Strangler of 2 women in Macau caught in Hunan: police

2022-05-18 03:54     BY William Chan    Comment:0

The killer of the two dead women found inside a guestroom of a Cotai casino-hotel resort was apprehended yesterday morning in a town in Hunan province by the Public Security Bureau (PSB), Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Ho Chan Nam said at a press conference yesterday.

According to Ho, the male suspect, surnamed Zhao, is a 34-year-old mainlander from the nation’s northeast. The two victims were in their thirties and were also from mainland.

According to Ho, the Judiciary Police received a call from the Fire Services Bureau (CB) in the wee hours of May 5 after a staff member of the hotel had discovered the bodies of two naked females in the guestroom, with strangulation marks on their necks and no valuables in the room. 

Ho said that both women were strangled to death. PJ officers identified the suspect who arrived in Macau at the end of April and stayed in multiple hotels until May 5.

Ho said that Zhao stayed in a hotel guestroom on May 5 that was registered in the name of someone else. According to Ho, the guestroom soon afterwards became the  crime scene of a double murder after Zhao lured the first victim, who was running a currency exchange service, into the room and strangled her to death. On May 6, after the victim was strangled to death with the belt of a bathrobe, the casino surveillance camera system (CCTV) captured Zhao buying chips worth over HK$600,000, which he gambled away. 

Ho said that later that day Zhao lured his second victim, who the police believe was a sex worker, from the hotel lobby to his room. He then also strangled her with the bathrobe belt and left the hotel two hours later, according to Ho.

According to Ho, no one else entered the room besides Zhao and the two victims before the dead bodies were eventually found by a hotel employee on May 7. 

Ho said that although the suspect had been wearing a wig as well as a hat during his stay in Macau, he was identified on the same day. Ho was quick to add that Zhao fled to the mainland through the Barrier Gate checkpoint on May 6.

Ho told the press that with the cooperation of several Macau and mainland law enforcement agencies, Zhao was arrested by the Hunan Public Security Bureau in a town in the province. He did not name the town. Hunan lies some 700 kilometres north of Macau. 

Ho did not disclosed Zhao’s motive, nor whether he would be transferred from the mainland to stand trial in Macau. 

A local lawyer told The Macau Post Daily yesterday afternoon that he believed that Zhao, a mainlander, would be tried in the mainland as the two victims were mainlanders. If tried in the mainland, he will face capital punishment. If tried in Macau, the maximum sentence would be 25 years behind bars. 

Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Ho Chan Nam (left), accompanied by an unnamed PJ investigator, looks on during yesterday’s press conference at the PJ headquarters about the double murder.
Photo courtesy of TDM

This undated video capture from CCTV footage provided by the Hunan Police Security Bureau (PSB) shows the suspected double murderer.

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