People have come forward to provide more information about the death of Chan Yin-lam, a 15-year-old girl whose naked body was found in the sea off Yau Tong on September 22.
On October 17, Chan’s mother, Ho Pui-yee, told TVB in an exclusive interview that she watched all the CCTV footage provided by police and believed that Chan had committed suicide.
She said Chan told her in August that she heard voices and could not sleep well. However, medical tests showed no illnesses.
Her mother said Chan was not active in anti-extradition protests, except that she helped deliver leaflets on June 12. She said Chan told her in July she would not join the protests again as they had changed in nature.
Commenting on a video that showed her daughter complaining about the police using tear gas in Tsim Sha Tsui on August 11, Ho said Chan went out to buy cakes for some “colleagues” in Yuen Long, instead of joining the protests.
She said the family had a barbecue on September 13 and she received a message from Chan, who congratulated her for her birthday and promised to study hard, on September 15. Ho urged the public and media to stop following the case and disrupting her peaceful life.
She showed Chan’s birth certificate, plus pictures, to prove that she was Chan’s mother. A mark on the middle finger of her right hand also matched her profile picture on Facebook.
However, Chan’s friends claimed that some of Ho’s information was inaccurate.
Chan said in a sound clip that she prepared 8,000 anti-extradition leaflets and took them to protest sites for delivery on June 12. She also sang ‘Loving You’, originally written and performed by a Hong Kong band – Beyond, in the sound clip to support the protesters.
Another Apple Daily report said Chan had shared cakes with protesters at Sham Shui Po MTR station on August 11 although she was ignored by the crowd, who were worried that she could be a police spy. She then appeared in Jordan station with two bags of snacks.
On Friday evening, a former social activist called Tsz-ming disclosed more information about the issue in a video.
Tsz-ming said Ho and his elder brother had contacted him through a common friend and asked for help to search for Chan on September 24. Citing background information from Ho, he said Chan was not allowed to see her boyfriend in Tong Fuk Correctional Institution, as his father had already visited and used the daily quota.
During a struggle, Chan hit a policewoman and was charged with assault.
Tsz-ming said Ho claimed that Chan had no illness and would not commit suicide, especially not in the sea as she was a good swimmer.
He said Ho told him that Chan had once tried marijuana, after being persuaded by friends she knew in a girls’ home. Ho suspected that Chan was kidnapped by some protesters or wanted to hide from the court meeting scheduled on September 20, he said.
Tsz-ming said on September 25 that Ho still ruled out the possibility that the body found floating off Yau Tong was her daughter. He said he was told on September 30 that Chan died on September 22. He failed to get in touch with Ho and her elder brother since then.
Distraught at MTR station
In a video uploaded on the social media, Chan was seen sitting on the ground in Tung Chung MTR station on August 12. She was emotionally distraught as she could not get in touch with her boyfriend’s father. After the incident, she was sent to a girls’ home between August 12 and September 11.
While she was in the girls’ home, she was charged with property damage after she tore apart some papers, Singpao.com reported on October 11. She had to go to court on a property damage charge on September 20 and also faced a charge of assaulting a police officer on September 26.
The Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) released footage from 16 closed-circuit TV cameras showing Chan at different parts of the campus on September 19. This prompted citizens to ask a lot of questions about her mysterious death. In the videos, she was seen wandering barefoot in the campus for about an hour.
It remained unclear how Chan put down her things on the second floor of Block B as HKDI did not disclose the video for the period between 5:51pm and 6:13pm. Besides, the one in the videos looked different from Chan’s pictures on Facebook, Instagram and missing person poster. She also did not look the same, especially her eyebrows, as shown in a recent selfie with her mother and in a video of taking off her make-up.
Despite her mother’s remarks, serious doubts remain.
One commentator said on HKCnews.com, that if the person in the videos was Chan and she decided to commit suicide, she would have had to walk 20 minutes barefoot to the waterfront, then take off her clothes and climb over the barricades and across large shoreside rocks to jump into the sea. It would have been almost impossible for her not to be seen by joggers and people fishing there.
Another online commentator said that if Chan’s clothes remain missing, police should not rule out the possibility that the teenager was kidnapped and murdered.