Tragic Discovery: Missing Chinese couple’s remains found in stashed plastic drums in dam

Commissioner Paul Nyathi

The remains of a Chinese couple who went missing in February 2020 after they had briefly visited a friend in Highlands, Harare have been taken for post mortem at a local hospital.

Following their disappearance, their car was found abandoned nearby and intact the following day.

The remains were discovered yesterday concealed in plastic drums at Eastview Dam in Harare.

Lei Ding (35) and his wife Chi Lifen (30), disappeared on Valentine’s Day in 2020 after visiting a friend in Highlands.

Police have been appealing for information on the whereabouts of the Chinese couple.

Their friends and relatives have been offering a $1 million reward for anyone with information that might have assisted in the search.

Advertisements with pictures of the couple were published in all local media announcing the reward.

Sources close to the investigations confirmed that the remains of the couple have since been found as investigations on the case continue.

So far no arrests have been made.

In 2020, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said, “The Zimbabwe Republic Police is still investigating the case involving those two Chinese nationals who were last seen on February 14, 2020 in Eastlea after visiting a friend,” he said.

“We are still appealing to anyone who may have information on their disappearance or possible location to contact their nearest police station or the national complaints desk on (024) 2703631,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

Police then engaged Interpol and Chinese authorities as they widened their investigations to establish the whereabouts of the two.

Sources close to the investigations said Lei, a director of a local company, Yafei Building Material and Mining, and his wife lived in Borrowdale Brooke.

Information obtained from the CCTV at their house showed the couple leaving at around 11:48am in a white Mercedes Benz ML registration number AFA 3322 to visit a friend, also Chinese, in Highlands.

They met their friend outside his house at around 12:38pm before they left for an unknown destination.

The following day, their vehicle was discovered by officers from Mabvuku Police Station parked along Arcturus Road, with the keys still in the ignition. Searching the car, police found keys to the couple’s house, US$12 and $9.

Also found was Lei’s firearm certificate for cash-in-transit, but the gun was not in the car.

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