Body parts murder: Couple to be charged

PARIS• • A nanny and her partner who are accused of killing and dismembering the parents of a baby who had died in the babysitter's care were due in court in Paris yesterday.

The crime came to light in June 2012 after two joggers found a leg, cut off at the ankle, while running through the Vincennes forest on the edge of the French capital.

Several days later, a guide dog found a human torso in the same area, but the hunt for further remains was fruitless.

But before the bodies could be identified, a Chinese couple - Zhang Hui and her boyfriend Lu Te, both 34 - approached the police and admitted to the crime.

Zhang told the police she had been babysitting a two-month- old baby who had asphyxiated in his sleep. The couple decided to offer the parents - also from China - money to keep quiet about the death.

But when the parents arrived at Zhang's home, a row broke out, which ended with her killing them with a small axe. She said they acted in self-defence.

Trying to cover her tracks, Zhang then dismembered the two bodies in her bathroom with an electric saw, using the sound of the washing machine to cover the noise.

Following her directions, the police uncovered more body parts around the forest. But they did not find the baby's body, which Zhang said she had thrown in rubbish bins along with some of the other remains.

After the murders, the couple went to China and closed their bank accounts in France, but returned soon after. They said they had always intended to return, but police claimed they were worried about facing the death penalty in China.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2016, with the headline 'Body parts murder: Couple to be charged'. Print Edition | Subscribe