The body of a missing Burnaby woman has been found and her husband charged with murder, Vancouver police said Sunday.

Zhongming (James) Mou, 35, was charged late Saturday afternoon with the first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Yating (Lancy) Hu. The Burnaby mother, 27, vanished in mid-July.

Her husband had claimed originally he had not seen his wife since dropping her off at her Metrotown apartment on July 15. Nearly a month later, Mou told police the last time he saw Hu was when she left the family home in Coquitlam on July 16.

Police recovered her body on Aug. 27 after two boaters found a suitcase containing the remains in the Fraser River near the west end of Steveston, but only on Sunday did they make the discovery public.

"Details were kept from the families and public in order to advance the investigation," Burnaby RCMP Sgt. Jennifer Pound said in a news release.

"An autopsy was completed and [police were] able to confirm the female was, in fact, Hu, and that the death was ruled foul play."

Pound said investigators hid the fact that her body had been found and used "a variety of techniques" in gathering the evidence needed to have charges approved.


According to the RCMP, Lancy Hu's husband reported her missing. Originally, he told police he dropped her off at her Burnaby apartment on July 15.

Hu's parents travelled from China in August to help police find their daughter. Towards the end of August, before Hu's body was found, they made an emotional plea to the public for more information.

During that press conference, her father, Hu Nu Ming, said his daughter had marital problems and was separated and seeking a divorce from her husband. He also said she was a victim of domestic abuse.

Children with grandparents

Pound said Mou is in custody and is scheduled to appear in court in Port Coquitlam on Monday morning.

Pound also said the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) is involved in the case because Hu and Mou have two young children together.

"Currently the children are in the care of Zhongming (James) Mou’s parents and have been since the arrest of Mou," she said.

"MCFD are continually assessing the situation."

With files from the CBC's Mike Clarke