Wife kills self, kids after Chinese man fakes own death for insurance

Unhappy ‘widow’ posts note online to say she had lost the will to live

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 October, 2018, 7:32pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2018, 5:15am

A man who faked his own death to cheat on his insurance turned himself in when he discovered his wife had killed herself and their two young children because of his disappearance.

The man, 34, and identified only by his surname He, surrendered to police on Friday and has been detained on charges of insurance fraud and intentional damage to property, according to a police statement on social media platform WeChat.

He, from China’s southern province of Hunan, confessed that he had bought a life insurance policy worth 1 million yuan (US$144,000) on September 7, without telling his wife. He then rented a car from his employer and drove it into a river so his family would be able to claim the insurance, the police said.

Thinking that her husband was dead, his wife, Dai Guihua, 31, left her last note on WeChat on Wednesday and disappeared with their son and daughter, aged four and two, sparking a search by local authorities in Xinhua county.

Their bodies were retrieved the next day from a lake near their home in Langtang township. Police have ruled out murder, according to a statement by Langtang township government on WeChat.

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In her 1,000-word note, Dai, a homemaker, said that, after He went missing, she lost the will to live in the face of growing family pressure.

She wrote that He’s family complained that she spent too much money and was mentally ill. They also opposed her plan to get a job in the city, according to the note, which was widely shared online.

“I wanted to leave by myself, but thinking that my children would suffer without both their parents, I decided to take them with me,” wrote Dai, who it was revealed had lost both of her parents when she was young.

Local police said He had resorted to the insurance fraud because he was more than 100,000 yuan in debt. In a video posted by the WeChat public account, Xinhua Focus, over the weekend, He was shown kneeling on the ground and wailing for his wife and children.

He said he went to Guizhou after engineering the accident, but returned after seeing his wife’s note online. He also said in the video that he was in debt because of his daughter’s illness and his car loans.

He’s family confirmed the girl had been diagnosed with epilepsy last year and had since been on medication, according to Beijing Youth Daily.

Calls to the county’s police bureau and publicity department went unanswered.