The suspect, Rurik Jutting, appears before a Hong Kong court but doesn't enter a plea
The 29-year-old Briton, who recently left his job at Bank of America, faces two murder charges
Both victims were Indonesian; one body was found inside a suitcase
Police describe a violent and bloody scene inside a luxury highrise building
A British investment banker has been charged with murder in Hong Kong over the killings of two young Indonesian women at a high-rise apartment in the heart of the densely populated city.
One of the victims was discovered stuffed inside a suitcase on the balcony of the 31st-floor apartment. The other was found lying inside with cuts on her body.
The suspect, a 29-year-old man named Rurik Jutting, appeared before a magistrates’ court in Hong Kong on Monday on two charges of murder.
Wearing black-rimmed glasses, a black T-shirt, and dark jeans, Jutting was not handcuffed. He responded “I do” when asked by the court clerk if he understood the charges against him but didn’t enter a plea.
Police called in early hours
Police said they were called to the upmarket apartment in the popular nightlife district of Wan Chai early Saturday morning by Jutting, a former Bank of America employee.
They first discovered a woman lying inside the one-bedroom residence, identified by local media as a disc jockey at a neighborhood pub.
The woman, 29, had cuts on her neck and buttock, according to a police statement. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Court documents said the woman, later identified as Seneng Mujiasih, had been killed Saturday.
Officers later discovered the body of another woman, with wounds on her neck, inside a suitcase on the apartment’s balcony.
Victims said to be killed days apart
The second victim was identified as Sumarti Ningsih, according to court documents, which said she had been killed on October 27, five days before her body was found.
Both women were Indonesian citizens, said Pangky Saputra, vice consul at the Indonesian Consulate in Hong Kong.
Sumarti was a 25-year-old who entered Hong Kong last month on a tourist visa, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.
When they arrived at the apartment, police discovered a grisly scene, with the residence covered in blood, the newspaper reported. The throat of the unidentified victim had been slashed, it said.
Police said they arrested the suspect after finding a knife at the scene. Autopsies will be performed on the victims to determine the cause of death, authorities said.
Career in investment banking
Court documents gave his occupation as a “banker” for Bank of America in Hong Kong.
Paul Scanlon, a spokesman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong, said that a person named Rurik Jutting had worked there but left the bank recently. He declined to comment further on the case.
The social network LinkedIn lists a profile for Jutting that says he had worked in structured equity finance and trading for the bank in Hong Kong since July 2013. Before that, he worked in the same division in London for three years.
According to the profile, he previously worked in capital markets for the British bank Barclays from 2008 to 2010 and studied history and law at the prestigious University of Cambridge between 2004 and 2008.
The British Foreign Office confirmed Sunday that a British citizen was arrested in Hong Kong on suspicion of murder, but did not release the name, citing regulations.
Luxurious apartment building
Jutting didn’t apply for bail on Monday. He will remain in jail until his next court appearance on November 10.
J Residence, the upscale apartment building where the bodies were found, is described by real estate websites as popular with expatriates for its luxurious facilities, including a heated rooftop swimming pool.
The site squarefoot.com lists similar apartments to the one Jutting was staying in as available at monthly rents of 21,000 Hong Kong dollars to 29,000 Hong Kong dollars ($2,700 to $3,700).
The Wan Chai district, a commercial and residential area on Hong Kong Island, is known for its high number of restaurants, bars and nightclubs – as well as its long-established red-light district.
The case has shocked many residents of Hong Kong, which is often described as one of the safest big cities in the world.
Reports of the deaths stirred memories of the case of Nancy Kissel, an American woman who was convicted of the 2003 killing of her banker husband, whose body was found in the storeroom of the couple’s luxury apartment four days after his death.
CNN’s Elizabeth Joseph, Hilary Whiteman, Shelby Lynn Erdman, Phillip Taylor and Anna-Maja Rappard contributed to the this report