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Estranged husband charged after woman's body found off Steveston

A 35-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife, Coquitlam mother-of-two Yating “Lancy” Hu.

RCMP Sgt. Jennifer Pound, spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, made that announcement on Sunday afternoon, more than two weeks after Hu’s body was found in the waters off Steveston last month.

Pound said two boaters who were out fishing on Aug. 27, came across a suitcase floating in the waters off West Richmond, and apparently became immediately suspicious and contacted the police, Pound said.

“This is a tragic outcome for the family of Lancy Hu,” said Pound. “IHIT is now focused on the court process and providing the evidence collected through the course of the investigation. It is possible the Hu family will find some closure now that their daughter/mother has been located and may be put to rest.”

Charged is Zhongming “James” Mou, Hu’s estranged husband.

Hu’s parents, Yanyu Xiao and Muming Hu, who came to the Lower Mainland from China to assist in the search for their missing daughter, received this week’s news with a heavy heart.

“Knowing what has happened to Lancy has been incredibly difficult for the Hu family, but to be able to put her to rest has provided some peace.

“We will forever miss our daughter,” they said in a statement through police.

The couple were experiencing marital problems, and Hu moved out of the family home in Coquitlam and to a home in Burnaby, Pound said.

Hu was last seen leaving her Coquitlam apartment on July 16, and has been missing ever since.

Their two children are now in the care of Mou’s parents, who reportedly live in Richmond.

Early on, police suspected foul play.

Although Hu’s body was eventually identified through an autopsy, police kept that information secret while they conducted their investigation.

“In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, the fact that Hu had been located was not made public. This allowed investigators to use a variety of techniques and gather sufficient evidence for charge approval,” Pound said.

- with files from Black Press

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