A 29 year-old Maldivian man identified as ‘Fareed’ has been arrested in Hong Kong for the alleged murder of a 64 year-old British woman.
The Hong Kong Standard reported that police discovered the body of Janet Gilson inside a sofa in a flat belonging to her niece, Julia Fareed, the estranged wife of the murder suspect.
The Standard reported that the suspect had a history of violence and had been banned from approaching his ex-wife following their divorce.
The South China Post reported that the couple met while she was working in the Maldives.
The suspect was arrested by police on Hong Kong pier after finding Gilson’s body during a second search of the flat after she went missing on March 15, 10 days after arriving in Hong Kong. The body was reported to have severe head injuries.
Local media in the UK reported that Gilson was a long-serving Major in the British branch of the Salvation Army, an international Christian institution with a quasi-military structure known for its charitable work and rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug addicts, and had worked for 40 years as a Christian missionary.
“She had stopped the missionary work but she was still active and in a very high position [in the Salvation Army],” Gilson’s neighbour in her home of Leigh-on-Sea told local media.
Gilson’s niece, who reportedly has a three year-old daughter, told the UK press that her murdered aunt “was like a second mother to me”.
The Maldives Foreign Ministry confirmed it had received information regarding the incident, and that the country’s embassy in Beijing was looking into the matter. No motive for the killing had been identified, the Ministry said.