Anna Leask

Anna Leask is a police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Police arrest Cissy Chen's partner in wake-up call

Detectives quiet on catalyst for murder charge after remains found last month.

Yun Qing Liu.
Yun Qing Liu.

At 7am yesterday, police arrived at the North Shore home of slain accountant Cissy Chen.

Their presence at the house was not unusual - they have been regular visitors at the Torbay property since Ms Chen disappeared in November 2012 and her remains were found in a reserve last month.

But yesterday was not an ordinary visit. Detectives were there to arrest Ms Chen's long-time partner and charge him with murdering her 489 days ago.

Ms Chen had been in a relationship with Yun Qing Liu, 57, for many years. Though the pair were not married, they owned a house together on Waiau St.

Liu, known as Jack, was the last person to see Ms Chen alive and was always a person of interest.

Police would not be drawn on what led to his arrest, which came just 15 days after Ms Chen's skeletal remains were found in a drain at the Totaravale Reserve, saying the matter was now before the courts.

The Herald has learned that detectives went to see Liu at 7am yesterday. They spoke to him at length and then arrested him and charged him with murder.

He was taken to the Henderson station where he was fingerprinted, photographed and processed before appearing in the North Shore District Court.

Ms Chen was reported missing by Liu at 9.30pm on November 5, 2012. She had arrived home from work at about 5.30pm, he said, and gone for her nightly walk. It soon became clear that Ms Chen had not been seen since she left her Glenfield workplace. It was Guy Fawkes, a busy night in the Torbay neighbourhood, yet not a single person reported seeing her.

Police spoke with Liu regularly and told the Herald several months ago that he was co-operative. His English was limited, but he always made himself available to speak with officers and tried to answer any questions they had.

At the time, Detective Inspector Bruce Scott said police doubted she went for a walk.

"We believe something happened to her - whether at home or somewhere else. And that's the basis of our homicide investigation."

- NZ Herald

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