Former Singapore resident's death in Australia: Annabelle Chen's daughter and ex-husband charged with murder

Ms Annabelle Chen's neighbours described her as "Mrs Invisible" to the media in Perth.
Ms Annabelle Chen's neighbours described her as "Mrs Invisible" to the media in Perth.PHOTO: WA POLICE

PERTH - Police have charged the daughter and ex-husband of a former Singapore resident whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase with murder, Australian media reports said.

Tiffany Wan, 25, and Ban Ah Ping, 68, were charged with the killing of Madam Annabelle Chen, police said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 28) according to WA News.

Madam Chen's body was found stuffed inside a suitcase floating in the Swan River on July 2. She was reported missing by another daughter two months after her death following an extensive public appeal from police to help identify her. 

Ban and Tiffany Wan will face Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday, WA News said.


The tiles, some in green and some with a distinctive flowered pattern, which were found in a suitcase with the body of Ms Annabelle Chen in the Swan River, near the Fremantle Traffic Bridge in Perth, Australia.PHOTO: WA POLICE

The Straits Times understands that Ms Chen received a $15 million divorce settlement sometime in the 1990s when she and Ban, said to be a Singaporean, broke up.

Police have not confirmed Madam Chen's place of birth but said that the divorced mother spoke Malay, Cantonese, Mandarin and English. They said she moved to Australia in 1999 and had been living in Meath Mews, Mosman Park, from 2002.

 

It is understood from property records she also went by the names Pei-Wen Ban Chen and Chen Pei-Wen Ban.

Neighbours said Mdm Chen kept to herself, and described her as “Mrs Invisible” to local media.

“We’re trying to piece everything we can about Annabelle’s life – who she knew, who she associated with, where she went,” Detective Senior Sergeant Tom Mills told 6PR radio previously.

“We do know she was an extremely private person, very spiritual, very religious and was a very good artist apparently.”

Her body was found on July 2, after two fishermen saw a blue SB Polo-brand suitcase partly submerged in the Swan River.

For two months, police were unable to identify the woman in the suitcase and knew only that she was of Asian origin.  It was reported only that she died a violent death.

One of Mdm Chen's daughters, who lives in Melbourne and last saw her in Perth on June 30, became concerned after her mother became uncontactable and flew to Perth and filed a missing person’s report, leading to Mdm Chen being identified. 

Floral green ceramic tiles found in the suitcase – apparently to weigh it down – matched those in a bathroom in a house which Mdm Chen owned between 2005 and 2009. The tiles were presumably stored by her or the killer.

It is believed Ms Chen had three children though none has spoken publicly.

Two of them are twin daughters who attended Methodist Ladies’ College, a leading private school in Perth. Tiffany Wan is believed to be the youngest daughter.