Local police in Hong Kong have confirmed that Hilary St John Bower, a 60-year-old British man working as an English language teacher, who went missing in late March, was killed over a week before he was reported absent.
Hong Kong authorities were notified about Bower’s absence on March 30, the police said in a statement, adding that mainland Chinese authorities had informed them that he had been killed on the evening of March 22.
There was no confirmation as to why or how he was killed, or why it took so long to publicise his death, but Hong Kong police said they were waiting for more information following an investigation.
The Polytechnic University, where Bower worked since 1996, issued no statement regarding the incident.
Local police in the mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen, where Bower regularly travelled to visit a long-time girlfriend, likewise said they had no information about the case when asked by Reuters news agency.
A spokesperson for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it is “urgently seeking further information from local authorities” and is providing help to Bower’s family.
Bower previously worked in mainland China, South Korea, Thailand, Spain and Kuwait.
In 2011, the murder of another British national, Neil Heywood, sparked a diplomatic scandal when the wife of former Chinese leader Bo Xilai was convicted.