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Court approves detention of suspect in New Taipei triple homicide

05/13/2024 08:16 PM
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The main suspect (center, in black) in the alleged triple homicide in New Taipei is escorted by the police before he was handed over the the prosecutors on Monday. CNA photo May 13, 2024
The main suspect (center, in black) in the alleged triple homicide in New Taipei is escorted by the police before he was handed over the the prosecutors on Monday. CNA photo May 13, 2024

New Taipei, May 13 (CNA) A New Taipei court on Monday approved a request by prosecutors to detain and hold incommunicado a man suspected of murdering his wife, stepson, and mother-in-law in the city's Sanchong District.

The 24-year-old suspect, surnamed Chang (張), was ordered detained due to the severity of the case and the risk that he could try to flee or destroy evidence, the New Taipei District Court said in a statement to reporters.

Chang was arrested in Taichung Sunday after three members of his family -- his 30-year-old wife, surnamed Chen (陳), her 69-year-old mother, surnamed Liu (劉), and his 3-year-old stepson -- were found dead at an upscale Sanchong residence where they all lived on Saturday night, according to Sanchong Precinct police.

Chang was brought back to the precinct after police found him at a rented address in Taichung at 11:10 a.m. Sunday.

Photo courtesy of local authorities May 12, 2023
Photo courtesy of local authorities May 12, 2023

The case came to light after a woman identified as Liu's eldest daughter said she was unable to contact her mother for several days.

She said that when she went to her home on Saturday afternoon, there was a foul smell coming from the apartment, which prompted her to report the matter to the police.

A locksmith was called to open the door of the residence and three bodies were discovered wrapped in separate blankets on the same bed. The three were determined to have been dead for some time, according to police.

Police said that on entering the apartment, they found the door of the bedroom locked, but there were no visible wounds on the bodies and no signs of a struggle at the scene.

On Sunday morning, forensic experts conducted an examination of the bodies and found no evident external injuries. Autopsies will be conducted to determine the cause of deaths, police added.

Police said Chang admitted during questioning that he had murdered his three family members due to a financial dispute. They did not provide additional details, however, and the case is still under investigation by prosecutors.

(By Wang Hong-kuo, Sunrise Huang, Evelyn Kao and Matthew Mazzetta)

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