Ta Duy Khanh, the suspect, was arrested on Saturday in his hometown in Thai Binh province, bordering Hanoi. Police have not announced a motive for the alleged killing.
Ta Duy Khanh, suspect in the murder and disembodiment of a 17-year-old girl in Hanoi. Photo from CAND
Tran Manh Dat, a fisherman, and his wife found the victim’s leg floating on the river around noon on Friday. Another fisherman found the head 100 meters away. They called the police who arrived at the scene after 15 minutes.
Dat joined the police search and found the other leg three hours later as it floated to the surface of the river.
After sailing along both banks of the river more than 10 times and not finding the rest of the body, he decided to walk along the river bank.
He then noticed a strange smell in a place, about twenty meters from the main road, where dozens of stones were piled up on an old blanket. He called other people while he cleared the rocks. There was a layer of fresh concrete underneath, then a layer of additional rocks, all to hide the last part of the body, the torso, which was covered with another blanket.
Dat, who has been fishing the river for more than 10 years, said he has seen many drowned bodies, but Friday’s discovery was “the most horrific.”
He suggested that more than one person had participated in cutting up the body and hiding the parts. He also guessed that the victim had been killed about two or three days before, the normal time for coins to float.
An area along the Red River in Hanoi where part of the body was found on October 13, 2023. Photo by Minh Hoang
All body parts were then taken to hospital for examination.
Police determined the victim was a 17-year-old girl who was a finalist in a aodai beauty contest at the start of the year.
The victim is the second child of three siblings, his mother said after his funeral Sunday afternoon.
She said the girl had rented a house to live on her own several months ago.
The mother said she lost contact with her daughter starting Oct. 11 and three days later police asked her to come identify a body.
When she first looked at the photos and saw a lotus tattoo on her right leg, she “immediately recognized” her daughter. But she didn’t believe it was his body until after the DNA results.
The mother said that after the beauty pageant, her daughter took up different jobs and led a quiet life.
The investigation is ongoing.