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August 7, 2009

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Ex-professor found nearly decapitated

A RETIRED professor was found murdered in his apartment in Shanghai's Changning District yesterday morning - the victim of a killer who chopped off a hand and nearly severed his head.

The body of 88-year-old Shao Wangyu, a former professor at the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, was carried from his residence on Gubei Road at about 2:30pm, witnesses said.

The only person living with the victim, a maid, was missing, Changning District police said. Officers did not disclose whether she was a suspect.

The maid, a 59-year-old Jiangsu Province native, was last seen walking with the victim on Monday, said Xu Guolin, Shao's barber.

Officers cordoned off the building after receiving a report of the crime at 10:30am, Changning District police said.

A woman surnamed Huang, who lives in Shao's apartment building, became suspicious when she knocked at the retiree's door and no one answered.

Using a ladder to look through a window at the top of the door, she spotted the victim on the floor, according to the news Website

Shao had been dead for at least two days, a police officer at the scene said. One hand was cut off and the victim was nearly decapitated, the officer said.

"It was cruel," said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous.

The maid had worked for Shao for 18 years, and she was seen leaving the building to buy food or walk with Shao nearly every day. Xu said the two had a close relationship and were almost like a married couple.

"I can't believe she would have killed him," Xu said. "They were always hand in hand, laughing and joking with each other."

But Xu said Shao attempted to fire the maid recently, promising to give her tens of thousands yuan in "compensation." "He said the maid asked for more than 1 million yuan."

Shao also told him the maid had been confined on two occasions in a mental hospital.

Shao's wife died years ago, neighbors said. He had a daughter living overseas and a son who was killed in a car accident, Xu said.


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