Police crack cold case of female taxi driver's death

Li Qian
THREE men who allegedly killed a woman 13 years ago have been tracked down thanks to advances in DNA technology, prosecutors in Qingpu District said yesterday.
Li Qian

Three men who allegedly killed a woman 13 years ago have been tracked down, prosecutors in Qingpu District said yesterday.

On October 29, 2005, a villager in Qingpu became suspicious of a taxi, with a Jiangsu provincial plate, that had been parked near his pond for a day. Police found the body of a woman with her hands and feet tied in the trunk.

She was identified as the driver of the taxi. Police were unable to find any leads and it became a cold case. In May this year, a prisoner surnamed Liu came to the attention of police because his DNA matched material left in the taxi. Police have not stated the nature of the material.

Liu, who was sentenced to 17 years behind bars for theft and robbery in 2008, admitted his guilt. He named his accomplices as Chen and He.

As a result of information given by Liu, police tracked the men down.

He was detained in his hometown. Chen, who had been jailed for theft and robbery, was released in 2016 and fled to Myanmar in 2018 where he became a loan shark at a casino. He was arrested by Myanmar police and escorted back.

The three will be charged with murder, according to Qingpu District People’s Procuratorate.

Prosecutors allege that in 2005, Liu was running a lamp store in Jiangsu. Chen, who was jobless, and He, who was from Chen’s hometown, were his friends. Hard up for money, they decided to rob a taxi driver. At night on October 28, 2005, He hailed the victim’s taxi and told her to drive to an abandoned pumping station, where Liu and Chen were waiting. They dragged her out of the car, taped her mouth shut, tied her hands and feet with rope and placed her in the truck.

They found hundreds of yuan in cash and a mobile phone. They then drove around looking for another woman to rob.

However, they began to fear they would be discovered and choked the bound driver to death.

They arrived in Qingpu in the early hours of the next day where they parked the car beside a pond. They took personal belongings and threw the car key to the pond. And they wiped their fingerprints off the windows, door handles and the steering wheel.

They had thought they would be impossible to trace. However, thanks to advances in DNA technology, police were able to track down Liu.

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