British teacher found dead in China

A British university teacher has been killed in China, police in Hong Kong have said. Hilary St John Bower, who was an English teacher at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, was found dead on the Chinese mainland. Police would not say if there was a “criminal element” in the death of Mr Bower, 60, who had been reported missing by his girlfriend. The Foreign Office said it was providing support to the family. A friend has been quoted as saying Mr Bower’s disappearance, and possible murder, may have been linked to a lucrative property sale in China, the BBC’s Hong Kong correspondent Juliana Liu said. But police said they “cannot identify whether there is any criminal element”. Mr Bower’s colleague Richard Charles told the South China Morning Post: “I do know that after buying at the bottom of the property market a good few years ago, he was expecting to be paid somewhere in the region of nine million Hong Kong dollars for a property he just sold in Shekou.” Shekou is an industrial zone of mainland China facing Hong Kong across Shenzhen Bay. Investigators on the mainland told police in Hong Kong that Mr Bower was killed on the night he went missing. Mr Bower was reported missing to Hong Kong police by his girlfriend on 30 March, the force said, and when investigators discovered he had travelled between the city and mainland China they contacted authorities there. A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We are providing support to the family at this difficult time, and will remain in close contact with local authorities.” The English language teacher had worked at Hong Kong Polytechnic University since 1996. A spokeswoman for Hong Kong Polytechnic University said: “The university will render all necessary support and assistance to Mr Bower’s family, and offer counselling to colleagues and students in need.”

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