More video footage and witnesses surfaced on Tuesday about the mysterious death of Chan Yin-lam, 15, whose naked body was found in the sea off Yau Tong on September 22.
At noon the Hong Kong Design Institute revealed two high-definition closed-circuit TV videos of Chan. In one of the videos, Chan entered Lift 11 on the ground floor at the campus at 5.50pm. When the lift got to the third floor, a man in a white-shirt entered, but his identity was blurred. Chan was seen holding a mobile phone, together with papers and another object. She got out of the lift on the fifth floor. The man seemed to stay in the lift but the video ended before the lift door closed.
On Monday afternoon, the Institute showed the same video to about 100 students and reporters in a room. However, its managers refused to show the latter part that includes the man in the white-shirt for privacy reasons. That has fueled speculation that it may want to cover up something.
On Monday evening, protesters wearing masks got frustrated and vandalized the HKDI campus after its management missed the deadline to show the CCTV footage to all students in the campus’ open area. On Tuesday morning, dozens of students and reporters went to the campus again and demanded that more CCTV footage be disclosed.
The Institute announced a three-day break from Tuesday and said the management would only show up on Wednesday.
A property manager surnamed Lau said theoretically the 300 CCTV cameras could track where Chan went inside the campus but only the Institute’s management had the rights to disclose the footage. He said there was no record of when police visited the Institute to look into Chan’s case.
A year-two HKDI student told media that he and his girlfriend saw Chan walking barefoot inside Tiu Keng Leng MTR station at around 7.15pm on September 19. He said Chan seemed to be looking for some people in the station as she was checking around horizontally. He said Chan had not tied up her hair. He urged the public to provide more information about the case.
Last Friday (October 11), police said they had ruled out foul play in the death of Chan, who they say committed suicide. They said Chan was caught on the Design Institute’s CCTV units walking barefoot toward Tseung Kwan O Waterfront Park.
While police said the case was not suspicious, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday they would still have to submit a full report to the coroner’s court about the girl’s death.
Chan had to go to court for a property damage charge on September 20 and also faced a charge of assaulting a police officer on September 26, Headline Daily, a pro-government newspaper, reported on October 12. She had recently been sent to a girls’ home and was released in early September, it reported.
Meanwhile, two more videos were posted on social media by people who claimed to be Chan’s friends. In one video, Chan said she would stand with the anti-extradition protesters as she was a Hong Konger. She urged Hong Kong police not to use excessive force on protesters.
In another video, 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. She was approached by a plainclothes detective and some police. She was then sent to a girls’ home between August 12 and September 11, according to the Facebook page that uploaded the video.
The police have been strongly criticized recently for sending teenagers to children’s homes and saying that they wanted to apply for restraining orders for some who were underage.
On August 29, three teenagers were arrested by police after they wore black shirts and masks to a movie-show related to the anti-extradition protests. Their parents complained that their children were sent to a home for almost a month before being charged. One of them, a 13-year-old girl, was detained in a state facility for 27 days without being charged, Ming Pao reported.
In Hong Kong, police can only detain an adult suspect up to 48 hours. If they cannot gather enough evidence for a charge within the time period, they have to allow the suspect to be released on bail.