When Lianjie Guo was reported missing, it was her 25-year-old son who put up posters pleading for information.
Police now allege he was the one who killed Ms. Guo and set her remains adrift, inside a suitcase.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team held a news conference in Richmond, B.C., on Friday to announce charges against Yuan Xi Tang. He's charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of counseling to commit an indictable offence. The latter, police allege, is because the son also made attempts to kill his father.
Ms. Guo, a 47-year-old Chinese national, and her husband had been in Richmond visiting their son. She was last seen June 7 and it was her son who reported her missing.
IHIT spokeswoman Sergeant Jennifer Pound would not disclose Ms. Guo's cause of death, or a motive. Further arrests are not expected and Sgt. Pound said the woman's husband was not involved in her death.
Of the husband, Sgt. Pound said, "As you can well imagine, he's attempting to process this information. He's going to have a long road of healing ahead of him."
Police believe the suitcase was put in the water in Richmond – in the Lower Mainland – before floating all the way near Powell River, on the Sunshine Coast.
Sgt. Pound said the suitcase was found by a passerby on July 29. She said it was the passerby who opened it.
The son moved to Canada in 2006 on a student visa. He was arrested Friday, shortly before the news conference.
More than 100 investigators worked on the case.