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Plumber's grisly find lands pair in court

A FATHER and daughter are to go on trial in connection with the murder and dismemberment of a woman over a 500,000 yuan (US$73,000) debt, prosecutors in Shanghai's Baoshan District said yesterday.

The two suspects were seized after remains of the body were discovered by a plumber on January 6.

The case was referred to Shanghai People's Procuratorate's No. 2 branch on Saturday and is expected to be heard by Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.

The father is said to have told police that his 31-year-old daughter killed the woman because the victim had failed to pay back a debt.

The daughter, who ran photo studios in Shanghai, met the victim, from southwest China's Sichuan Province, in 1998 and the two soon became friends.

The daughter had lent the victim nearly 500,000 yuan for joint businesses, but none of them was successful, according to Baoshan prosecutors.

Sleeping pills

The daughter owed another friend nearly 300,000 yuan at the end of last year but was unable to pay it back. She is said to have asked the victim to pay back the money the friend owed but instead was asked for another 150,000 yuan as a matter of urgency.

She then decided to kidnap the victim and ask her son to pay the debt, prosecutors said. She rented an apartment on Xingzhi Road on December 26 and asked her friend to meet her there on January 2.

The victim passed out after drinking a cup of coffee laced with ground-up sleeping pills, prosecutors allege.

The daughter then tied up the victim, prosecutors said.

But then, afraid the woman would wake up and call the police, the daughter then suffocated her with a plastic bag. She then sent text messages to the victim's son asking for money.

Two days later she allegedly asked her father to help deal with the body. At first he said she should surrender to police but later agreed to help her.

He cut the body into pieces and tried to flush some of the parts down the toilet, authorities said.

But this caused the sewage pipe to become blocked and a plumber was called. He called the police after he discovered what the problem was. The two suspects were trying to drive away from the scene when the police arrived.


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