TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- An African-American man and a Taiwanese-Canadian man suspected of being involved in the grisly murder and dismemberment of a Canadian English teacher at a riverside park in New Taipei have been Prosecutor's Office today, while a third suspect remains at large.
Police last night (Aug. 24) in Taipei's Da'an District apprehended 30-year-old African-American male Ewart Odane Bent on suspicion of committing the grisly murder of 43-year-old Canadian English teacher Ramgahan Sanjay Ryan on on Aug. 21, reported Apple Daily. That same evening, a 21-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian man identified as Wu Hsuan (吳宣), who goes by the English name Dan Wu and is a promoter for the Taipei nightclub Triangle, was also arrested for allegedly assisting Bent purchase two machetes, which are believed to be the murder weapons. Meanwhile, a third suspect, a 37-year-old Israeli-American tattoo artist named Oren Shlomo Mayer, who goes by the handle "Oz" and the Chinese name of 孫武生, is still at large, according to Apple Daily and Liberty Times.
In May of this year, Taipei police found foreigners to be in possession of marijuana in a nightclub and traced the origin of the drug to Ryan. He was then arrested in Yonghe District for possession of more than 200 grams of marijuana.
After being leveled with drug charges, several of Ryan’s clients suspected he began working as a police informant and had started to betray their drug deals to the authorities, according to media reports. After becoming engaged in heated disputes with Ryan over drugs, Bent and Sun allegedly plotted to set an ambush for him.
During police questioning on Saturday, Wu reportedly admitted he had helped the Bent buy machetes similar to those found near Ryan’s body.
Wu told police he visited a store on Xining South Road in Taipei City’s Wanhua District on August 16 to look at the knives on offer claiming they were for self defense. He then returned two days later to buy two of them, before handing them over to his American friend later that day.
Wu being escorted by Yonghe District police. (CNA image)
Knowing that Ryan routinely walked his dog "Lulu" along the riverside park near Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei City's Yonghe District, Bent and Mayer allegedly rode bicycles to the area and lay in wait for him. The men first pounced on Ryan and tied him down with a metal chain, before hacking him with the machetes, according to the Apple Daily.
Bent being escorted by Yonghe District police. (CNA image)
As Ryan's dog Lulu barked to try to defend her owner, one of the assailants also swung at her with a machete, causing her to sustain a deep laceration to her nose. Nevertheless, Lulu was able to run home, where the following day she would help guide two of Ryan’s friends to find the body.
Police identified Bent as a suspect because logs on Ryan's phone showed evidence that they had been in heated disputes over drugs and his smartphone placed him in Yonghe, the district where Ryan lived and where he was killed, at the time of the events, late on August 21. When Bent was first questioned today by authorities on Friday evening, he denied being involved in the murder, however he was unable to provide a coherent explanation for his activities and whereabouts around that time, the Apple Daily reported.
In the meantime, the search was still continuing for missing body parts. A man’s left arm and a right foot wearing a black tennis shoe, were found in the river shortly before noon Saturday, but DNA tests would have to determine whether they were Ryan’s, the Apple Daily reported.
Foot in shoe discovered today. (CNA image)
The two men were transferred to the New Taipei Public Prosecutor's Office on suspicion of homicide. Neither of them reportedly spoke a word when they were sent to the local Public Prosecutor's Office.
The Canadian lost his wife in a swimming accident off Yilan County last year. According to reports in the Canadian media, he was preparing to end his more than 10 years in Taiwan in October and return to Canada, where he owned a house in the province of Ontario.