By Casey Quackenbush
August 30, 2018

A university professor in Hong Kong has been charged with murder after his wife’s body was discovered inside a suitcase, the latest case of a gruesome killing in a city typically ranked among the world’s safest.

Cheung Kie-chung, 53, was charged Wednesday a day after police raided his office on the University of Hong Kong campus and found his wife’s decomposing body, Agence France-Presse reports.

Wearing only underwear and with an electrical wire wrapped around her neck, her body was reportedly stuffed inside a suitcase that was stowed in a large wooden box.

“There was blood seeping out from the suitcase and it stank,” said Superintendent Law Kwok-hoi. Law said the victim could have been strangled, but a post-mortem would need to be conducted to confirm the cause of death.

Cheung reported his wife missing on Aug. 20, claiming she did not come home following a dispute over bathroom hygiene three days prior. Police became suspicious after CCTV footage did not produce any sign of her leaving the dormitory where they lived with their children. The footage did appear to show him leaving the property with a large crate.

An associate professor from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cheung is also a member of the university’s governing council and a warden at the dormitory roughly a five-minute drive from his office.

“I’m sure you are as saddened and shocked as I am,” the university’s new president Zhang Xiang told new students at an event for incoming freshmen, according the South China Morning Post. “Our thoughts are with those who are affected and the university will be providing the necessary assistance to them at this very difficult time.”

The semiautonomous Chinese region of Hong Kong, a densely populated financial hub, has been the site of several particularly grisly murders in the past.

In 2016, British banker Rurik Jutting was convicted of murdering two Indonesian women, one of whom was also stuffed into a suitcase. Last week, a Hong Kong doctor was accused of killing his wife and daughter with a carbon monoxide-filled yoga ball.

Cheung will make his first court appearance Thursday.

Write to Casey Quackenbush at casey.quackenbush@time.com.

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