A British woman who beheaded her friend and forged her will to receive 95% of the victim’s estate was convicted of murder on Thursday, police said.
Jemma Mitchell, 38, killed 67-year-old Mee Kuen Chong, also known as Deborah Chong, in June 2021 after meeting through a Church group.
Mitchell had acted as a “spiritual healer” for Deborah and persuaded the victim to give her about $ 230,000 for home repairs, but the relationship soured when Deborah renounced the deal.
“Deborah Chong was a vulnerable woman – in the weeks before her murder, she was seeking help for her declining mental health,” Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, the lead investigator on the case, said Thursday.
“However, Mitchell – so desperate to get the money she needed to complete the renovations on her home – tried to take advantage of Deborah’s goodwill, but when Deborah changed her mind, he callously killed her and undertook an attempt to fraudulently obtain her property. “
Mitchell, who was trained in osteopathy and had experience in human dissection, went to Deborah’s house and hit her in the head with an object, then decapitated her and put her remains in a suitcase on June 11, 2021. .
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He then took a taxi back to his home in the London suburb of Brondesbury Park and kept the body there for two weeks.
When the body began to decompose, Mitchell traveled to the seaside resort of Salcombe and disposed of the remains near a path overgrown with vegetation on June 26, 2021.
To try to hide her tracks, Mitchell sent a message to Deborah’s landlord saying that the woman had gone away to spend time with her family for a year and had planned to stay “somewhere near the ocean” .
Deborah’s remains were found on June 27, 2021. An autopsy determined that she had sustained a skull fracture and was beheaded.
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Police arrested Mitchell on July 6 and three days later she was charged with murder. Authorities later uncovered Deborah’s counterfeit will to hand over 95% of her property to Mitchell in the killer’s home.
“What is clear is that Mitchell – seeing his chance at obtaining the funds he so desperately wanted disappear – has decided to attack and kill a vulnerable woman for his own gain in a truly despicable crime,” Eastwood said.
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Mitchell will be sentenced on Friday.