Hong Kong model’s in-laws charged after body parts found

In this image taken from video footage provided by TVB Hong Kong, police officers search a village home where they found body parts related to a missing model in a murder case, in Hong Kong on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. (TVB Hong Kong via AP)

HONG KONG (AP) — Police in Hong Kong filed murder charges against the former father-in-law and brother-in-law of a model and influencer whose body parts were found in a refrigerator and a skull believed to be hers in a pot at a rural house.

Authorities also arrested Abby Choi’s ex-husband on Saturday and charged him with murder on Sunday night, Superintendent Alan Chung said.

He will appear in court Monday alongside three family members: Choi’s former father-in-law and his eldest son were charged with murder, while her former mother-in-law faces a count of perverting the course of justice, police said in a statement. The names of those accused have not been released.

Choi, 28, had financial disputes involving tens of millions of Hong Kong dollars with her ex-husband and his family, Chung said earlier, adding that “some people” were unhappy with how Choi handled her financial assets.

Choi was a model and influencer who shared her glamorous life of photo shoots and fashion shows with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram. Dressed in a tulle floor-length gown, she had just attended a Dior show at Paris Fashion Week.

Abby Choi arrives at the Elie Saab Spring Summer 2023 Haute Couture show in Paris, France, on January 25, 2023. (Photo/Marie-Paola Bertrand-Hillion/Abaca Press/SIPA/AP)

Her last post was a week ago, featuring a photoshoot she had done with L’Officiel Monaco, a fashion publication.

Choi had been missing several days when police discovered her dismembered body and documents on Friday. The remains were stored in a refrigerator in the home in the village of Tai Po, a suburban part of Hong Kong closer to the border with mainland China.

At Sunday’s news briefing, Chung said a young woman’s skull believed to be Choi’s was found in one of the cooking pots authorities seized, along with human ribs, hair, and tissue. Forensic pathologists found a small number of human bones in a second pot, he added.

“There’s a hole on the right side rear on the skull, so the pathologist believes that that should be the fatal attack on the victim,” he said.

Chung said Choi was believed to have been attacked in a car and was unconscious when she arrived at the house. Police were still trying to find out the exact time of death and locate her hands and torso.

On Sunday, police also arrested another woman believed to have been in an affair with the ex-husband’s father for allegedly assisting the other suspects. Chung said the woman had rented the house together with the father, as well as another place to hide the ex-husband.