Was body-in-a-suitcase victim murdered over a $10M divorce settlement? Police probe whether money was the motive for the killing of artist Annabelle Chen

  • Police have returned to scour the river for clues to solve Ms Chen's murder
  • Her body was found in a suitcase floating on Swan River in Perth on July 2
  • It took more than two months for police to identify the 57-year-old victim
  • The suitcase she was found in was reportedly weighed down by green tiles
  • A Blade scooter tied to a Maxwell & Williams breadboard are also clues

The reclusive artist whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase in a river had once received a divorce settlement worth more than $10 million.

Police are now investigating if the large sum of money had any part in the death of Annabelle Chen, 57, whose mutilated, half naked body was found in the suitcase floating in Swan River, Perth.

Ms Chen received the settlement in the early 1990s, Perth Now reported.

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Annabelle Chen, 57, was found mutilated in a suitcase floating on Swan River in Perth on July 2

Annabelle Chen, 57, was found mutilated in a suitcase floating on Swan River in Perth on July 2

Divers returned to scour the Swan River in Perth for clues as the investigation into Ms Chen's death continued

Divers returned to scour the Swan River in Perth for clues as the investigation into Ms Chen's death continued

The investigation into her death continued this week as divers again scoured the Swan River near Fremantle Traffic Bridge where her body was found by squid fishermen in July.

Police had been unable to identify the body until two months later, on September 5, after her Melbourne-based daughter reported her missing.

The mystery surrounding her death led detectives to flag the case as a top priority. 

Earlier, divers recovered green floral tiles used to weigh the suitcase down and a Blade push scooter with a bread board cable tied to it, according toNews.com.au.

The tiles that were found in the suitcase with Ms Chen reportedly match the tiles in her home

The tiles that were found in the suitcase with Ms Chen reportedly match the tiles in her home

A Blade scooter that was cable tied to a Maxwell & Williams breadboard  linked to the death

A Blade scooter that was cable tied to a Maxwell & Williams breadboard linked to the death

It has been reported the scooter setup was possibly used to transport the suitcase from a vehicle to the river. 

The distinct tiles were reported to have 'specifically matched' the same tiles in Ms Chen's bathroom in her Mosman Park, Perth home, according to police. 

Ms Chen, who was described as deeply spiritual, had an 'estranged' relationship with her family and often did not see relatives for months at a time.

She moved to Australia from China in 1999 and had lived in the same $1 - $2m home since 2001.

The talented artist came from a wealthy family and Detective Senior Sergeant Tom Mills said she was a 'private, caring, spiritual person'.

Her Melbourne-based daughter last saw her mother on June 30 at her Mosman Park home, two days before her body was found, and reported her missing nearly two months later upon returning to Perth when she couldn't make contact.

It was then that police identified Ms Chen's body, after a two-month, international effort wasn't successful. 

The mother was found killed in a SB Polo suitcase near Fremantle Traffic Bridge in Swan River

The mother was found killed in a SB Polo suitcase near Freemantle Traffic Bridge in Swan River

Ms Chen was wearing this black Disney t-shirt when she was murdered and left in the river

Ms Chen was wearing this black Disney t-shirt when she was murdered and left in the river

The talented artist  was wearing this blue Kathmandu fleece vest when she was murdered

The talented artist was wearing this blue Kathmandu fleece vest when she was murdered

 

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