TAIPEI (Taiwan News ) — The suspect behind the grisly murder and dismemberment of a Chinese Malaysian woman was found dead inside an apartment in Keelung on Sunday evening (Jan. 12).
After police started a manhunt for a 45-year-old man surnamed Lin (林) wanted for allegedly murdering a 26-year-old woman surnamed Teng (鄧) earlier that day, the Keelung Fire Department received a report that the body of a man matching his description had been found in an apartment on Baisan Street in Keelung's Qidu District at 5:51 p.m. Sunday evening. Firefighters confirmed that the man was dead and immediately informed the police.
Chen Wei-jen (陳偉仁), the chief investigator of the Wanhua Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department, told reporters at a press conference that the fingerprints of the deceased matched those of Lin. Chen said that Lin had apparently broken into an apartment where he had previously lived, set charcoal alight, and apparently asphyxiated from the fumes.
Chen said that the owner of the apartment had been away for two days and that when he returned home, he stumbled on Lin's corpse. The apartment's owner said that he did not know Lin and was not sure how he had broken in, as the windows and door were all tightly sealed without any signs of damage.
A neighbor surnamed Wang (王), who lives on nearby Fuyi Street, said that he had passed a man wearing a black down coat at about 11:30 a.m. on Sunday as he was walking downstairs to go out, according the report. He said he had thought it odd because Lin was not a known resident of the building.
Wang said that neighbors started to notice that the hot water had stopped running when they tried to bathe. When they went to the top floor to check the gas tank, they found that the gas pipeline had been ripped off.
The residents then found a coat and mobile phone nearby on the ground. When they checked the phone, they found a suicide note that read, "I'm sorry, by the time you see this message I will have already died,".
When Wang returned home on Sunday, his neighbors told him of the strange scene on the top floor and reports of a manhunt for a murder suspect. He then notified police and confirmed that the man in the black coat seen in police surveillance footage was the same individual he had seen walking down the stairs.
On Jan. 6, the Taipei Police Department's Wanhua Precinct received a report that Teng, who was working in catering in Taiwan, had gone missing. After officers found her room to be empty, officers questioned her four neighbors, who each lived in a small suite separated by a partition.
Police said that when they questioned Lin, he had a calm demeanor and there was no sign of Teng. However, they noticed the strong smell of disinfectant emanating from his bathroom.
Police confirmed that Lin had a prior criminal record, including armed robbery with a knife in 2005. Police found that Lin had received NT$10,000 from Teng's bank account after the crime, causing them to become highly suspicious.
At a press conference on Sunday, Wanhua Precinct police said that Lin is the prime suspect in the homicide case because after being questioned, he had abandoned his belongings and apparently gone into hiding. Surveillance footage showed Lin carry two cardboard boxes out of his room and place them in a rental car, which he drove to a mountainous area of Keelung.
After police tracked the suspect's movements, they found Teng's remains in a wooded area of the mountains of Keelung on Saturday. To their horror, they discovered that her body had been dismembered, wrapped in cotton quilts, and placed in two cardboard boxes.