Rurik George Caton Jutting, a former Bank of America Corp. employee, was charged with the murder of two women in a Hong Kong apartment.
Jutting, 29, is accused of killing Sumarti Ningsih on Oct. 27 and an unidentified woman on Nov. 1, according to charges read out in the Eastern Magistrates’ court in Hong Kong today.
Escorted by three police officers, the U.K. national appeared in court wearing dark-rimmed glasses and a black shirt. He said he understood the charges he was facing, and will be remanded in custody. The case was adjourned until Nov. 10.
Jutting faces life in prison if convicted, the same sentence being served by Nancy Kissel for killing her banker husband 11 years ago in what became known locally as the “milkshake murder.” Hong Kong had 14 homicides from January to July this year, compared with 56 in the same period in 2013, according to data on the police force’s website.
Jutting was identified as a banker at Bank of America, according to a deposition of witnesses, the court heard. A person with the same name worked in Hong Kong at the Asian structured equity finance and trading division of the bank’s Merrill Lynch unit starting in July 2013, according to a LinkedIn profile.
Paul Scanlon, a spokesman for the lender in Hong Kong, said the second-biggest U.S. lender previously had an employee named Rurik Jutting, declining to provide further details.
According to the charge sheet, the murders occurred at a 31st-floor apartment in the Wan Chai district, about a mile to the east of Hong Kong’s central business district.
“Police sped to the scene and an unconscious woman aged 25 to 30 was found lying inside the unit,” the police said in a Nov. 1 statement. “Sustaining cut wounds to her neck and buttock, the woman was certified dead at scene. In the course of investigation, police found a suitcase at the balcony of the unit, and a female dead body with neck injuries was found inside the suitcase.”
A knife was seized at the scene, according to the statement.
Ningsih, one of the victims, was an Indonesian citizen and held a one-month tourist visa that expires today, according to Sam Aryadi, a spokesman at the country’s consulate in Hong Kong. He said “there’s a possibility” the second victim is also Indonesian.
“We’re trying to inform the relatives and family of this very sad situation and coordinating with the Hong Kong police,” Aryadi said by phone today.
The Wan Chai deaths occurred almost 11 years to the day after Robert Kissel, another Merrill banker, was murdered by his wife on Nov. 2, 2003. Nancy Kissel served her husband a sedative-laced milkshake before bludgeoning him to death with a lead ornament in the bedroom of their luxury apartment.
The apartment where Ningsih and the other woman were found is in the J Residence, an Urban Renewal Authority residential project developed by a unit of K Wah International Holdings Ltd., according to its website.
The 43-floor building has a gym, clubhouse and a rooftop pool on the three highest floors, according to a person who lives in the building. There is a 24-hour security desk at the door, security cameras throughout, and residents’ lift passes allow them access to their own floor and the communal areas only, said the person.
One of the three people working at the concierge desk yesterday declined to comment on the situation. The complex is on a street surrounded by restaurants and the windows in the front entrance are adorned with Halloween decorations.
The criminal case is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region v Jutting Rurik George Caton, ESC3743/14, Eastern Magistrates Court.