This is the violent Iraqi Dad who cops believe strangled his Taiwanese in-laws to death with towels before boarding a flight to Baghdad with his year-old son hours later.
Ali Hammad Jomaah, 31, is believed to have killed his wife’s parents – both in their 70s – over an ongoing custody dispute for the toddler, who had been placed in the elderly couple’s care by their daughter – the suspect’s estranged wife.
Jomaah, from Mosul, Iraq, showed up at his in-laws’ home in Shilin District in Taiwan’s capital of Taipei on the evening of 29th April in order to visit his son, according to the Taiwan Shilin District Prosecutors Office.
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Prosecutor Chiu Chih-hung said it is there that an argument is thought to have occurred, leading to the suspect’s killing of his in-laws, one of whom was found in the sitting room, while the other was found in a first-floor bedroom.
Jomaah was last seen towing a suitcase in one hand and holding his child in the other hours before boarding an 8am flight to Japan on 30th April.
The authorities concluded that the suspect’s in-laws, who were found by their son, died of strangulation.
The suspect’s wife, surnamed Hsiao, said she had received a text from Jomaah, claiming he and their son were already safe in Iraqi capital Baghdad.
However, Taipei police have yet to verify this.
According to Shilin Prosecutor Chiu, Hsiao revealed in a police interview that she had met Jomaah in graduate school in the United States, where reports say they studied at St Michael’s College in the state of Vermont.
They moved to Japan after their studies and married there two years ago, but their relationship deteriorated following the birth of their son.
Hsiao had been contemplating divorce ever since he struck her during an argument last December, Hsiao reportedly told investigators.
She returned to Taiwan in March and placed her child in the care of her parents, while she herself lived with her older brother.
It is unclear whether she had prior knowledge of Jomaah’s plans to travel to Taiwan to see their son.
Prosecutor Chiu said an arrest warrant and travel restrictions were issued for the suspect; however, immigration officials confirmed he had already left the country.
Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau said it was seeking international assistance from Japan and Iraq to extradite Jomaah.
However, no extradition treaties exist with either country at present.