Police have arrested a man they say is the killer of the naked niece — Dewa Agung Ayu Diah Cahyani, 18, found by her uncle sprawled nude with multiple stab wounds and a knife through her neck in her bed at her Denpasar boarding house on September 7.
Wayan Budi, also known as Panjul, was arrested in Banyuwangi, East Java, on Tuesday after police shot him in the legs when he tried to flee.
Bali Police chief Hadiatmoko is understood to have planned to announce the arrest in the sensational case on Thursday, but the deputy chief of Denpasar Police, Putu Mahasena, told media about it at the opening of the Kuta Karnival on Wednesday evening.
Calls earlier to Mahasena’s boss, Denpasar Police chief Suryanbodo Asmoro and South Denpasar Police chief Leo Pasaribu had not revealed the arrest.
Questioned by the media at the carnival opening at Kuta beach, Mahasena said: “Yes, the killer has been arrested.”
He said he could not disclose further details because Hadiatmoko planned to do so at a specially called media conference next day.
But a police source later said the arrest followed close questioning of many witnesses interviewed after the murder and the discovery of the victim’s motorbike at Kapal, near Mengwi in Badung, days after the killing. The bike carried fingerprints police were able to confirm were those of Wayan Budi.
“We checked the fingerprints and found the name of the perpetrator,” said the source, who asked not to be named.
Police believe the motive for the killing was robbery and that the killer did not know Cahyani, known to friends and family as Echa, the daughter of senior Bangli bureaucrat Dewa Gede Suparta, head of the regency’s industry and commerce department.
They believe he had planned to steal property and entered the room thinking it was empty. But Cahyani, who was sleeping, woke when the intruder walked in and tried to fight him off.
Fearing she would scream and alert other student residents at the boarding house on Jl Ida Bagus Oka, at Panjer in South Denpasar, he stabbed her repeatedly with a knife he was carrying.
Post-mortem examination by doctors at Sanglah Hospital revealed she had nine stab wounds including the fatal thrust through her neck, which had almost severed it.
A second police source revealed that Budi had been shot by arresting police. “He tried to run away and was shot in the legs,” the source said.
The September 7 killing — which occurred during heavy rain and when many people were away on holidays after Ramadhan – gained public attention because of the tragic circumstances in which Cahyani was found, suspicions that it might be a sex crime and the fact that she was the daughter of a top Bangli bureaucrat.
Her father had asked her uncle to check on her because he had not been able to reach her on her mobile phone all day. The phone was among items stolen from her room by the killer.
Cahyani was a health sciences student.
As well as the motorbike and mobile phone, the killer also stole a laptop computer. Although he left the knife impaled in Cahyani’s neck he took the trouble to lock the door of her room as he left after the brutal killing.