Woman alleged of murdering model friend released by police

New video evidence led to police releasing woman suspected of killing model friend

Liang, a woman suspected of murdering her model friend, is released from detainment by police. (By Central News Agency)

Taipei (Taiwan News)—A woman surnamed Liang, who was the prime suspect behind the rape and murder of her beautiful model friend, was released from detention by police in Taipei on Monday.

Police released Liang, due to flaws in 24-year-old murder suspect Cheng Yu's (程宇) confession that required further investigation.

New surveillance footage found by police showed Liang had not left the house at the time, and the woman wearing a wool beanie that originally was believed to be her accompanying Cheng at the crime scene, was in fact a resident of the building where the murder took place and is not currently under suspicion, reported UDN.

Surveillance cameras at the building of the murder in Neihu District in Taipei showed Cheng and another woman by the victim's side.

Murder suspect Cheng Yu (程宇) being detained by police. (CNA)

The 22-year-old victim was an online model Naomi Chen (陳可緗), who had known Liang for two years. She was sexually assaulted and murdered after allegedly being tricked by Liang's boyfriend Cheng to attend an outdoor photo session in Taipei on March 2, 2017.

In his confession, Cheng insisted Liang orchestrated the whole murder plan, which led to her detainment and interrogation by police to investigate her suspected involvement.

After allegedly raping and strangling Chen to death, Cheng abandoned the victim's body, and used her credit card to treat Liang to a stay in a five-star hotel in Taichung City. Cheng even gave the deceased's watch as a gift to Liang.

Naomi Chen (陳可緗) in a photo shoot a week before the murder. (Photo from the model's Instagram account Naomi7296)

Cameras at the five-star hotel in Taichung City caught the serial offender Cheng discarding the victim's smartphone, which led to his arrest by police.

Cheng holds a previous criminal record for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl he met online four years ago, and although the two arrived to a settlement of NT$400,000 (US$12,911) out of court, he refused to complete the court ruling to receive mandatory psychotherapy treatment, attending only one session, stated the Department of Social Welfare.

Prior to the murder, Cheng was being pursued by police for intentionally avoiding the court-prescribed psychotherapy, forging documents, and stealing from hotels.