A MAN police have identified as a potential suspect in the killing of a 44-year-old Chinese woman earlier this week has fled Honiara, sources confirmed last night.
It is understood the man boarded one of two cargo and passenger vessels, which left Honiara for Malaita on Tuesday evening. The mother of two was murdered in cold blood in her shop in a busy alleyway at Point Cruz between 8 and 9 am that Tuesday morning.
According to sources, the man slipped out of the police net and boarded a cargo and passenger vessel which left Honiara on Tuesday evening. According to the Solomon Islands Ports Authority the Landing Craft Gulatatae and the Cargo vessel, Ocean Joy both sailed to Malaita that Tuesday evening.
The sources said police are on the heels of the potential suspect and are confident of securing his help in a breakthrough police are looking for in a murder that has shocked the nation.
The news of the man fleeing Honiara comes as police have downloaded more information from the hard drive of a CCTV camera, which police retrieved at the murder scene on Tuesday.
Sources said one of the footages showed an image of a man tying the woman’s legs together as she lay in a pool of blood.
The sources said it appeared from that footage the man was not acting alone. The difficulty for police right now is that the image was not clear. It was very dark and this is why the man who fled on the ship to Malaita is a key to all this, sources said.
It is unclear whether police investigators would be sent to Malaita.
It is also unclear whether a motive for the killing has been established. Police are however pinning their hopes on the man who had fled Honiara.
The Government has pledged its law enforcement agencies would leave no stones unturned in their search to bring the culprit to account for his deeds.
The murder of the Chinese woman took place just four years after a similar incident in which a Chinese couple was killed in their own shop at Town Ground in April 2017. That murder happened only metres away from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Headquarters at Rove.
By ALFRED SASAKO