17 January 14
KFS teamwork helps to convict killer who wiped out a whole family.
KFS scientists from across the business worked together to support the high profile investigation into the killing of the Ding family in their Northamptonshire home.
Businessman Anxiang Du stabbed Jifeng "Jeff" Ding, his wife Ge "Helen" Chui, and their daughters Xing and Alice to death at their Northampton home in April 2011.
Du demanded money from business associate Mr Ding and, when he refused, he stabbed him 23 times and his wife 13 times. He then went upstairs to a bedroom and killed their daughters Xing, 18, who was also known as Nancy, and 12-year-old Alice.
Following the murders, Du then lay down and slept in the house, he later woke up and stole the family's lease car and tried unsuccessfully, to track down another business partner, before fleeing the country.
Du was eventually arrested in Morocco in July 2012 and extradited back to the UK in February 2013.
Coventry’s National Head of Biology, Helen Haworth was called to the scene and was there for several days, conducting a detailed examination of the bodies and the Ding home.
Helen immediately identified a significant amount of blood spatter, plus hand, finger and footwear marks in blood, giving a strong indication of the sequence of events, including the assertion that the assault had begun in the kitchen where Jeff, and then Helen were murdered. The assailant had gone up the stairs, leaving a blood mark on the bannister which came from Jeff and Helen, the assailant murdered the two girls whilst they were in the same bedroom. One of the girls had made a 999 call during the attack and the outline of her mobile phone was seen in blood on the floor. The assailant went back down the stairs leaving another blood mark in Alice and Nancy’s mixed blood. On return to the kitchen the blood stained knife was put onto the worktop. The assailant then stood at the kitchen sink presumably to wash himself and the weapon. The sink was subsequently removed and taken to our Warrington lab, where it was examined by Martin Beale and the team using the LCV enhancement technique. Martin was able to establish the presence of blood, which when DNA profiled, was found to belong to ‘Jeff’ Ding.
Helen called her colleagues Reporting Managers David Jarratt-Knock, Martin Beale and Ali Green to attend the scene during the final day to chemically enhance, and then examine, the footwear marks left in blood.
Helen also found a loose button with some threads still attached, within the clothing folds of one of the victims which did not originate from any clothing worn by that person or others in the house. This indicated that the button had been torn off the assailant’s clothing by the victim during a struggle.
Biology Reporting Manager and Team Leader Steve Harrington subsequently examined the Ding’s stolen car once it had been recovered. Steve found chemical traces of blood in an area of foot well carpet. The carpet was recovered and then examined by the team back at the laboratory.
This carpet was then re-examined in laboratory conditions, no blood was visible to the naked eye and therefore it was subjected to taping using heavy pressure resulting in some blood flakes being recovered. These blood flakes yielded a partial DNA profile belonging to ‘Jeff’ Ding.
Ultimately, Helen gave evidence in court in front of High Court Judge, Mr Justice Flaux.
The combination of this teamwork and the various forensic outcomes played a critical role in the prosecution and conviction of Anxiang Du. He was jailed for life with a minimum of 40 years.
Commenting on this appalling crime, Helen said ‘This was a case where the combined experience and resources of our scientific staff was used to maximise the opportunity to identify and recover all possible forensic evidence and to help piece together the sequence of events on that tragic day. It is certainly one I will remember’.