HONG KONG -- Four family members including the ex-husband of murdered Hong Kong socialite influencer Abby Choi appeared in court on Monday, in a horrific case that has stunned the city.
On Sunday police said they discovered remains that are believed to belong to the 28-year-old. The remains were found in a large soup pot, her body parts appearing to have been cooked along with "green radishes and carrots," police said.
Police said the skull retrieved had a "small hole" in it, indicating that it could be evidence of a "fatal attack." The skull and ribs were found in the same house where Choi's limbs were discovered in a fridge on Friday, police said.
Police also uncovered a meat grinder, electric saw, face shields and a pink designer bag at the location.
Choi's ex-husband, 28-year-old Alex Kwong, his father, a former police officer, and older brother were charged with murder on Sunday. Kwong's mother was charged with perverting the course of justice. All of them were denied bail. Their hearing has been adjourned until May 8.
After brief citywide manhunt, Alex Kwong was arrested on a pier Saturday appearing to be trying to flee Hong Kong by boat, police said. He was allegedly carrying around $60,000 in cash and a collection of luxury watches.
Choi went missing on Wednesday. Police said Choi had financial disagreements with her ex-husband's family, adding that those relatives had slowed the investigation by giving misleading information.
Local media reported that after Choi and her ex-husband separated, she remarried into a wealthy family that owned a local eatery empire. Choi, however, continued to support her ex-husband and in-laws, housing them in a luxurious condo worth a reported $9.2 million. The financial dispute reportedly centered around the ownership of the condo.
Choi shared glamorous photos and videos of her life with her Instagram following of around 100,000 and enjoyed some international success as an influencer. Recent posts include photos from this year's Paris Fashion Week. Earlier posts include photos alongside Grammy-winning musician Pharrell Williams.
Last month she appeared on the digital cover of L'Officiel Monaco magazine, which described her as a "style icon and media personality who took the world by storm with her impeccable sense of style and her unbridled passion for fashion."
Choi leaves behind four children, two from her ex-husband.
Hong Kong, which has a low crime rate, has a curious history of gruesome murders.
In 2014, banker Rurik Jutting tortured and brutally murdered two Indonesian women during a cocaine-fuelled binge in his upscale apartment.
In 2003, American expatriate Nancy Kissel was coined the "Milkshake Murderer" for bludgeoning her husband to death after incapacitating him with a strawberry milkshake laced with sedatives.
In the "Hello Kitty case" of 1999, Fan Man-Yee was held captive and killed by three men and a girl. Her body was decapitated and placed inside a Hello Kitty pillow.