A meat cleaver was recovered from the suburban residence where a 49-year-old man is believed to have stabbed to death his girlfriend and her son, while detectives say they are perplexed by the sequence of events.
WeiFeng Huang was charged with two charges of murder after the deaths of Jifeng Liu, also known as Eileen, 47, and her son Wenhao ‘Sam’ Du, in his early 20s, were discovered in an upstairs bedroom of a Brisbane residence at around 9:30 a.m. on Monday.
At the site of the ‘frenzied’ murder in Coolidge Court, Stretton, a wealthy neighbourhood in the city’s south, responding cops saw ‘large amounts of blood,’ according to the police.
The actions of the 49-year-old in the hours after the alleged assault, which police suspect happened early Monday morning, have left detectives baffled.
Police said they suspect Huang left the residence in a silver SUV at 4:22 a.m. and was gone for around thirty minutes before returning and asking for assistance several hours later.
Authorities suspect that the accused was in a relationship with Jifeng for “some months,” and all three individuals resided at the Stretton property.
There was evidence, according to Detective Superintendent Andrew Massingham, that the suspect changed his clothing and tried to wash himself.
‘I believe that there are cuts to his arm and in particular to his leg,’ he told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday.
‘There’s also evidence that it would appear he has changed clothes at some point as well and left in the vehicle so we believe he was injured at that point.
‘There is some evidence that he’s attempted to wash himself and blood from his body and has changed into another set of clothes.’
He said that the victims were wearing ‘night attire,’ which is consistent with the police belief that the alleged attack happened as early as Monday morning.
‘We also believe that one of the victims might have had phone contact with a number of friends and family just prior to the homicides occurring,’ he said.
‘The exact nature of those phone calls and from what’s been said is a subject of investigation today.’
Long-handled kitchen knives and a butcher cleaver were recognised as the two weapons discovered by authorities.
Det. Supt. Massingham said that police were still putting together the precise movements of the silver SUV and requested help from the public.
‘We do call upon people, delivery drivers, couriers, people going to work early, that may have seen that vehicle in the vicinity of this address during that 31-minute period to contact Crimestoppers,’ he said.
According to Det. Supt. Massingham, police were never summoned to the residence for domestic violence-related issues, and there were no domestic violence orders in place.
At around 9:40 a.m. on Monday, Huang, who speaks Cantonese, called 911 and informed the authorities that he need help. Upon the cops’ arrival, he opened the front door.
The 49-year-old required overnight surgery at Princess Alexandria Hospital in Brisbane after sustaining severe injuries to his arms and legs, which police suspect were inflicted in the alleged ‘frenzied attack’
Huang appeared briefly by telephone from his hospital bed under police escort before the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
No bail application was recorded, and the case was adjourned to September 19.
The accused victims have family abroad, and the police have collaborated with the Chinese community to put together the pieces of this difficult case.
‘We are liaising with our colleagues overseas to provide timely advice to friends and family during this difficult time,’ Det Supt Massingham said.
The mother victim will have an autopsy on Tuesday, while her son’s autopsy will be performed in the following days.
The scene has been characterised as ‘confronting,’ with cops discovering a considerable quantity of blood on the steps of the two-story home.
Late Monday afternoon, detectives were seen removing two mobile phones wrapped in plastic evidence bags from the residence, which remained roped off overnight.
On Tuesday, a team of forensic police returned to the residence and was seen taking photographs and marking several locations on the suburban property.
A black office chair was seen outside the home’s garage on the driveway.
The victims have yet to be named officially.
According to authorities, a Cantonese translator was employed during conversations with Huang, who was hospitalised for severe injuries to his arms and lower legs.
‘There were some language difficulties with the interpretation of what he was saying, an interpreter was used by the triple zero service,’ Det Supt Massingham said.
‘He has exercised his right to silence and has requested the presence of a solicitor.
‘It’s still very early days in the investigation and it’s important that we keep an open mind. There’s been no information from neighbours to indicate that anything has been heard at this stage.’
Det Supt Massingham on Monday told reporters there were CCTV cameras at the front of the home, which are yet to be reviewed.
‘The scene was confronting and has been described as an (alleged) frenzied attack on the two deceased persons,’ Det Supt Massingham told reporters.
A major crime scene was set up as officers cordoned off the quiet cul-de-sac and knocked on the doors of neighbours, with the street remaining under a heavy police presence on Monday afternoon.
‘So our forensic officers have been in on a couple of occasions now. The scene is quite traumatic in terms of a large amount of blood that is present,’ Det Supt Massingham said.
Images of the property where the grisly scene played out reveal an affluent house with an interior hallway, upstairs bedroom and backyard with a swimming pool.
The photos obtained by Daily Mail Australia also shows an open plan living area with a spacious modern kitchen, four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a double garage for up to six vehicles.
Shocked neighbours told the Courier Mail a man, woman and boy lived at the house. They were described as ‘lovely people who mainly kept to themselves’.
‘Recently I haven’t seen them too much but normally they are out in the yard,’ one man said.
‘I think the boy just got his licence not that long ago.
‘You don’t think this kind of thing will happen around you but obviously it has.’
Another told the ABC: ‘They kept to themselves, if they were going up the street you’d just wave, say hi and that was about it.’
Another local said said he heard a dog constantly barking on Sunday night.
‘In the morning it was very quiet until the police got here, the only thing we could recall was a dog barking and going crazy last night before the other dogs on the street started barking too,’ he said.
‘I have never heard any real noise or anything from that end of the street, it’s usually very quiet so it’s very scary and shocking.’
Online records indicate that the property was last sold for $760,000 four years ago.
According to the 2016 Census, the median property price in Stretton is more than $900,000 and the city has a population of 4,334.
The average weekly household income in the suburb is $1,843, which is significantly higher than the national average of $1,234.