Taipei father kills young daughter and son before taking own life

Eldest daughter, 16, survives despite being drugged and having her throat slashed, and raises alarm

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 February, 2017, 7:40pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 February, 2017, 11:34pm

A Taiwanese man killed two of his children in his Taipei flat yesterday before committing suicide in a tragedy that has shocked the Taiwanese public.

The man, 46, identified only by his last name Chang, drugged his 12-year-old son and two daughters, also minors, before slashing their throats, police said.

The eldest daughter, 16, survived, police said, adding the son and a 13-year-old daughter were found dead on the same bed, with a blanket covering them.

The eldest daughter, who awoke from her drugged sleep due to the pain from her wounds, sought help from her uncle through the messaging app Line, police said.

The uncle immediately called police and rushed to the scene, only to find the father and the other two children were dead.

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“We rushed the daughter to hospital for emergency treatment,” police officer Hsieh Chi-hsin said.

“Because of her wounds she was not able to talk but could only communicate with us using her smartphone.”

Police said the man was unemployed and had serious financial problems. He left a suicide note in which he called his former wife names, police said.

Police also found a knife suspected to have been used by the man to slay his children.

Local news media reported that in the note, Chang accused his former wife of having affairs, saying: “You want freedom, I’ll give you freedom and take the three children with me [to death].”

He also wrote he had found life miserable after losing several million Taiwan dollars in stock investments, as well as his job before Lunar New Year, the reports said.

A neighbour of Chang’s told police she heard two screams around noon that sounded like they were from a female, but heard nothing more after that.

The neighbour said she thought it could have been a fight among the children, but never expected it was murder.

Media reports also quoted police as saying that in the hospital, through text messages, the surviving daughter, a junior high school student, said her father told her on Saturday he “would take them along” with him, but she was not aware he meant he wanted to take their lives.

Doctors said the 16-year-old was unable to speak but her condition was listed as stable and not life threatening.

“Fortunately, the cut was not deep and it did not damage her artery,” said a doctor of the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, adding that the daughter was deeply traumatised by her ordeal.

He said the teenage girl would need professional counselling after she was discharged from hospital.

Local news media said the mother was on her way back to Taipei from Hualien, eastern Taiwan, where she had been living since her divorce.

The family had no previous reports of child abuse, the United Daily News reported.