The Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) on Wednesday made 16 videos public in a bid to solve the mysterious death of 15-year-old student Chan Yin-lam, whose body was found naked in a pool of water on September 22.
Rumors have circulated online in Hong Kong suggesting she was killed as she supported the pro-democracy movement, but so far there has been no evidence about how she died and police suspect suicide.
According to the newly-released CCTV footage, Chan was in a stairway on the second floor of Block B in the HKDI campus at 6:13pm on September 19. She was then seen in Lift 11 at 5:51pm.
HKDI did not release any video between 5:51pm and 6:13pm, which could show Chan putting down her things on the second floor of Block B.
Between 6:27pm and 6:30pm, Chan was seen wandering around the podium garden with her shoes. She looked absent-minded and did not appear to have a specific destination.
From 6:36pm, she started walking barefoot. At 6:37pm, she moved to the lift area and pressed the lift buttons without entering them. At 6:47pm, she walked into the canteen on the seventh floor and then to a corridor. Some students saw her but did not talk to her. From 6:56pm, she was seen departing the Institute.
A student said Tuesday he saw Chan wandering in the Tiu Keng Leng area at about 7:15pm.
The videos did not help clear up any doubts about her death, but created more speculation.
Some people said the person in the HKDI videos looked different from Chan, who was seen previously. Some said more videos needed to be disclosed to show how she left her things in the campus and MTR station. Police said she walked barefoot towards the Tseung Kwan O Waterfront Park and committed suicide on September 19.
HKDI said Wednesday it had released all related videos about Chan.
On Tuesday evening, a woman claiming to be Chan’s mother, named Ho Pui-yee, put out a statement calling on the public not to speculate on her daughter’s death, which she said was not related to politics. She complained that a lot of people with strong political views had phoned her and disrupted the peaceful lives of her family.
The statement, which was first circulated among pro-Beijing social media groups in a screenshot format, was then published on Facebook by an account named Puiyee Ho. It was picked up by pro-Beijing newspapers, which blamed anti-government protesters and media for using the case to create trouble.
A former-colleague of Ho said in a Facebook post that Ho was divorced from Chan’s father and started living with a policeman in Tin Shui Wai at least five years ago. She said Chan lived with her grandfather, or Ho’s father, in Yuen Long. She said it was unclear whether the latest statement was written by Ho herself.
Another person uploaded photos of the policeman, who was nicknamed “Sushi.”
Chan was last seen by her friends in Mei Foo Sun Chuen in Kowloon at 2:15pm on September 19. She went back to HKDI in the afternoon. On September 22, the marine police found her naked body floating in a pool of water in Yau Tong.
On September 24, the police published a public notice about its search for Chan on behalf of her parents, who insisted on using an old photo of Chan. HKDI classmates, who only knew Chan for a few days in mid-September, recognized her face differently, according to an Instagram post and another social media post.
On August 11, Chan was seen holding some snacks in Sham Shui Po MTR station and planning to share them with some anti-extradition protesters, Apple Daily reported on Wednesday.
In another video, Chan was seen sitting on the ground in Tung Chung MTR station on August 12. She was emotionally distraught as she could not get in touch with her boyfriend’s father. She was reportedly on her way home after visiting her boyfriend in Tong Fuk Correctional Institution but she ran out of cash to pay the taxi fare.
She was approached by a plainclothes detective and some police. During the incident, she kicked an officer and was then sent to a girls’ home between August 12 and September 11.
While she was in the girls’ home, she was charged with property damage after she tore apart some papers, Singpao.com reported on October 11. She had to go to court on a property damage charge on September 20 and also faced a charge of assaulting a police officer on September 26.
On Thursday evening, Ho said in an exclusive interview with TVB that she watched all the CCTV footage provided by the police and believed that Chan had committed suicide. She said Chan told her in August that she heard voices and could not sleep well. However, medical tests showed no illnesses. The family had a BBQ gathering on September 13.