Woman who murdered 7 people arrested after 20 years on the run


A notorious suspected murderer who was on the run for 20 years has been arrested by Chinese police after officers used artificial intelligence to hunt her down.

Lao Rongzhi, 45, and her late boyfriend have been billed as the Chinese 'Bonnie and Clyde'. The couple were accused of robbing and killing seven people in various cities in the 1990s. 

Her ex-partner, Fa Ziying, was caught by police during a dramatic raid in 1999 and then executed by a firing squad; while Ms Lao remained in hiding until she was caught last week owing to facial-recognition monitors.

Fa Ziying (left) and Lao Rongzhi (right) have been billed as the Chinese 'Bonnie and Clyde'. The couple allegedly robbed and killed seven people in the 90s before Mr Fa was arrested in 1999

Ms Lao and Mr Fa, from the southern province of Jiangxi, carried out the crimes between 1996 and 1999, according to the police.

It is alleged that Ms Lao, a former primary school teacher, was responsible for finding wealthy-looking men and alluring them to a rented flat shared by her and Mr Fa.

Once the men returned with Ms Lao, the couple allegedly threatened and robbed the victims before cruelling killing them.

Mr Fa was caught when he was trying to extort 10,000 yuan from the family of his last victim in July, 1999, in the city of Hefei.

He was shot in the leg while trying get the money at the victim's home after heavily armed police surrounded the apartment.

Mr Fa was executed in December of the same year.

Ms Lao (right, pictured after being arrested) has been compared to Bonnie Parker of 'Bonnie and Clyde' (left), the American couple who were believed to have killed 13 people in the 1930s

Officers in Xiamen tracked down the 45-year-old with the help of facial-recognition cameras

However, the whereabouts of Ms Lao have been a mystery for police for more than two decades until this month.

Officers in the city of Xiamen in south-eastern China tracked down a woman that resembled Ms Lao after analysing relevant information using the big data technology, the police said in a statement.

The 'big data' technology, part of China's 13th five-year plan, is backed by a national surveillance system featuring hundreds of millions of AI-powered street cameras. 

Ms Lao was spotted by AI-powered cameras while working in the shopping centre under a fake identity. She went into hiding after her then boyfriend, Mr Fa, was arrested and executed

Ms Lao (circled) is seen being escorted away by plainclothes officers after being hunted down

The suspect (pictured) denied that she was Lao Rongzhi, but a DNA test confirmed her identity

Xiamen police said the suspect was seen near a shopping centre in the city's Mingsi District last Wednesday.

Officers immediately set up a team and successfully apprehended the suspect inside the mall the next day. The suspect was said to be selling watches at the time.

The suspect initially denied that she was Lao Rongzhi. She claimed that her surname was Hong and she was from the city of Nanjing.

Police then carried out a DNA test and confirmed that the woman was indeed the fugitive they had been seeking for 20 years. 

A clip released by Hefei Police shows the dramatic raid in 1999, during which Mr Fa was caught

Mr Fa is seen using a briefcase as a shield during a standoff with police officers in Hefei

Officers said Ms Lao had lived under fake identities in many different cities over the years, making a living by working in pubs, clubs and taking odd jobs.

After moving to Xiamen, she started to sell watches at a shopping mall for a friend until she was found.

Police are carrying out further investigations into Ms Lao. 

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk

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