Wife, friend charged with husband’s murder after admitting they staged car crash in eastern China

Police say man was drugged then moved to car before wife drove it off a bridge

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 November, 2017, 1:40pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 November, 2017, 2:32pm

Zhejiang police have charged a woman and man with the murder of the woman’s husband after they confessed to drugging him then staging a car accident, a Shanghai news website reports.

Police found the body of Li Gang, not his real name, in a crashed car, five metres below a bridge on a quiet mountain road in eastern China on October 14, Thepaper.cn reported on Tuesday.

They had received reports of the crashed car from motorists.

But when an autopsy found Li Gang had suffocated, they checked surveillance footage along the road that led them to the suspects – his wife Li Mei and her close friend Chen Hui.

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Li Mei married Li Gang in 2000 and the couple had a child together, but when Li Mei accused her husband of having an affair and asked for a divorce several months before his death, he refused, police told the news website.

She told police she had confided in Chen, a friend from high school, about her marriage problems, and they had come up with the plan to stage a car accident then split the insurance payout after her husband’s death, according to the report.

Chen, who is divorced and was working for a company in Nanning, capital of the southern Guangxi region, told police he had agreed with Li’s plan because he needed money.

Police said Li Mei had initially lied about her husband’s death, saying they had made a suicide pact because they both suffered from depression but she then changed her mind and decided to save herself.

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She later confessed, telling police she had slipped sleeping pills into her husband’s drink on October 10 before moving his body into the back seat of their car – with Chen’s help – after he had lost consciousness, the report said.

Police told the news website that Li then drove the car to the mountain road, where she stopped and opened the valve of a gas bottle she had placed beside her husband, then drove the car off the bridge.

Li escaped the crashed car with minor injuries and Chen, who had been following on a motorcycle behind the car, then helped her to move Li Gang’s body to the driver’s seat. They took the gas bottle and fled the scene on the motorcycle, according to the report.