A member of the University of Hong Kong’s governing council was arrested on Tuesday over the alleged murder of his wife.

Associate Professor Cheung Kie-chung of the Department of Mechanical Engineering was arrested after police found the decomposing body of his 52-year-old wife at his office. The body was inside a suitcase inside a wooden box.

Cheung Kie-chung. Photo: Stand News.

Cheung, 53, filed a missing person’s report last Monday evening. The police said Cheung filed the report claiming that he had a family dispute with his wife on August 17 before they slept. He told police he found his wife had gone missing after he awoke.

Cheung is the warden of the university’s Wei Lun Hall, where he lives with his family including his son and daughter.

Police displaying relevant evidence.

Police said a family dispute over toilet hygiene initially took place between Cheung’s wife and his daughter on the evening of August 16. The daughter then left home. In the early hours of the next day, Cheung’s wife blamed him for not supporting her during the dispute, according to police. The wife then went missing and a missing persons report was filed.

The daughter then posted missing person’s notice on the streets and online.

Photo: Handout.

Police conducted an investigation at the halls of residence. On Tuesday morning, Cheung sent an email to the hall’s students to apologise for any anxiety caused among them, explaining that the police were there to investigate a missing person case involving his family.

The police reviewed security camera footage and discovered that Cheung’s wife did not leave the hall. CCTV cameras also showed Cheung moving a large wooden box measuring around 10 by 20 by 30 inches.

The police made a surprise inspection at Cheung’s office at Haking Wong Building and found the wooden box, which was made with six wooden plates and assembled with screws and silicone glue.

The police found a soft suitcase inside the wooden box. Blood was coming out of the suitcase and it had a strong smell.

The body inside was clothed only with underwear and an electric cord was found around the victim’s neck. Police said it was believed choking could have been the cause of death. The time of death was not known.

The police said the family was well-off, had disputes occasionally but had no record of domestic violence.

Cheung was held overnight.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.