Chinese found dead on seawall

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Charles Chao and Shine Meli.

Charles Chao and Shine Meli.

A Chinese national was found dead in the early hours of yesterday morning on the seawall at the back of the Government Building in Apia.

The man had injuries to his head and face and has been identified as Charles Chao, who is a volunteer at the Anglican School at Leififi. 

His wife Shine Meli was shocked and is still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of her husband, when she spoke to the Sunday Samoan.

“He went to Island Restaurant at around 9pm because he was having dinner with some of his friends there. After that he rang me that he was going for a walk on the seawall so I told him that I will meet him there.

“Later on at about 11.00 pm (Friday night) he rang me again to tell me where he was, but when he rang I could hear people at the back and I heard him telling someone to go away,” she added.

But Mrs. Meli’s mobile phone went off when the battery got flat, compelling her to ask a stranger sitting on the seawall at Sogi to use his phone.

“I kept calling but no answer I then texted him twice no reply. 

My sister and one of my relatives went around that whole area at that time but we couldn’t find him.

“This was around 12 midnight so we then came to the Fugalei market because my mother has a stall here, we came and asked one of the people here at the market if I could borrow their mobile phone.

“I called my husband’s phone five times it kept ringing but nobody answered. However, on my last attempt to his phone someone answered, but I could hear the person breathing but nobody was talking to me when I kept asking about my husband.

“The person on the other side hung up and I kept calling again and again the person switched off my husband’s phone,” she added. 

Mrs. Meli said she then went to their home at Faatoia but he was not there so she picked up her mother from the market and returned to Sogi, before driving around Mulinuu. 

“We came and stopped at Sogi and ask a security guard at one of the bars there if he had seen anyone. But the security guard said “no” and then told her that he could see ambulance lights flashing at the back of Government Building. 

“When we got there a lot of people were there and police officers as well as fire service vehicles were there as well I told them that I was looking for my husband and if I could see if that was him.”

Ms. Meli said the injuries on her late husband’s face and head were horrible. 

“He had some very severe injuries on his head and his face. I don’t know how someone could do something like this to him because he was a very humble person. They also took his phone, money and all his belongings.”

Attempt by the Samoa Observer yesterday to get comments from the Ministry of Police were unsuccessful. 

Mrs. Meli has appealed to the public to assist the police in their investigations.

“I miss him so much and I am also asking the public that if you have seen anything on that night please come forward and let the police know,” she said.

The grieving wife and the Chinese national have a six-month old baby boy. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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