Li Hao spent about two years digging two small rooms 4 meters beneath a basement before abducting the girls, who all worked at nightclubs and karaoke bars. The underground prison was where the women ate, slept and defecated in and where the two killed were buried. With no way to escape, the girls resigned to their circumstances and even fought with each other to gain his attention and approval.
34-year-old Chinese man Li Hao has been arrested in the Chinese province of Henan after police found he had confined six women in a basement and killed two, the state-run Southern Metropolis Daily said. Some of the women are suspected to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome - when hostages start to sympathize with their captors.
September 23, 2011, LUOYANG, Henan - Police have detained four women who were allegedly kept as sex slaves in a secret basement.
The women, aged 16 to 24, were discovered imprisoned in a cellar underneath an old residential community early this month. Detectives also found the bodies of two other women in a shallow grave.
"We're still investigating the case," was all Wang Haifeng, a spokesman for Luoyang city's public security bureau, would say on Friday. He refused to comment on whether the women are suspected of killing the others.
Li Hao, a 34-year-old worker at the city's quality supervision bureau, is accused of kidnapping six women and keeping them as sex slaves in a purpose-built dungeon for two years.
He killed two after they attempted to fight back, authorities said.
One of the captives escaped and informed the police when he had let her out to work as a prostitute,saying it was something he did when he needed money.
Police in a southern city of Henan province detained Li on Sept 8. He is said to have fled Luoyang when one of his hostages escaped.
According to media reports, Li spent about two years digging two small rooms 4 meters beneath a basement before abducting the women, who all worked at nightclubs and karaoke bars.
Police say the women may be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome - when hostages start to sympathize with their captors.
The sex slaves were kidnapped by Li Hao from karoke bars. He kept them in a semistarved situation as a way to break down their resistance, and make it difficult for them to escape.
The underground prison remained unknown to residents of a crowded area after Li bought the place and dug up the earth under the ground floor to create two rooms. He kept the six girls in the two rooms without toilet facilities.
The paper described the underground prison where the women ate, slept and defecated in as dank and smelly. With no way to escape, the women resigned to their circumstances and even fought with each other to gain his attention and approval.
The competition resulted in a brutal fight with one of the woman killing another inmate at Li's instigation. Li killed another woman when he felt she had become disobedient. He allegedly buried the bodies under the basement rooms.
Li lives with his wife, 24, and their 1-year-old child. Li's wife and son lived in another part of the city and were ignorant of his activities.
"We can't imagine this," said Kou Yongxue, a resident who lives in the building above the dungeon. "This is too cruel to believe. Neighbors are still shuddering at this."
Authorities denied claims of an attempted coverup
The case has led to waves of discussion online, while the reporter who broke the story has even accused local authorities of trying to cover up the grizzly discovery because the prime suspect works in the local quality supervision authority.
Ji Xuguang of Southern Metropolis Daily said on Thursday he was "threatened" and interrogated by officials about his source.
"They asked me who tipped me off and said I was revealing a 'State secret'," the journalist wrote on his micro blog, along with a picture of two men he claims were city officials.
In a phone interview with China Daily on Thursday night, Ji said he was trying to protect himself by posting the message, adding that he has left the province due to safety concerns.