Man arrested after 17-year-old girl's body parts found in Hanoi river

By Pham Du   October 15, 2023 | 12:26 am PT
Police in Hanoi have arrested a 38-year-old man to investigate him for murder after body parts of a 17-year-old girl were found around the Red River.

Ta Duy Khanh, the suspect, was arrested on Saturday in his hometown in Thai Binh Province, which borders Hanoi. Police have not announced his motive for the alleged murder.

Tran Manh Dat, a fisherman, and his wife found the victim's leg floating on the river at around noon on Friday. Another fishermen found the head 100 meters away. They called the police who showed up at the site after 15 minutes.

Dat joined the police's search and found the other leg three hours later as it floated up to the river surface.

Sailing along the two banks of the river for more than 10 times and not finding the remaining of the body, he decided to walk along the river bank.

He then noticed a strange smell at a spot, around 20 meters from the main road, where dozens of rocks had been piled up on an old blanket. He called other people over while clearing the rocks. There was a layer of fresh concrete underneath, then a layer of more rocks, all to hide the last body part, the torso, which was covered in another blanket.

Dat, who has been fishing in the river for more than 10 years, said he has seen a lot of bodies from drowning, but the discovery on Friday was "the most horrible."

He suggested that more than one person was involved in cutting the body and hiding the parts. He also guessed that the victim was killed around two or three days prior, which is the normal time it takes for the parts to float up.

An area by the Red River in Hanoi where a body part was found on October 13, 2023. Photo by Minh Hoang

An area by the Red River in Hanoi where a body part was found on October 13, 2023. Photo by Minh Hoang

All body parts were then taken to a hospital for examination.

Police have determined the victim to be a 17-year-old girl who was runner-up in an ao dai beauty contest early this year.

The victim is the second child in a family of three siblings, her mother said after her funeral on Sunday afternoon.

She said the girl rented a house to live on her own many months ago.

The mother said she lost contact with her daughter from October 11 and three days later, was asked by the police to come over to identify a body.

When she first looked over the photos and saw a lotus tattoo on the right leg, she "immediately recognized" her daughter. But she only believed that it was her body after the DNA results.

The mother said after the beauty contest, her daughter worked different jobs and lived a quiet life.

The investigation is ongoing.

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