Mystery Slasher Slays Seashell Man

KUTA

The slashing murder of an art-shop owner at the door of his Bypass Ngurah Rai premises at Kuta has police mystified. The shop owner, Heri, also known as Hartoyo, 38, had answered a knock at the door. An unknown assailant slashed his neck.

He was found by his wife shortly afterwards, lying in a pool of blood. She had gone to look for him on Sunday, October 3, when he did not return to their apartment above the shop after going downstairs.

The head of Sanglah Hospital’s forensic team, Dr Dudut Rustyadi, said neck wounds on Hartoyo were 20 centimetres long.

“There are wounds that were treated with 19 stitches on the back of the neck, in a horizontal direction of 20 centimetres,” he said.

Police said their investigations indicated someone — or maybe more than one person – had called at Hartoyo’s premises, where he sold seashells, about 10pm on Sunday.

Hartoyo was in his top-floor apartment with his wife and told her he would go downstairs to see who it was.

His wife told police she had heard nothing suspicious when her husband went downstairs but had gone to look for him later when he did not return.

“I was surprised because my husband has not come back,” she said.

Neighbours called police and an ambulance and Hartoyo was taken to the intensive care unit at Sanglah.

Police said the investigation was difficult because there were no witnesses to the attack and the incident took place at night.

A foreign business associate of Hartoyo, named by police as Didier, said that on the Sunday he had met Hartoyo at his home to discuss business. The meeting had concerned unfair competition from others in the business of selling seashells.

“There are unscrupulous businessmen who make unfair competition. I suspect [the crime] was something to do with business,” Didier said.

Kuta Police chief Gede Ganefo said this week police were interviewing neighbours in an attempt to move the investigation forward.

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