“Body in a Suitcase” Killer Blew Through $225,000 Gambling After Gruesome Murder
Posted on: April 5, 2017, 02:00h.
Last updated on: April 5, 2017, 12:58h.
An Asian man who allegedly killed and dismembered his own friend before stuffing the burned torso into a suitcase went on a £180,000 ($225,000) gambling spree just weeks after the crime, a court in the UK heard this week.
Ming Jiang, 43, stands accused of murdering fellow Chinese national and gambler Yang Liu, 36, before leaving his headless and limbless body in the suitcase at a remote driver’s rest area in rural Derbyshire. Liu’s charred remains were discovered by hikers in the area last October.
The prosecution alleges that Jiang, who was heavily in debt and described in court as an “insatiable gambler,” sought to solve his financial problems by killing his more successful friend and stealing the man’s identity. Jiang had racked up gambling debts of £273,000 ($340,000) in two casinos in Manchester, the city in the north of England where both men resided.
Jiang bought £178,000 ($222,000) in chips at a casino just two weeks after the alleged killing.
Ming Die Nasty
After stealing his former friend’s credit cards and passport, Jiang immediately began making arrangements for a “quick sale” of Liu’s property, the court heard.
“He … set about assuming the dead man’s identity, gaining access to his bank accounts and his personal effects and his apartment,” said the prosecution’s attorney, Peter Wright.
“The body was badly burned … [and] had been extensively dismembered. The head, both lower arms and both lower legs had been severed and removed. They have never been found.
“The limbs had been severed by, it would appear to be, someone who had been using some bladed form of weapon. From examination of the scene it appeared that the body must have been transported to the site and was in the suitcase when it was then set on fire.”
Jiang is also accused of using the victim’s phone to message his mother in China, saying “I okay”.
Scrambling for Alibis
Wright said that when initially questioned by police, Jiang put-up an “elaborate smokescreen of slurs,” including claiming that Liu was a paid escort for older Chinese men.
The alleged murderer was caught after his Mercedes was captured on automatic license plate recognition cameras, driving to and from the scene at the time a fire was spotted there. Several days later, the car was pulled over and impounded for having no insurance.
Tire marks at the scene matched the tires on the car, while the dead man’s DNA also matched traces of blood found in the trunk. Jiang said he had, at the time, lent his car to a friend named “Jay Wong,” but the prosecution alleges that Wong does not exist and is an alter ego of Jiang’s.
The trial continues.
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