A man who left Australia shortly before a woman was found dead in a freezer in his apartment is being questioned by authorities in China’s central Sichuan province, New South Wales (NSW) police announced Thursday.
The 36-year-old man caught a flight to China with two young boys, ages 4 and 6, around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, local time (7:30 p.m. ET Monday). Less than 24 hours later, on Wednesday morning, police found a woman stuffed inside a freezer at an apartment in the suburb of Pymble in Sydney. NSW Homicide Squad Commander Scott Cook said police were “taken aback” by the crime scene.
Although NSW police haven’t officially identified the woman, CNN affiliate 7News said that she was a Chinese national believed to be in her late 30s who had been married to the man being questioned.
The two young boys are believed to be their sons. They are “safe and well,” according to Cook.
In a statement Thursday, police said that they had gone to the Sydney property on Wednesday after a neighbor raised concerns over the welfare of those inside.
Police had to break into the apartment and, once they entered, they found the body in the freezer. They said a full postmortem examination would be completed by the end of the week and they could not yet say how the woman had died.
“What’s unusual about this case is the transnational nature of it. We’re seeing this more and more with matters that we investigate,” Cook said.
He added that Australian police were liaising “with the Chinese Ministry for Public Security and the Chinese Consulate in Australia and we’re getting assistance, exceptional assistance.”