Police in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa took a drug addict into custody on Saturday for allegedly killing a man to steal and pawn his properties.
The arrest took place two days after two farmers found the deceased man’s body near their house.
Trinh Thi Hoa and her husband Le Phu Liem told police they were digging up the soil at a piece of uncultivated land in Ba Dinh Ward, Bim Son Town, in order to grow some plants when they found a rotting corpse, the Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported Sunday.
Initial investigations showed that the dead man had been buried naked about two months ago, with fractures in his skull and cheek bones.
Police found a SIM card near the burial site, which helped them figure out a day later that the victim was Nguyen Hong Son, 19, living in Thanh Hoa’s Nga Son District. Son had gone missing two months ago and his motorbike had not been found since.
Nguyen Van Viet, 34, a Ha Trung District resident, with a history of wandering and robbery, told the police that he had borrowed Son’s motorbike on December 5, 2012 and pawned it with a local pawnbroker for VND2 million (US$96) that he used to buy drugs.
Two days later, when Son came to take his bike back, Viet planned to kill him so that he did not have to return the latter's property.
According to the police, Viet confessed he had taken Son to the unused plot of land and beaten him to death with a stone. Later, he took Son's driving license and clothes, and buried him.
He pawned the license for another VND10 million the next day and fled.
Police have seized the motorbike for further investigation, according to Nguoi Lao Dong.
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