Police are investigating the deaths of five people in a family in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City, whose bodies were found on Thursday evening after a friend discovered a foul smell coming from their house and notified law enforcement.
Initial scene investigation showed that they had been victims of a mass murder, police said, adding that they are working to narrow down a list of suspects.
According to official reports, a friend of the family had arrived at their house in Binh Tan District on Wednesday to deliver a chicken, which was to be cooked as offerings – a tradition observed by Vietnamese families during Tet, or the Lunar New Year festival.
As nobody answered the door, the friend left and returned the next day only to find that the door was still locked with no signs of human activity inside.
Discovering a foul smell coming from inside the house, the friend notified local law enforcers.
As the house was guarded by a hostile German Shepherd, it took officers a while to put the dog under control to enter the building for inspection.
|Curious onlookers gather outside the crime scene of a suspected mass murder at a house in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
All five members of the family were found dead at different locations inside the house, with slashing and stabbing wounds caused by a sharp weapon on their bodies.
The victims include house owners Mai Xuan Chinh, 46, and his wife Mai Thi Hong, 37, as well as their three children Mai Xuan Trieu, 13, Mai Huyen Dieu, 11, and Mai Huyen Diep, 6.
They might have been dead for several days judging by the state of their bodies, according to police reports.
According to the family’s neighbors, the father was a smith who ran a small workshop making stainless steel products that employed some dozen workers.
The family held a year-end party on Monday (February 12), and has not been seen since then, with neighbors assuming that they must have returned to their hometown for Tet.
|Police investigate the crime scene of a suspected mass murder at a house in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre|