Body in suitcase: woman identified but mystery deepens

Police outside Ms Chen’s Mosman Park home. Photo: Jon Bassett
Police outside Ms Chen’s Mosman Park home. Photo: Jon Bassett

POLICE want to hear from people who may have known Mosman Park woman Annabelle Chen, who was identified as the victim of the ‘body in the suitcase’ murder.

Major Crime Squad detectives had been trying to identify Ms Chen’s body since it was found by fisherman in the Swan River, East Fremantle, about 7:45am on Saturday July 2.

She was last seen at her home on June 30.

Ms Chen, 57, was an Australian citizen who had lived in WA since 1999 and had been in her Meath Mews, Mosman Park, home for the past 14 years.

Ms Chen’s daughter, who lives interstate, reported her mother as missing on Friday, leading police to make the identification.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tom Mills described Ms Chen as a “self sufficient” person who was also “extremely spiritual but very, very private”.

“She attended a number of different churches and temples to pray,” he told reporters on Monday.

“We believe that she actually has a number of religions that she follows.

“She certainly had an interest in Buddhism and the Catholic religion as well.

“What I’m asking is for any members of those churches and temples who may know this lady to come forward so we can fill in the details of her life.

“The key for us in this investigation is learning more about her, and the public can play an important role in that.

“We do know that she enjoyed art and was a good artist herself.”

Det-Snr Sgt Mills said Ms Chen was not in constant communication with her family, and she did have other children in Perth with whom her contact was “very infrequent”.

“Ms Chen has relatives who live and work interstate and overseas and it was not uncommon for her to not see them for considerable periods of time,” he said.

“She did remain in contact via other means and her worried relatives reported her missing after an unusually long break in communication, which was out of character for her.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or by visiting