The case comes as the city is already gripped by the bizarre ongoing trial of another university professor, who is accused of killing his wife and daughter with a gas-filled yoga ball.
At a press conference Tuesday, Hong Kong police superintendent Law Kwok-hoi said a 53-year-old man surnamed Cheung had been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Local media identified the man as Cheung Kie-chung, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and member of its governing council.
“While the details are uncertain, what is clear is that a tragic event has occurred, and many students, staff and alumni will be affected. Our thoughts are with the affected ones at this very difficult time.”
HKU said it would be providing assistance for anyone who needed it.
Cheung is warden of HKU’s Wei Lun Hall, a student residential building near the university’s main campus on the western side of Hong Kong Island.
In an email to students earlier this week, reported in local media, he sought to reassure other residents about the heavy police presence, saying officers were investigating “a missing person case involving my family.”
Police said Cheung had reported his wife missing on August 20, saying he had not seen her in several days after the pair argued late in the evening of August 17.
Law said the couple had argued over Cheung’s failure to support his wife in a dispute with their daughter over the cleanliness of the family bathroom. The daughter later posted a missing person poster for her mother on the university campus.
“After receiving the report, we checked the CCTV footage in the building,” Law told reporters. “We found that the informant’s wife had not left the building. Instead, the informant had moved a huge wooden box.”
On Tuesday, they raided Cheung’s offices and discovered the box. Inside was a large suitcase seeping blood and giving off a “bad smell.”
The body of a woman, dressed only in her underwear and with electric wire around her neck, was stuffed inside the suitcase.