A teenage girl and her boyfriend strangled her parents because they disapproved of their relationship, then dumped the bodies into the East River, police said.
Connie Leung, 17, and her boyfriend Eric Louissant, 20, were arrested Wednesday at the YMCA where they were staying. The two were scheduled to be arraigned today on murder charges.
William Taylor, an assistant police chief in Manhattan, said the killings appeared to have been planned and that neither suspect had shown remorse. Both were in police custody, and law enforcement officials did not know whether they had attorneys.
Police said the body of 55-year-old Stephen Leung, a waiter at an upscale city hotel, was recovered last week. They were still looking for the body of his wife, 41-year-old Chilin Leung, who worked at a Chinese restaurant.
They said Leung’s parents had strongly disapproved of the yearlong relationship between the high school senior and her unemployed boyfriend, neither of whom had a criminal history.
The parents were worried that their daughter was missing school, and her father met with a school counselor the day before he was killed, police said.
Strangled With a Belt
On Nov. 2, Stephen Leung was strangled with a raincoat belt as he sat watching television in his bedroom, shortly after he came home from his job at the Parker Meridien hotel, police said.
Taylor said Louissant and his girlfriend then used a leather belt to strangle Chilin Leung when she returned from work.
The two allegedly locked the corpses in a bedroom and stayed in the apartment for several days. The girl’s 19-year-old brother, who also lived in the apartment, was not aware of the deaths, Taylor said.
“It was not unusual for the parents not to see him for a week or so, due to their hours and his hours,” he said.
Taylor said that on Nov. 7, the couple put Chilin Leung’s body in a laundry bag and pushed it in a shopping cart to the East River, where they dropped both the cart and the corpse. Police divers were searching for the body.
Three days later, Taylor said, they wrapped Stephen Leung’s body in a laundry bag and threw it in the same spot. A passer-by who noticed the floating bag called police.
Leung’s body was found clad in pajamas, the raincoat belt around his neck, said Lt. Louis Caniglia.
When Chilin Leung’s sister filed a missing persons report on Monday, police began to speculate that the body in the river was that of Stephen Leung.
They said Connie Leung and Louissant stole $1,000 in cash and about $4,000 in jewelry — mostly rings and gold chains — from the apartment and pawned the items.