Detectives have revealed that the male victim of the double student murder that has stunned Newcastle's student population, Zhen Xing Yang, put up a tremendous battle of resistance to his attacker/s with injuries to his arms, before being savagely bludgeoned to death. The female victim Xi Xhou had been stabbed as well as being asphyxiated. The pair may have been torutured for up to an hour before the slayings.
In a bizarre twist, a dead CAT was found at the scene, believed drowned at the kitchen sink by the perpetrator.
There is speculation that the killer may have been known to the victims, both ex-students of Newcastle University, who had achieved good MA degrees.
cat's body, found hidden under a sink in the flat, could also provide clues into the motive behind the murders.
The cat, which was found submerged under water in a washing bowl, was possibly killed by the pair's attackers, said Northumbria Police.
A post-mortem revealed that Zhen Xing Yang suffered extensive bruising to his arms before he died.
Examinations also showed Xi Zhou may have been asphyxiated as well as stabbed during the attack.
Their bodies were found at the downstairs flat on Croydon Road on Saturday afternoon.
Det Supt Steve Wade, leading the investigation, said: "The assault has probably gone on for an hour or more prior to death and in that respect you would imagine that people might have heard screams or seen people coming and going from the address."
He added: "The bathroom of the house has been searched and in a washing bowl underneath a sink was the body of a mature cat.
"The washing bowl had been filled with water and resting on top of the washing bowl, and therefore concealing the body of the cat, was towelling and kitchen gloves.
"Officers are keeping an open mind as to the significance of this find. However one possibility being considered is the cat has been killed by those responsible for the murders."
Mr Wade said it was likely that whoever carried out the murders would have left the scene heavily bloodstained.