Lost Brit Academic Confirmed Deceased In China

Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 4:11 PM

Police confirm the death of 60-year-old English speech lecturer Hilary St John Bower, who'd been lost since late March.

Lost Brit Academic Confirmed Deceased In China

A British academic has been killed in southern China in a case friends believe may be linked to a million-dollar property deal.

Hilary St John Bower, sixty, had been due to retire after more than a decade as an English Speech lecturer at Hong Kong'south Polytechnic University, and is said to have been looking forward to spending more time with his six-year-old son.

He'd been lost since late March, when he left the former British colony to visit his long-term girlfriend and their son in the mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Police presently declare he was killed within hours of crossing the border.

"Police have received notification from mainland relevant authorities that he was killed on the night of March twenty-two," Hong Kong police said in a statement.

They didn't declare how Mister Bower died, or why it'd taken so long to confirm his death.

His girlfriend reported him lost on thirtieth March.

One of Mister Bower'south friends said the police handling of the case had been "shoddy and shambolic" and his younger brother was flying out to Hong Kong.

"I discover it unbelievable that Hilary'south friends and colleagues have had to discover out from the media about this," fellow academic Richard Charles told the S China Morning Post.

"We're in shock and are extremely upset."

He said Mister Bower had recently completed a "complicated" property deal worth an estimated $1.2m (£843.000) which he believed might be linked to his disappearance.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was providing consular support to the family and making urgent enquiries with authorities.

"We're providing assistance to the family of a British national reported lost in Southern China and are urgently seeking further information from local authorities," an FCO spokesperson said.

Mister Bower had taught at the Polytechnic Univ since one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, and previously worked in China, S Korea, Thailand, Spain, and Kuwait, according to the university website.

Murders of foreigners are scarce in China, although the murder of another British man, Neil Heywood, in two thousand-eleventh made headlines around the world, and triggered a enormous political scandal in China.

The wife of a former top Chinese official was convicted of killing Mister Heywood, and her husband, who'd been seen as a rising star in the Chinese Communist Party, was sentenced to life in prison for corruption.

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