Police Found the Missing Skull of a Murdered Socialite in a Pot of Soup

After deploying dogs and drones, scouring a cemetery, and searching sewage manholes, police in Hong Kong have found the missing skull of a socialite whose gruesome murder has shocked the city.

The discovery of her remains in a soup pot over the weekend provided more grisly details about the chilling killing of Abby Choi Tin-fung, a 28-year-old socialite and mother of four who went missing on Tuesday last week.

Her ex-husband and three members of his family have been arrested and charged in connection with her murder. A local court denied them bail on Monday.

Police found Choi’s dismembered legs in a refrigerator and her belongings, including credit cards and ID card, at a village house on the outskirts of the city on Friday, three days after she failed to pick up her child from school. Officers collected evidence including a meat grinder and cleavers, an electric saw, black raincoats, gloves, face shields, and two pots containing what were later confirmed to be human tissue.

Police said they believed the murder was carefully plotted as the walls and windows of the apartment were covered in tarpaulin and the apartment was rented just weeks ago by Choi’s former father-in-law, Kwong Kau.

Choi’s ex-husband Alex Kwong was arrested at a pier on Saturday, when he was allegedly trying to flee the city by boat carrying HK$500,000 ($64,000) in cash and Patek Philippe watches worth more than HK$4 million ($510,000). His brother, who was also Choi’s chauffeur, was also arrested.

The three men were jointly charged with one count of murder. Choi’s ex-mother-in-law, who was allegedly aware of the plot, was charged with perverting the course of justice. 

“We believe the victim and her ex-husband’s family had many financial disputes involving huge sums,” police superintendent Alan Chung told reporters on Saturday. “Someone was dissatisfied with how the victim handled her assets.”

Police on Sunday arrested a fifth person believed to be connected to the crime. A 47-year-old woman, surnamed Ng and allegedly the lover of Choi’s ex-father-in-law, was accused of helping him rent the apartment in the suburban district of Tai Po, where Choi’s remains were found, and renting another flat to hide Alex Kwong when he was allegedly on the run.

Police spent days searching for missing body parts, only to find the skull in a pot from the initial crime scene at the village house. At a briefing on Sunday night, police said they found the skull with hair attached, several ribs, and human tissue that they believe belong to the victim inside a large pot of soup alongside radishes. More human bones were also found in a second, smaller pot.

Explaining why they did not locate the skull earlier, Chung said the pot was filled with liquid and covered in layers of coagulated fat. “Forensic experts said it was not suitable to conduct any test at the scene. And to protect the evidence, we decided to transport the pot to the mortuary for examination,” Chung said. 

Choi was likely attacked in a seven-seater car, where blood spatters were found, and unconscious when transported to the site, he added. Forensic experts also found a hole measuring 6.5cm by 5.5cm in the skull behind the right ear, which they believe could be the blow that killed Choi.

According to local reports, Choi and Kwong met as students and had two children, aged 10 and 8. Following their divorce, she started a new relationship and had another two children with Chris Tam Chuk-Kwan, the son of the founder of TamJai Yunnan Mixian, a popular noodle chain in Hong Kong. 

After the divorce, she continued to provide for her ex-husband and her former in-laws, housing them in a HK$72 million ($9.2 million) luxury apartment that she bought under Kwong Kau’s name.

Before her death, Choi had tried to sell the property and it led to a dispute, Choi’s friend told the local newspaper Mingpao.

According to her social media accounts, Choi had an active social life and often attended fashion shows in Paris, film screenings, and other brand events. She reportedly came from a wealthy family that runs a construction business in China’s Hainan island and had a personal net worth of more than HK$100 million ($12.75 million).

Local outlets also reported that Choi’s former father-in-law, Kwong Kau, was accused of raping a woman in 2005 when he was investigating a case as a police sergeant. He quit the force the same year but was never charged. 

Follow Rachel Cheung on Twitter and Instagram.


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