More gruesome details have emerged in the case against accused killers Stephanie Ching and her husband Douglas Lomas, who both stand charged with the murder and dismemberment of Ching's elderly father, Benedict Ching, last month.
According to court filings read on Monday, as the two suspects made their first appearance before a judge, the scene that investigators found at Ching's home on Del Monte Street was a messy one. And the couple appears to have tried to flee the country in a hurry on the morning of May 20 after a visit by Stephanie Ching's sister. Plastic sheeting and cardboard remained on walls, as did evidence of blood in a bathtub, and "unknown biological matter" in a toilet, as the Examiner reports.
The court filings are the first real description we have of the crime scene, which was discovered when police served a welfare check on May 20 at the insistence of Benedict Ching's other daughter. She and Ching's boss, who was concerned that he had not shown up for work in four days, arrived at the home at 161 Del Monte Street on May 19, according to a sequence of events described by Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai. Upon their arrival, Lomas, 44, refused to allow them inside, and through a crack in the door told them that the whole family had fallen ill, and Benedict Ching was out of the house. They became suspicious when they saw Ching's car remained in the driveway.
35-year-old Stephanie Ching, Lomas, and their two children reportedly moved in with the father in February. As SFist learned as the case was unfolding last month, neighbors reportedly heard fighting in the house, and heard loud thumps against the wall prior to the elderly man's disappearance.
Ching and Lomas, with their children, were detained at an airport in Beijing after abruptly fleeing the country around 2 a.m. on May 20, just hours before police arrived at the home. Some of Benedict Ching's body parts were reportedly found in the refrigerator, and the entire kitchen had been cordoned off with cardboard, according to police.
It is not yet clear if Ching's remains have even positively been identified by the Medical Examiner's office.
"What’s alleged in this case is very disturbing, and we’re going to do everything we can to bring justice," said DA's office spokesperson Alex Bastian in a statement to the Chronicle.
Speaking to the Chronicle outside the courtroom, Stephanie Ching’s court appointed attorney, Jose Pericles Umali, said, "She’s obviously not guilty and nothing has been shown yet to show that she’s guilty... What her participation is has not been presented in any court of law."