South Korean man accused of murdering wife and son dies in suspected suicide in Hong Kong jail

The 42-year-old South Korean businessman was taken unconscious to Caritas Medical Centre in Hong Kong where he was later declared dead.
The 42-year-old South Korean businessman was taken unconscious to Caritas Medical Centre in Hong Kong where he was later declared dead.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (AFP) - A South Korean man charged with murdering his wife and young son at the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in Hong Kong earlier this year has died in custody, police said on Monday (April 16).

Kim Min Ho, 42, was found unconscious at the maximum security Lai Chi Kok detention centre Monday morning and was later declared dead at hospital, a police spokeswoman told AFP.

Police gave no detail on how Kim died but local Hong Kong media reported he had committed suicide.

Kim Min Ho was found unconscious on Monday morning by a prison guard inside a single-person cell at Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre in Cheung Sha Wan. The centre is the city's maximum-security prison.

"A quilt was found around his neck," a government source was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.

Kim, who stated on his Facebook page that he was CEO in South Korea of the US-based Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory retail chain, was arrested in January and charged with double murder after the bloody discovery at the hotel room.

Police had rushed to the harbourfront hotel after receiving a report that a man and woman were fighting. Kim's wife and six-year-old son were found dead at the scene, his wife with multiple cuts to her neck and his six-year-old son with a throat wound.

 
 

Kim was believed to have consumed alcohol and appeared unconscious in the hotel suite with minor wounds to his hand and face, police assistant district commander Chan Tsz Leung said at the time.

Police retrieved a five-inch-long knife from the room and Kim was arrested.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told AFP at the time that a friend of the suspect had warned authorities in South Korea he was potentially suicidal shortly before the incident.

The Ritz-Carlton is located on the top floors of Hong Kong's tallest skyscraper - the International Commerce Centre - and is famous for panoramic views of the city and its Victoria Harbour.

The South Korean consulate in Hong Kong did not immediately respond to Kim's death.

When he made his first court appearance on Jan 16, Kim, who appeared slightly dishevelled, confirmed he understood two charges of murder against him during a hearing that lasted just seven minutes.

He was remanded at Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, the city's maximum-security prison, pending his next court date, reported the Post.