Police in Vietnam’s Central Highlands have arrested a man suspected of killing one of his close friends to be able to maintain an affair with the victim’s wife.
Nguyen Thanh Duc, 29, has been put in custody on charges of murder and stealing assets, Lam Dong Province police said Friday.
Duc allegedly killed his close friend Vu Van Hanh and buried the corpse, having been able to conceal the murder for nearly two months.
Tran Thi Huong, wife of the victim, was also arrested on charges of hiding criminal proceeds, according to officers.
Lam Dong police said Duc had confessed to having murdered his friend after one day interrogated by officers.
Wife’s unusual reactions
Duc and Huong have emerged as prominent suspects since the case began with the missing of Hanh late last year.
According to a complaint his family lodged to police on December 22, 2016, Hanh had been unaccounted for since a week earlier.
When summoned to work with police on her missing husband, Huong showed officers several text messages on a mobile chat app, in which Hanh said he was living with his mistress in Ho Chi Minh City and never returned home.
However, police grew suspicious of Huong, as she did not appear to be in any grief or anger when knowing that her husband had abandoned her for another woman.
Police began secretly investigating the case, and later found several significant clues that confirmed their suspicions.
At the house where Hanh and Huong used to live to look after their coffee plantation, officers found two big bags hanged to the roof, and signs of the ground being dug to bury something in the backyard.
Some neighbors also gave police another important piece of clue: a pair of sandals found on the pathway leading to the coffee plantation, which were quickly identified as belonging to Duc.
Police therefore decided to summon Huong to work again on February 15.
Duc points to the burial site of his friend.
Officers also opened the two bags at the plantation, finding inside a mosquito net, a blanket and blood-stained clothes.
Huong had appeared calm when working with officers, until she was showed those items.
The woman then confessed that she and Duc, one of the closest friends of her husband’s, had been in an affair since June 2016 and “had been to the hotel together,” implying they had engaged in sexual intercourse.
Huong also confessed that it was Duc who killed her husband and buried his body.
Duc was arrested soon after, and confessed to his acts, too.
Can’t stand seeing mistress abused by husband
According to Duc’s confession, he was with the victim’s family for the entire day on December 14, 2016.
On the following night, the two men left for a drinking party at a neighbor’s house and returned at 9:30 pm.
Duc slept over that night, sharing the bed with the friend he would kill, his wife and their son.
Duc said he had in fact been unable to sleep, with the scenes of Huong being scolded by her husband the day before repeatedly flashing in his mind.
At 2:00 pm on December 16, Duc woke up, rushed to take a knife he had hidden in his motorbike, and returned to the bed, pretending to continue his sleep.
Thirty minutes later, still in lying position, Duc turned to Hanh and stabbed him in his left chest.
The wife witnessed everything and was about to scream, when Duc stopped her, asking her to keep silent.
The adultery couple then took the body of Hanh to the backyard and ‘temporarily buried’ him there.
Duc would return later that night, took the body out and ‘officially buried’ him at a land plot 500m away from his coffee plantation.
Duc then informed Huong of the burial via a phone call, to which she said “things could not be undone now so you should bury him properly, and we should visit him and burn incenses when we have free time.”
Duc and Huong then used the victim’s phone to fabricate the text messages saying he had left his wife to live with another woman in Ho Chi Minh City.
The suspect told police that he had killed his friend to be able to live with Huong, after seeing the woman repeatedly scolded and cursed at by her husband.