Here in the United States, media outlets tend to act as if the world ends at the ports of New York and San Francisco, and that there isn’t anything newsworthy going on in other parts of the world. However, every once in a while, something so shocking happens abroad that it makes it into American media reels. The recent murder of Abby Choi in Hong Kong on February 24, 2023, is one such case.
The 28-year-old model was a wife and a loving mother of four children, and the murderers in this case have tragically left her husband a widow and her children motherless. According to Hong Kong police, seven suspects have been arrested in connection to Abby’s murder thus far, including her ex-husband, her former parents-in-law, her former brother-in-law, the alleged mistress of her former father-in-law, and two others. It’s hard to believe that such a large cohort could have agreed to and planned the murder of this innocent young woman. However, the facts of this case strongly imply that this was a group effort.
The murder of Abby Choi reeks of greed and entitlement. Her murderers were living off of Abby’s money like parasites, unwilling to work to support themselves. So, when Abby’s generosity began to run out, this horrible family retaliated by killing this poor young woman. Abby Choi truly had so much to live for. She was in the prime of her career as a model, flying around the world to appear at fashion shows, only to have that all taken away in an instant.
Let’s take a look at the needless murder of Abby Choi, what happened in the years leading up to it, and the status of the investigation today.
The Life of Abby Choi
Abby Choi was the first-born child to a wealthy Hong Kong family that operated a construction business that had valuable connections in mainland China. But, despite being born into a wealthy family, Abby made her own way in the world, growing her social media platforms and eventually leveraging her online fame to get modeling jobs with mainstream media outlets.
Abby was known to her followers as a fashion icon and a trendsetter. She regularly attended Paris Fashion Week. She made appearances in major fashion magazines, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue. In fact, Abby was featured on the cover of L’Officiel Monaco less than two weeks before she died.
At the time of her death, her net worth was estimated to be around HK$100 million (which is equivalent to around USD$12.7 million. Her Instagram page had over 100,000 followers and her Instagram bio read, “Embracing every moment of life.” This is a woman who was in the prime of her career, living her life to the fullest, only to have her life ripped away because of greed.
Abby Choi got married for the first time when she was 18 years old to Alex Kwong. Unlike his wife, Alex was never successful. Instead, he and his entire family lived off of the money that Abby Choi made from her modeling career. Abby and Alex had two daughters together, who are now ages 10 and 8.
In 2015, Alex and Abby divorced. However, despite the fact that they were separated, Abby continued to support Alex’s family financially. She purchased a luxurious home (in Kadoorie Hill in Kowloon Tong, one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Hong Kong) for her ex-parents-in-law Kau Kwong and Shui-heong Lee while she was married to Alex and allowed them to continue to live in it for years after they got divorced. She also hired Alex’s brother Anthony Kwong to be her personal driver.
In 2016, Abby married Chris Tam and had a daughter and a son with him, now ages 6 and 3. Abby was still very much involved in her other two children’s lives, though, which meant that she was still connected to the Kwong family. And, according to a friend of Abby’s, Kau Kwong (Abby’s ex-father-in-law) threatened Abby that he would kill her if she ever sold the house she’d bought for him and his wife.
Despite that threat, Abby announced to the Kwongs that she was going to sell their house, inciting a horrible plan that would lead to her death.
Abby Goes Missing
Abby was last seen getting into a van with her ex-brother-in-law Anthony Kwong, who was still working as her driver. Abby was supposed to pick up her daughter from school, but she never arrived. After not seeing her all day, Chris Tam reported Abby missing.
The police immediately began an investigation into Abby’s whereabouts and they uncovered that Kau Kwong (a former police officer himself who was dismissed from the force in 2005 after being arrested on rape allegations) had recently rented an apartment in the Tai Po district of Hong Kong. When the police checked the CCTV from the apartment complex, they noticed that the van that Abby was last seen getting into was parked outside.
Then, the CCTV showed something even more sinister: the Kwong family removing large plastic bins from the apartment and throwing them in a dumpster. When police arrived at the apartment, the discovered Abby’s blood inside the van. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg. Inside the apartment was a scene more sinister than anyone could’ve imagined.
The Crime Scene
On February 24th, 2023, inside the apartment, the police found a meat grinder, an electric saw, a cleaver, a hammer, a raincoat, several face shields, and Abby’s purse. They also found a pot of soup boiling on the stove and, inside the soup, they found Abby’s head. Another pot of soup was also boiling on the stove that was believed to contain human flesh. The rest of Abby’s dismembered body was found in the refrigerator.
It’s unclear whether members of the family had already consumed pieces of Abby’s body by the time they were found. That same day, on February 24th, Kau Kwong, Anthony Kwong, and Shui-heong Lee were all arrested. Not long after, Alex Kwong was arrested as he tried to flee Hong Kong by boat.
Another woman named Ng Chi Wing has also been arrested in connection to the case. She’s believed to have sustained an extramarital affair with Kau Kwong and have helped him hide in the time after Abby’s murder. She’s been charged with abetting a murder suspect and is reported to be cooperating with police.
Two more people have been arrested in connection to this case (bringing the total to 7): Lam Shun, a friend of Alex Kwong who’s been charged with abetting a murder suspect, and Irene Poon, who’s also been charged with abetting a murder suspect.
These suspects have yet to face trial; however, a conviction of murder carries a mandatory life sentence in Hong Kong. Abby Choi’s mother also recently filed a court injunction to forbid Kau Kwong from selling the property where Abby Choi was believed to have been murdered. She is seeking a declaration that her daughter was the beneficiary owner of that apartment.
The entire Hong Kong community (as well as the global community) is devastated by this needless crime. Friends of Abby Choi have expressed their deep grief over the loss of her life. There are now four children who no longer have a mother. This was a financially motivated crime, and to think that someone (much less an entire family) would murder someone over money is monstrous. Let’s hope that the Kwong family is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.