Taipei, Jan. 4 (CNA) A missing couple linked by police to the body of a man discovered last Friday on a Nantou hiking trail have been found dead in a nearby part of Puli Township.
Local firefighters and police said the remains of a woman, surnamed Wang (王), and a man, surnamed Kuo (郭), had been found hanging 200 meters from the body of a man, surnamed Fan Chiang (范姜), who was discovered by hikers on Dec. 31.
Police said that a preliminary investigation had uncovered that Fan Chiang, confirmed as a 32-year-old male, had ridden a motorcycle followed by Wang and Kuo sharing a second motorcycle on Dec. 28.
The vehicles were located in a bush by the entrance of the trail, according to police.
On Dec. 31, a married couple hiking by the Wolong Dong (臥龍洞) Cave had discovered Fan Chiang’s body hanging near a side slope and contacted police.
Local authorities then enlisted the aid of rescue professionals to remove the body from the location.
According to police, all three of the individuals shared a friendship with one another.
Authorities had initially declared Kuo and Wang missing and as persons of interest in their investigation into Fan Chiang’s death.
Police are now in possession of two phones belonging to Wang and Kuo.
While foul play is not suspected, police have yet to officially rule the deaths of Kuo, Wang, and Fan Chiang as suicides, with further investigations underway.
The Puli precinct also stated that as the three deaths were part of an ongoing investigation, prosecutors had instructed police to no longer speak with the press about the case.
According to a firefighter who had spoken to Wang’s mother, Kuo and Wang ran a plotted plant business together.
He also said that Wang’s mother had told him that the deceased trio once shared a rental property together, and that the couple had gotten into conflict with Fan Chiang before in the past.
(By Hsiao Po-yang and James Lo)