A tragic story about a Chinese woman who killed herself and her two young children after believing her husband had died has shocked many in China.
However, it was revealed that her husband, a 34-year-old man with the surname He, faked his own death for insurance money and neglected to inform his family of his plan, Shanghaiist reports.
He reportedly borrowed a car on September 19, which authorities would later discover to have crashed in the Zijiang River of Xinhua county. After searching the river and surrounding area, the police failed to find his body.
He’s 31-year-old wife, identified only by her surname Dai, was then captured on surveillance camera three weeks later walking with their four-year-old son and three-year-old daughter to a nearby pond.
When they reached the pond, Dai was seen binding the children’s hands and throwing them into the water to drown them; she drowned herself shortly after. Prior to killing herself and her children, she had posted a suicide note on her WeChat account.
In her post, Dai revealed how He’s family had been accusing her of being a spendthrift, among other things. Her husband’s relatives have also accused her of causing her husband’s death. Dai said that she could no longer bear the weight of the accusations and had since lost the will to continue living.
Dai added that she loved and missed her husband, explaining that she was killing herself and her children so that they could all be together again in the afterlife.
He emerged from hiding a day after the bodies of his family were found. At the local police station, he confessed in tears how he faked his own death so he can solve his financial problems. He was later revealed to be over 100,000 yuan ($14,000) in debt after taking out an online loan.
According to the police, He had taken out a 1 million yuan ($144,000) life insurance policy on himself about a week before faking the car crash.
Before He surrendered to the authorities, he recorded a video of himself apologizing to his dead children and explaining that he did not expect his wife would sacrifice herself and her kids.
In the video that he shared on social media, He is shown wailing on the ground before airing his side in tears. He also explained that his online loans were intended to pay for his daughter’s epilepsy treatment.
The man is now being detained for intentional destruction of property and insurance fraud although some legal experts have pointed out that no one actually filed a claim for the 1 million yuan so a conviction of fraud could be unlikely.
As for his responsibility for the deaths of his wife and kids, experts have also expressed doubt that a conviction would also be possible against He despite the insistence of Dai’s family that he is to blame for the tragedy.