Mystery surrounds sudden death of elderly man in Kowloon City alleyway, locals believe it was their ‘Noodles Uncle’ and hope to claim his remains for proper burial

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8th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) The death of a popular flour vendor known as “Noodles Uncle” in Kowloon City has saddened local residents and remains shrouded in mystery. According to social media posts on Monday, residents believe the unidentified body of a man found on 22nd March on Sung Wong Toi Road in Kowloon City belonged to Noodles Uncle, who sold homemade fish ball noodles for years in the district. However, without any identification documents on the body, the remains were reportedly buried in a public cemetery. Local district councillors and residents are now appealing to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) to claim the body for a proper burial.

The police issued a statement last Tuesday seeking information on the identity of a deceased man, estimated to be in his 60s to 70s, of Chinese descent. His body was found at around 12.30pm on 22nd March in an alleyway on Sung Wong Toi Road in Kowloon City. The man was about 1.6 meters tall with a slim buildshort white hair, and was found shirtless wearing blue trousers folded at the knees. No identity documents were found on him. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at Kwong Wah Hospital.

According to Facebook posts by local residents, they believe the unidentified man was Noodles Uncle, whose homemade fish ball noodles were “a collective memory for many locals.” However, Noodles Uncle was thought to be homeless with no known family members. Residents only learned of his passing recently through news reports and police statements. With no one claiming the body, residents believe his remains were buried in a public cemetery. Hoping to handle Noodles Uncle’s funeral arrangements, residents have contacted an undertaker who has offered free assistance.

The Facebook posts immediately gained the attention of Kowloon City and To Kwa Wan residents. Some claim to have called the police to inquire if the deceased man was the “noodle-making uncle” and were told the police also “hoped to find out if the noodles uncle still had any relatives around.” Others said they called the FEHD to ask about claiming Noodles Uncle’s remains from the cemetery for a proper reburial, but were told “normally only relatives can claim [a body].” However, the department said they would try to assist with the follow-up. The residents spearheading the effort to claim Noodles Uncle’s remains have since updated that they have sought help from local councillors and social service organizations.

According to residents, Noodles Uncle had been selling tofu and fish ball noodles at makeshift stalls in the district for years but was unwilling to interact with people. Even when residents offered him face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic or asked if he had eaten, Noodles Uncle did not respond. As such, most locals did not know his full name or where he lived. Residents now hope to find Noodles Uncle’s name and identity card number, and then locate his next of kin to claim his remains.

In response to media queries, the FEHD said they have follow-up on the case with relevant government departments. The department said claims for unidentified human remains at public cemeteries would be handled according to established procedures.

Sung Wong Toi Road