Report: Victim in Henry Street Murder May Have Owed Money

83 Henry Street, June 29.
83 Henry Street, June 29.

There’s an update this morning on the murder of two women at 83 Henry Street nearly two weeks ago. Firefighters were called to the scene on the morning of June 29 only to discover that the women had been shot in the head. The fire had apparently been set to cover up the crime.  Today AM New York reports investigators believe one of the victims may have owed money; they are focusing on an underground credit system in Chinatown.

Neither 70-year old Xiao L. Li nor 36-year old Hua Chen lived at 83 Henry. The New York Post identified the apartment building as a “known prostitution location.”  According to AM New York, however, “Investigators now are downplaying reports that Chen was connected to prostitution, although she may have known someone who was.”

At the time of the killing, Police said, Chen had “money in her possession” that might have come from the credit system, which is known as the Hui.  It’s existed in Chinatown for decades.  Participants contribute to a pool of money and they are able to withdraw funds with interest.  Investigators are apparently looking into rumors that someone in the Hui feared that Chen might leave the country without repaying the money she had borrowed.

Chen had two young children.