By Chris Lau
When a tourist at a Tibetan hotel noticed a foul smell in his room and asked to move, little could he have guessed he would get caught up in a murder investigation.
The traveler spent half a day in the room wondering where the smell was coming from and initially suspected either the bakery downstairs or perhaps his own feet.
But he was later informed it came from a dead body under the bed.
The tourist — identified only as Mr Zhang — had checked into the hotel, said to be popular among internet influencers, in Lhasa on April 20, according to reports in China’s state-affiliated media.
But it was not until two days later — after he had transferred rooms — that he learned the source of the smell, when he was summoned back to the original room by a group of police officers.
“I asked them what happened and they told me someone had died. So I asked them where,” he told Shangyou News.
“They said under my bed.”
The police told him they had opened a murder investigation, but he was not a suspect because the body had been lying there for days before his arrival.
The case has been widely reported across China, with many state-affiliated news outlets publishing video footage of the subsequent arrest of a suspect on a train bound for Lanzhou, a city around 2,000 kilometers from Tibet.
Recounting his experience to Shangyou News, Zhang said he had left Tibet as soon as he helped the police with their investigation.
But he said he was still reeling from the shock and had struggled to sleep ever since.
“I stay up until 2am to 3am every morning and the slightest movement would wake me up,” he said. “It left me in a bad mental state.”
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