TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Police are poring through surveillance camera footage in an attempt to identify the perpetrator behind the grisly murder and dismemberment of a Canadian man as they also search for his two missing limbs, while his dog "Lulu" has been found.
Yesterday at 1 p.m. the headless and limbless corpse of a 43-year-old Canadian cram school English teacher identified as "Ryan" (Ramgahan Sanjay Ryan, 顏柏萊) was found by two friends on a sandbar near Zhongzheng Riverside Park in New Taipei City's Yonghe District after he suddenly went missing, reported TVBS. A search through Ryan's criminal records revealed that he had been charged with possession of a large quantity of illegal drugs in past and police are not ruling out that the murder was the result of a dispute over drugs.
When police arrived on the scene yesterday, they found three white plastic bags, each containing a body part, with the bag containing the man's severed head shown to one of his friends who confirmed his identity. The other two bags contained his right arm and right leg, respectively, leaving the other arm and leg still missing at this time, according to Apple Daily.
At 9 a.m. this morning, the Water Life Saving Association resumed the search for the missing limbs. Because it is currently high tide in the river, an aerial drone is being used to scour the search area, which is currently in the immediate vicinity of where the torso was found.
Two friends of Ryan said that the last time they saw him alive was on Sunday, when they played video games together. After not responding to phone calls from friends for a few days, the two friends, a "mixed race" (混血兒) man surnamed Hsu (許) and a Canadian man set out to try to find him.
When they arrived at his home, they found his dog "Lulu" wandering around outside, bleeding profusely with lacerations on its nose, possibly from a knife. Suspecting that something was wrong, the men set out to try to find him.
As he was known to frequently walk his dog along the river near Zhongzheng Bridge, the two men took the dog with them to try to search him there. As they walked along the riverbank, the men say that Lulu picked up the owner's scent and led them to a headless and limbless body lying in a puddle next to the river, according the Apple Daily.
Terrified at the grisly sight, the men closely inspected the trunk, and they noticed that the "clothing that Ryan often wore." The frightened men then alerted the police.
Police said they found blood stains on the bicycle path along the river, possibly where the man’s remains had been carried by the murder suspect before being dumped into the river. Nearby, the police then found the three white plastic bags.
Also at the scene, a 20 centimeter-long fruit knife was found and is being analyzed to see if it had been used as the murder weapon.
While being questioned by police, Ryan's Canadian friend was asked to return to the scene to view the severed head that was found in one of the bags, and the man confirmed that it was indeed his deceased friend. Despite reports that the two men are suspects, police say that they are currently only considered "witnesses."
Meanwhile, Hsu decided take Lulu with him back to the riverside park, however as he exited the police station, frightened by the mob of reporters and onlookers, Lulu broke free of her leash and ran away. Afterwards, enthusiastic netizens shared information about the missing dog on social media and fortunately, Lulu was found near Dehe Road in Yonghe District at midnight and a civic organization sent him to the veterinarian for treatment and is seeking a new home for the dog, reported Apple Daily.
A preliminary police investigation found blood in his home, but it was determined to not be human blood, and is believed to be from the injured dog. The deceased man's home showed no signs of invasion, nor was there a significant quantity of blood detected on the sandbar where the man's body was found, thus indicating the murder took place elsewhere.
Neighbors say that they saw Ryan walking his dog at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night (Aug. 21), the night before his body was discovered. Police are now scouring surveillance camera footage to identify potential suspects and gather evidence for the case.
Forensic specialist Kao Ta-cheng (高大成) told Apple Daily that usually after committing a murder, a killer will try to quickly escape and try to minimize the amount of time they spend dealing with the body, much less spending hours to cut it up into parts. Kao said that the main reason for dismembering a body is to try to conceal the identity of the victim from police and prevent them from tracing people associated with the deceased, and therefore he believes the killer was likely an acquaintance.
Apple Daily also reports that Ryan's Taiwanese wife, surnamed Yen (顏), tragically drowned when the two were on vacation in Yilan in October of last year. During the chaos of his wife's drowning, one of their two pet dogs "Spongy" went missing.
Because the couple treated the dogs like their own children, Ryan had offered a reward of NT$100,000 (US$3,247) to anyone who could find his Spongy. Police are expanding their investigation to find out how Lulu had suffered the knife wounds to its nose.
The man's grisly murder marks the fourth case of a homicide involving dismemberment taking place in Taiwan within the past four months this year.