the victim before she was killed. Huang allegedly admitted that he raped his victim after she had lost consciousness. Due to burns covering over 90 per cent of the victim's body, laboratory work will be required.
The victim, a first-year student majoring in infant and childcare, was described as academically outstanding and also participated in the university dancing club. Fellow students described Huang as an extrovert who had good interpersonal relations and who also participated in student organisations. Huang's father is responsible for investigative work at the Miaoli County Police Bureau.