A man walked into a police station last night and turned himself over to authorities, saying he had killed his wife in a fight at their apartment.
The 37-year-old man, originally from Gambia, approached Wong Tai Sin Police Station at about 9:50pm, telling officers he had killed his 40-year-old Filipino wife, a Hong Kong ID-holder, at their sub-divided flat in To Kwa Wan.
Headline Daily reports the suspect was staying in Hong Kong on a recognizance form, a temporary identification document issued by the Immigration Department — often to asylum seekers — that allows the holder to stay in the city but prohibits them from working. This form is often referred to as a “going-out pass.”
After the man was arrested, officers broke into the couple’s apartment on Pang Ching Street, where they found the woman on a bed with wounds to her head and hands. She was confirmed dead at the scene.
Speaking to reporters outside the apartment last night, Chief Inspector Samuel Lui Sze-ho from the Kowloon City police district’s crime unit said the woman could have been dead for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.
Lui said a preliminary investigation found that neighbors heard the couple arguing in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Police collected bed sheets and curtains from the scene, and Lui said the deceased might have been beaten.
The suspect first came to Hong Kong in 2012 seeking political asylum, while his wife previously worked as a domestic worker but was was currently unemployed. The pair had been living together for more than a year, HK01 reports.
The suspect remains in police custody, and authorities will conduct an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.
Though Hong Kong is a relatively safe city, violence against women, and domestic violence in particular, remains an issue.
A recent study found that women here are murdered at a higher rate than men, and that Hong Kong’s “female homicide rate is still higher than in similarly developed countries.”
Meanwhile, Social Welfare Department statistics show that there were nearly 2,400 reported cases of domestic violence perpetrated against women by intimate partners last year. However, these statistics are also said to be vastly underreported.