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A Chinese student died in a Utah motel after allegedly being given a lethal heroin injection by her boyfriend.
Haoyu Wang, 26, was arrested for murder in the death of his girlfriend Zhifan Dong, 19, who was found dead at a Salt Lake City motel on Friday morning after being injected with heroin, according to court documents.
According to those documents, University of Utah Police were tipped off to the incident on Feb. 11 after Wang allegedly emailed a note to an unnamed University of Utah employee claiming he had killed Dong and was also planning to die.
“Wang stated that he injected his girlfriend, the victim, with heroin to relieve her from suffering,” a probable cause statement obtained by Oxygen.com stated. “The email indicated that both would be dead when they were found.”
University of Utah Police pinged the couple's cell phones and tracked them to a Quality Inn about three miles west of campus, where both University and Salt Lake City police found Wang alive and Dong unresponsive in a room. She was pronounced dead on the scene.
Wang later allegedly told police that the couple first snorted the mixture of fentanyl and heroin in what he said was a plan to commit suicide, but she had vomited, was unresponsive and had difficulty breathing; he claimed to police that then he injected Dong with a high dose of the drugs in order to facilitate her death.
He allegedly bought the drugs on the dark net.
Wang was booked into a Salt Lake County Metro Jail, but charges haven’t officially been filed in the matter, according to the Salt Lake County Prosecutor’s office.
Both Wang and Dong are both Chinese citizens and freshman at the University of Utah, according to law enforcement; Dong was from Anyang, Henan, China. Officials said Dong’s family have been notified and they are planning on traveling to Salt Lake City in the coming days.
At the time of Dong's death, Wang was awaiting trial on separate domestic violence charges apparently related to her. Wang was arrested on Jan. 12 for hitting his girlfriend in the head, causing a "goose egg" and giving her a swollen right hand, according to a separate probable cause statement in the case obtained by Oxygen.com. Dong wasn’t directly named as the victim in court documents, however, police said the pair involved identified as a couple in a consensual sexual relationship.
Wang’s arraignment for that incident had been scheduled for Feb. 14.
The University of Utah confirmed Dong’s death in a public statement last week.
“We know this news is difficult to process and will affect members of our campus community — especially those who are survivors or close to survivors of domestic violence,” the statement said.
“I want to express my deepest sympathy to Zhifan’s family, friends and loved ones,” President Taylor Randall said on Monday. “We extend our support during this difficult time to all of our international students, particularly her peers in the Utah Global program," which assisted international students in their immersion in campus culture.
Wang is being held without bond and no court dates have been set in his case. It’s unclear if the 26-year-old has retained legal representation.
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