Prime suspect hangs himself as police close in

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The prime suspect in the murder of a gold trader last month in the Central Highlands town of Da Lat was found hanging from the railing of his karaoke lounge on Tuesday (February 15).

The case began on January 24, when Truong Thi Le, 74, walked to her roadside stand in the town's Hoa Binh area. Le said she had been doing business on the street for about 30 years.

Witnesses said that a man, of about 40, drove up and told Le that he wanted to buy 20 taels of gold (750 grams). He didn't have the money to pay her there, they said, so the elderly woman offered to accompany him to get his money, carrying a half a kilogram of gold on her person.

It was the last time anyone would see Le alive.

After failing to get in touch with her, 30 minutes later her children contacted the police.

Two weeks later, Le's body was discovered in a ditch along Road 723, which connects Da Lat and the coastal resort town of Nha Trang.

Da Lat police assembled an investigatory team that identified the prime suspect as Nguyen Van Quang, 39, a married local man who ran a karaoke parlor with his mistress.

Locals told police that Quang had borrowed a car the day Le went missing and returned it with blood stains. A police source told Thanh Nien that DNA testing revealed the blood to belong to the old woman.

On Tuesday, police surrounded the karaoke lounge.

Quang barricaded himself in the building and failed to cooperate with the police's demands. By the time the police smashed through one of the home's windows Quang had hung himself from a rope tied to the stairway.

Neighbors said that the karaoke lounge had been closed in recent months.

The investigation remains underway.

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