This undated photo shows the headquarters of the Hong Kong Police Force in Hong Kong. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
HONG KONG – A man who allegedly bludgeoned a female neighbor to death with a crowbar during a burglary attempt at her flat in Kwai Chung in March has been learned to have died in Japan after fleeing Hong Kong.
A suicide note found at the scene in April suggests he committed suicide “to avoid punishment”, the Hong Kong Police Force said in a statement on Saturday.
Police were called to the property on 15 Kwai Yi Road on March 14 after the 63-year-old victim's partner found her lying dead in a living room and the flat ransacked.
The Regional Crime Unit of New Territories South identified the suspect to be a man who lived in an adjacent unit on the same floor, finding a pair of blood-stained sneakers in his home. They also learnt that the suspect left for Japan from the Hong Kong International Airport around 5pm the same day, before the case was reported to police.
Japanese police informed Hong Kong investigators body of the absconding suspect and a suicide note were found in Yamanashi Prefecture on April 6
The victim sustained a fatal head injury and a crowbar stained with her blood was seized at the scene. Police later seized a pair of sneakers stained with the victim’s blood in the suspect’s room.
The unit had been ransacked and five diamond rings, a mobile phone, a watch, five bank cards, and a small amount of cash worth about HK$130,000 in total were found to be missing from the unit, according to police.
Investigation revealed that the suspect entered the neighbor’s unit by stealing her backup key, but was later caught in red-handed by her. “The male suspect was believed to have killed the deceased with a crowbar and fled after changing his clothes in his unit,” reads the police statement.
The suspect acted alone, it added.
Hong Kong investigators, who sought assistance from Japan’s law enforcement agency in locating the suspect over the past month, were informed by them on April 6 that body of a man suspected to be the absconding Hong Kong suspect was found in the suburbs of Yamanashi Prefecture that day.
A suicide note was found at the scene regarding the thought of committing suicide to avoid punishment, said the statement.
“Japan’s law enforcement agency has recently confirmed the identity of the deceased and handed over the body to his family,” it adds.
Police have been following up on the developments and investigation is still underway.