When Klaus Andres wanted out of his marriage to Li Ping Cao he chose a much grislier method than divorce.
In front of reporters Klaus Andres, 70, held aloft a picture of his wife. Li Ping Cao, 32, was missing. And Andres was desperate for her safe return.
But something was off about the scene.
To start with, Andres was smiling. And when the cameras zoomed in on Li Ping’s photo, deep wounds were visible on his hands.
Investigations soon turned up what Andres already knew as he appealed for his wife’s return. Li Ping was dead. He’d killed her and dissolved her body in a wheelie bin of hydrochloric acid. Then, he’d simply poured her down the drain.
All so he could be with his mistress, and avoid paying money to Li Ping in a divorce settlement.
Andres’ plan was evil and grisly, but poorly executed. In the days after he killed his wife, he was captured on CCTV using her bankcard to buy acid in a hardware store.
The couple’s neighbours in Cairns, Queensland, reported seeing him hose down a drain near his home, where police found 10 porcelain teeth – all that was left of Li Ping.
In December 2013 Andres appeared in court where he admitted using acid to dispose of his wife’s body, but he claimed Li Ping had died accidentally after falling and hitting her head.
He claimed he got the wounds on his hand when Li Ping had stabbed him with a fork during a row.
Andres’ mistress testified at the trial. She told the court Andres had given her a diamond ring and told her he wanted to marry her. In an email he’d told her there was a problem he had to fix before they could be together. Andres admitted to the court the ‘problem’ was Li Ping.
Even so, he stood by his outlandish story. The jury saw through it. Found guilty of murder, Klaus Andres was given a life sentence.
A 2015 appeal was rejected. Andres will die behind bars.