Woman murdered at hotel, suspect arrested

EAGAN, MN – A Little Canada man, Philip Wong, aged 25, has been apprehended and charged with the murder of 53-year-old Jianqin Zhan, whose lifeless body was discovered in an Eagan hotel room on October 12. Wong faces charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, as per the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.

The grim discovery was made when a hotel employee and a concerned friend found Zhang’s lifeless body, positioned face down on one of the beds in the hotel room, shortly before midnight. Despite efforts by medics to revive her, Zhang was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the investigation, it was revealed that Zhang was involved in sex work. Her “organization” had requested her friend to check on her after losing contact with her for an extended period. According to reports, Zhang had met a client at the hotel around 3 p.m. on October 12, and the organization received a text from her phone at 3:39 p.m., indicating that the client had left. However, subsequent attempts to reach Zhang went unanswered.

Surveillance footage revealed that Wong had met Zhang at the hotel just before 3 p.m. and left the premises at 3:48 p.m. Another witness, a hotel housekeeper, entered the room at approximately 4:30 p.m. but exited promptly upon discovering Zhang in a compromising position.

Keycard access records indicated that the hotel room was accessed only three times on October 12: once by the housekeeper at 4:41 p.m., once by another hotel employee at 10:56 p.m., and finally, at 11:56 p.m. by the hotel employee and friend who reported Zhang’s condition to the police.

A search warrant executed at Wong’s residence on October 17 resulted in the collection of clothes resembling those he wore at the time of Zhang’s death and a cell phone. During police questioning, Wong admitted to visiting the Eagan hotel that day in response to an online advertisement for a massage and cuddling. He acknowledged that he received a massage, paid Zhang extra for sex, and later received a call from the “organization” informing him of Zhang’s death, which he initially believed to be a scam.

Wong’s roommate later disclosed that Wong claimed Zhang had blackmailed him after their encounter, alleging the presence of a hidden camera in the hotel room. Wong confessed to having choked Zhang but believed she was still breathing when he left.

An autopsy revealed signs of hemorrhaging on Zhang’s neck and petechiae (small skin hemorrhages) on her eyes, mouth, lips, and scalp. No controlled substances were found in her system at the time of her death.

Wong is currently in custody at the Dakota County Jail, with bail set at $250,000 under specific conditions. His next court appearance is scheduled for November 9 in Hastings.