Four members of a family charged over the chilling murder of a Hong Kong model and influencer Abby Choi appeared in court on Monday, after police said more dismembered body parts were recovered.
Choi, 28, was reported missing on Wednesday, two days before her dismembered body parts were recovered from a large stainless steel soup pot kept and a refrigerator, police said.
Her ex-husband Alex Kwong, 28, his brother Anthony Kwong, 31 and their father Kwong Kau, 65, were charged with the murder. Her mother-in-law Jenny Li, 63, was charged with preventing the course of justice.
The four were denied bail by Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court on Monday and their case was adjourned to 8 May.
On Sunday, police discovered a skull, ribs, and hair, believed to be Choi’s remains, from a large stainless steel soup pot inside the house. The body parts were taken for forensic testing to determine if they belonged to Choi.
Choi, who had more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, shared pictures from her latest photoshoot with L’Officiel Monaco, a fashion publication, on the platform more than a week ago.
Her torso and hands are still missing while other limbs suspected to be of the model were earlier found in a refrigerator.
A meat slicer, an electric saw, and some clothing, believed to be crime evidence were recovered from the home along with her identity card, credit cards and other items.
Police suspect she was first attacked inside a van, which has been seized as evidence, before she was taken home in an unconscious state.
"There’s a hole on the right side rear on the skull, so the pathologist believes that that should be the fatal attack on the victim," the officer said.
The model had financial disputes running into tens of millions of Hong Kong dollars with her ex-husband and his family, police said earlier, adding that “some people” were unhappy with how she handled her financial assets.
Choi has four children: two sons aged 10 and three with Mr Kwong and two daughters aged eight and six with her second husband Chris Tam, her friend Bernard Cheng told Associated Press.
According to Mr Cheng’s wife Pao Jo-yee, Mr Tam said he was very thankful to have had Choi in his life and praised her for being supportive.
"When Abby was alive, she’s a very kind person and always wanted to help people," Mr Tam was quoted saying in the post. "I feel anyone who could be her family and friends are blessed."
Ms Pao said she has known Choi for over seven years and that she treated people around her well.
"She is that type of person that wouldn’t have enemies," Ms Pao said.
The incident occurred in Lung Mei Tsuen, a suburban part of Hong Kong about a 30-minute drive from the border with mainland China.
The gruesome murder of the woman is one of the most shocking murder cases in Hong Kong in a decade. The killing that happened also sent shockwaves in mainland China and was widely discussed on social media.
In 2013, a man killed his parents and their heads were found in refrigerators.
In another case in 1999, a woman was kidnapped and tortured by three members of an organised crime group. Her skull was found stuffed in a Hello Kitty doll.