Murder Of Audrey Fang

Jump to navigation Jump to search
Audrey Fang Dirou
Audrey Fang.png
Died10 April 2024

Audrey Fang Dirou (1985 – 2024) was a Singaporean florist shop owner and former architect whose body was discovered on 10 April 2024 in Abanilla, Spain.[1][2] Her body was found with more than 30 stab wounds, about 150 kilometers away from the hotel she had stayed at.[1][2]

On 12 April 2024, Fang’s brother filed a missing person’s report after she did not arrive in Singapore as scheduled.[3] Four days later, the Civil Guard in Alicante province, part of the national police force, detained a Singaporean suspect by the name of Mitchell Ong.[2] According to Fang, Ong was her close friend and confidant.[4] He was brought to court in Murcia and put under remand on 19 April.[5]

Background and disappearance

Audrey Fang was a floral shop owner and former architect at Sunray Woodcraft Construction, a Singapore construction firm.[6] She left the firm in 2022 to run her late mother’s floral shop full-time, which she had taken over after her mother passed.[6]

Audrey Fang is pictured with her younger brother, Benjamin (far left) and their parents. Photo from Facebook.
Audrey Fang is pictured with her younger brother, Benjamin (far left) and their parents. Photo from Facebook.

Fang lived with her father and younger brother, Benjamin Fang. She was also “very close to her aunt and cousin”, said a family friend.[7] According to The Straits Times, Fang had planned to travel to Japan with her aunt and cousin, before returning home to start a new job in May.

Before leaving Singapore, Fang mentioned wanting to travel to Spain as she had not been there before.[8] She also shared that she might meet an ex-colleague there, but no further details.[8] Fang did not divulge her flight and hotel details to her family, which she would usually do.[7]

On 4 April 2024, Fang left Singapore for Spain, before checking into a hotel in Xàbia, a coastal town in Alicante.[2]

Six days later, Ritual de Tierra Hotel reported Fang’s disappearance to the Civil Guard after she failed to check out of her hotel, leaving her belongings in the room. She was also uncontactable by her family, prompting them to reach out to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).[2]

Family files police report after disappearance

On 12 April 2024, Fang’s brother waited for her at Changi Airport, where she was scheduled to land at 7am SGT.[2] However, she did not arrive and her brother discovered that she had not even boarded the flight in the first place. He lodged a police report on the same day.

Investigation efforts

On 10 April 2024, at around 1pm SGT, the chief inspector of the local police division discovered a body near a parking lot in Abanilla.[1][2] The police were unable to identify the body at the time. Six days later, the Civil Guard detained a suspect in connection with the death: a Singaporean man by the name of Mitchell Ong.  

Spanish authorities detain the suspect

After the discovery of the body, the Spanish authorities kicked off investigations and found that Fang was last seen getting picked up by a black car on 9 April 2024.[1] The Civil Guard released the CCTV footage of Fang leaving her hotel at approximately 8.45pm CET.[1] In a separate clip, the police found Ong with the same black car at a car park in Alicante.[1]

He had previously left his hotel at 5.45pm CET, where CCTV captured him dressed in a black hoodie and pants.[9] Early the next day, he returned to the hotel  at 2.06am, wearing jeans and a blue sweater.

On 16 April 2024, Ong was arrested in Alicante, 80 kilometers away from Ms Fang’s hotel.[1][2] He was later taken into court in Murcia on 19 April, where he was remanded in custody without bail because he had no connections in Spain and was deemed a flight risk. Ong refused to testify.[1]

Police searched his hotel room for evidence

Following Ong’s arrest on April 16, the Spanish authorities searched his hotel room where they found a pair of limited-edition Nike sneakers, but its soles matched the footprints found at the crime scene.[9] Not only were these sneakers an exclusive model, but they were also unusually large at a European size of 48.5, which corresponded with Ong’s tall build.[9]

They also found a bouquet of flowers and a large sum of cash – €3,760 and S$1,000 (approximately S$6,609 in total).[10] The former led them to believe that Ong could have shared a romantic relationship with Fang.

Subsequently, Ong was detained at Sagonera prison in Murcia where he was accompanied by an English-speaking inmate who he trusts.[5] As Ong did not speak Spanish, this “trusted prisoner” accompanied him throughout his day-to-day activities. During this period, he had only been visited by his lawyer Carolina Flórez de Quiñones, who was from Alicante.[5]

According to Spanish Law, Ong had the right to refuse giving a statement to the authorities, which he maintained as of June 2024. Under Spanish law, an individual can remain in pre-trial detention for up to two years.[11]

Fang’s family arrives in Spain to identify the body

On 17 April 2024, Fang’s family arrived in Spain to identify the body.[2] A preliminary autopsy report also revealed that the cause of her death was head trauma and multiple knife wounds.[1]

Background of suspect

According to The Straits Times, those close to Fang were aware that she had been acquainted with Ong for many years. In fact, a Central Provident Fund (CPF) nomination note that was found on Fang’s iPad described Ong as a “long-time friend and trusted confidant”.[4]


According to The Straits Times, Ong’s now-removed LinkedIn profile mentioned that he had previously worked as a financial advisor for Manulife Singapore and AIA Singapore.[12] It also stated that he had been working as a private wealth management specialist at the time of arrest.[13] But Spanish news outlet La Opinion de Murcia reported that he had not been working then.

On his personal website, Ong also listed his past involvement with six companies, five of which are now defunct.[14]

Personal life

According to local marriage registration records, Ong got married in 2012.[15] As of June 2024, he also reportedly has a daughter who is enrolled in primary school.[14] 8World News reported that when Ong was in Singapore, he lived with his family and elderly mother in a Bukit Timah condo.[14]

Ong also has an Instagram account where he posts regularly about his gym workouts and his travels overseas.[14] He has travelled to countries such as Greece, Poland, and Spain. In fact, the last post before his arrest was of him in a comic book store in Alicante. From his feed, it is also evident that he is a fan of electronic dance music (EDM), as he has been seen attending music festivals like Tomorrowland and Electric Daisy Festival (EDC).[14]

Purpose of travel to Spain

Ong has no known links to the region where he was arrested but had been involved with a Ukrainian partner he was supposed to meet in Spain.[16]

Relationship with Audrey Fang

Before this incident, Fang’s friends and family knew of Ong as a long-time acquaintance of hers. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that she had nominated Ong as the sole beneficiary of her CPF funds amounting to S$50,000.[4][12]

When going through their late daughter’s belongings, Fang’s family discovered that she had bought two investment-linked policies from the insurance company, AIA.[17] The letters that the family found revealed that she had purchased the two policies:

  • AIA Family First Protect plan (S$3,000)
  • AIA Asset Builder policy (S$50,000)

Fang had purchased them from a financial advisor named Ong Cheong Yi, which happened to be the suspect’s Chinese name.[17] Speaking to The Straits Times, Fang’s cousin said they “wondered if it was the same person but could not confirm that it was (Mitchell)”.[8]

Other than “economic motives” as the Spanish authorities have dubbed it, they suggested that Fang and Ong might have had some sort of romantic relationship, as they had found a bouquet while searching the latter’s hotel room.[10]

Reactions from family and the public

On 17 April 2024, Fang’s brother, cousin, and family friend touched down in Spain, where an MFA representative broke the news of Fang’s death to them.[8] Benjamin Fang was the person who identified his sister’s body and recounted that “there were multiple stab wounds all over her body and she was punched badly in the face”. Fang’s cousin added that they were all unable to comprehend the “savagery of the attack”.[8]

Arrival of Fang’s body in Singapore

Fang’s body arrived in Singapore on 27 April and her family held a wake at Petir Road, where their flat was located.[8] Since receiving the news, Fang’s father had also “not been able to function”, but still put on a brave face at the wake.[8] Both Fang’s father and brother were too overwhelmed with grief to deliver the eulogies they had prepared. As such, someone from the funeral services company assisted in reading their statements instead. Fang’s father told her to “go peacefully, and let go of any matter or concerns that [she] may have had”, before expressing his gratitude for her being his daughter.[8] An excerpt from Benjamin Fang’s eulogy read:

“Audrey always played an important part in my life. When I was younger, she read to me and spent plenty of time with me and my parents…She always took care of me, but would sometimes steal my ice cream.”[8]

On 29 April 2024, on Fang’s journey to the Mandai Crematorium, her brother directed the hearse carrying Fang to drive past their late mother’s floral shop.[18] The family had wanted to honour her love for her family and dedication to keeping their mother’s shop alive, saying that “it was just something [they] wanted to do for her”.[18]

Trial of Mitchell Ong

Mitchell Ong was arrested in Alicante on 16 April 2024, where he was later brought to court in Murcia on 19 April.[1][2] Since he had no known family and friends in Spain, he was deemed a flight risk and remanded in custody without an offer of bail. As of June 2024, Ong remains in pretrial detention. Ong’s lawyer relayed that he has no plans to give the court a statement, thus far choosing not to testify.[1][5]

Under Spanish law, an individual can remain in pre-trial detention for up to two years.

As of June 2024, the Spanish Civil Guard has obtained banking and insurance information from Singapore authorities and seized hard drives and mobile devices belonging to Fang and Ong.[11][12] Investigations have turned up “clear, objective evidence” of Ong’s hand in the murder, and are gradually piecing together the motive behind the crime.[12]  

References/ Citations

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Channel News Asia. “What we know so far about the killing of a Singaporean woman in Spain”. Channel News Asia. April 20, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Ang, Amber. “What happened to Audrey Fang: Timeline of a S’porean woman’s murder in Spain”. MustShare News. April 18, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  3. Chin, Hui Shan and Chin, Soo Fang. “S’porean woman found dead in Spain assaulted by ‘bladed weapon’: Local police”. The Straits Times. April 18, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Vimalan, Dhanya. “Suspected killer of Audrey Fang confirmed to be her sole CPF beneficiary”. MustShare News. June 3, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Lucas, Ana. “Man suspected of killing Singaporean woman in Spain accompanied at all times by English-speaking inmate”. Channel News Asia. May 6, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ng, Abigail. “Singaporean woman killed in Spain had bought insurance from suspect; dozens pay respects at funeral wake”. Channel News Asia. April 28, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Soo Fang, Chin. “Missing: Singaporean architect who travelled to Spain alone uncontactable since April 10”. The Straits Times. April 17, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Wong, Shiying and Devaraj, Samuel. “Body of S’porean killed in Spain arrives home; family discovers she bought insurance from suspect”. The Straits Times. April 27, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Channel News Asia. “Singapore woman killed in Spain: US$1,000 sneakers that suspect wore reportedly match footprints at crime scene”. Channel News Asia. April 23, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Lee, Jeremy. “43-year-old Singaporean Mitchell Ong remanded in custody over alleged killing of Audrey Fang”. MustShare News. April 20, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Lucas, Ana and Ang, Hwee Min. “Singaporean woman killed in Spain: Judge asks for banking, insurance information from Singapore authorities”. Channel News Asia. May 13, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Ang, Qing. “Murder in Spain: Audrey Fang’s suspected killer named as beneficiary of her CPF savings”. The Straits Times. June 3, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  13. Hamza, Aqil and Hu Shan, Chin. “Spain murder suspect was self-proclaimed financial ‘expert’ involved in multiple businesses”. The Straits Times. April 22, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Tan, Kim Shelly. “8 facts about Mitchell Ong: The man suspected of killing S’porean Audrey Fang in Spain”. MustShare News. June 5, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  15. Tham, Ashley. “Singaporean woman killed in Spain: Married suspect reportedly owned several businesses”. Channel News Asia. April 22, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  16. Lee, Jeremy. “Suspected killer of Audrey Fang identified as Mitchell Ong, had reportedly known her for years”. MustShare News. April 20, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Mazliana, Seri. “Audrey Fang bought investment-linked insurance from suspected killer, Mitchell Ong, in 2015”. Mothership. April 28, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Wong, Andrew. “Hearse carrying Audrey Fang makes detour past floral shop she ran after her mother died”. The Straits Times. April 29, 2024. Accessed 5 June 2024.