Police in the northern province of Dien Bien on Thursday launched criminal investigation against a local man for allegedly killing a delivery girl and stealing her belongings in a murder that shocked the country and sparked disturbing rumor last week.
The 22-year-old victim, referred to only as D., was helping her mom sell live chickens at a market in the provincial capital of Dien Bien Phu on February 4, the last day of the previous lunar year, when a man came to buy 13 of the chickens and asked for the poultry to be delivered to his address.
The college student set off for the delivery the same afternoon, but never returned home. Her family members were unable to reach her on the phone and had no information on her whereabouts.
On February 7, the victim’s body was found at an abandoned house more than 20 kilometers from her home, wearing only her top and underpants, according to police.
Autopsy results showed D. died from being strangled. Police officers immediately launched a search for the murder suspect.
|Police officers search an abandoned house in Dien Bien Province where the body of a female college student was found days after her murder. Photo: Thanh Trung|
One week after her body was found, Dien Bien police said on Wednesday it launched a criminal investigation into D.’s murder. Vuong Van Hung, the man who ordered the delivery of the 13 chickens, was also placed under investigation for suspected “murder” and “property appropriation."
Hung, 35, has a history of three criminal charges including theft, swindling, and abusing trust to appropriate property, according to provincial police chief Sung A Hong.
Hong refutes unfounded rumor that has been circulating online that D. had been gang-raped by a group of five men for days before her killing.
“This information was not released by police, as we are still waiting for results of ongoing tests and investigation,” Hong said.
“If there is sufficient evidence to suggest Hung is guilty of another charge [other than the two he is being investigated for], we will launch an additional criminal investigation,” the police chief said.
Officers have also searched the house of Hung’s uncle, Vuong Van Nghia, where the suspect had stayed before his arrest.