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Model's ex-husband and in-laws charged after Hong Kong police find her body parts in refrigerator

The ex-husband and former in-laws of a slain Hong Kong model were put in custody without bail Monday on a joint murder charge, after police found parts of her body in a refrigerator. Ex-husband Alex Kwong, his father Kwong Kau and his brother Anthony Kwong were charged with murdering model Abby Choi. Kwong was arrested as he was attempting to flee the city by boat, officials said.

His mother, Jenny Li, faces one count of perverting the course of justice. The four were placed in custody without bail.

Choi, 28, was a model with more than 115,000 followers on Instagram. Her last post was Feb. 19, featuring a photoshoot she had done with fashion magazine L'Officiel Monaco.

"From Hong Kong to the cover of L'Officiel Monaco, my journey as a style icon continues," she wrote. "Grateful for this recognition and the continued support along the way."

Choi went missing Feb. 21, according to a report filed later with the Hong Kong Police.

On Friday, police found her dismembered body in a refrigerator in a house rented by Kwong Kau in Lung Mei Tsuen, a suburban part of Hong Kong about a 30-minute drive from the border with mainland China.

On Sunday, authorities discovered a young woman's skull believed to be Choi's in a cooking pot that was seized from the house. Officials believe that a hole on the right rear of the skull is where the fatal attack struck her.

The house was equipped with an electric saw and a meat grinder that had been used to mince human flesh,  police superintendent Alan Chung said.

"Two pots of stew believed to contain human tissue" were left at the scene, he added.

Choi had financial disputes involving tens of millions of Hong Kong dollars with her ex-husband and his family, police said earlier, adding that "some people" were unhappy with how Choi handled her financial assets.

"We believe the victim and her ex-husband's family had many financial disputes involving huge sums," Chung said. "Someone was dissatisfied with how the victim handled her assets, which became a motive to kill."

Police officers escort a suspect in connection with the killing of model Abby Choi, in Hong Kong
Police officers escort a 47-year-old suspect in connection with the killing of 28-year-old model Abby Choi, in Hong Kong, China, February 26, 2023 in this screenshot taken from a video. TVB/ Handout via REUTERS

Choi's friend Bernard Cheng said she had four children: two sons ages 10 and 3, and two daughters ages 8 and 6. Kwong, 28, fathered the elder two, and her current husband, Chris Tam, was the father of the younger children.

Tam said he was very thankful to have had Choi in his life and praised her for being supportive, friend Pao Jo-yee relayed in a Facebook post.

"When Abby was alive, she was a very kind person and always wanted to help people," he was quoted as saying in the post. "I feel anyone who had a chance to be her family or her friend are blessed."

Pao, who is married to Cheng, told The Associated Press that she has known Choi for over seven years.

"She was the type of person that wouldn't have enemies," she said.

Cheng said Choi had very good relationships with her family, and would travel with the families of her current and former husbands together. Choi's current father-in-law is one of the founders of a famous Hong Kong chain of Yunnan rice noodle shops, local newspaper The Standard reported.

The gruesome killing of Choi has gripped many in Hong Kong and across the border in mainland China, as the self-governed southern Chinese city is widely considered safe with a very low level of violent crime.

Her case is one of the most shocking killings Hong Kong has seen since 2013, when a man killed his parents and their heads were later found in refrigerators. In another famous 1999 case, a woman was kidnapped and tortured by three members from an organized crime group before her death. Her skull was later found stuffed in a Hello Kitty doll.

The hearing of the murder case was adjourned to May.

Abby Choi, 28-year-old model who was murdered and parts of her body were found in a village house, is seen in this picture
Abby Choi, 28-year-old model who was murdered and parts of her body were found in a village house on the outskirts of Hong Kong, China, is seen in this picture obtained from social media released on February 6, 2023.   Abby Choi via Instagram/via REUTERS

AFP contributed to this report.

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