Boyfriend charged with killing University of Utah student who had previously called police for help

Haoyu Wang faces three felony counts within the demise of Zhifan Dong.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The College of Utah campus pictured in 2020. Prosecutors charged a global U. pupil with killing his girlfriend, additionally a pupil, on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.

A 19-year-old College of Utah pupil known as police for assist in January after she mentioned her boyfriend attacked her. Little greater than a month later, that man has now been charged in her Feb. 11 killing.

Haoyu Wang, 26, was charged Friday with homicide and two counts of possession of illicit medicine with the intent to distribute in reference to the demise of Zhifan Dong. Each had been worldwide college students on the U. from China.

“Our workplace intends to do every little thing in our energy to convey a measure of justice for the sufferer and [her] household,” Salt Lake County District Lawyer Sim Gill mentioned in an announcement Friday on the fees. Wang is being held in jail with out bail.

Gill known as it “a tragic case” and mentioned he met this week with Dong’s dad and mom, who flew to Salt Lake Metropolis after their daughter’s demise. College leaders even have met along with her dad and mom. U. spokesperson Chris Nelson mentioned the household is presently asking for privateness as they grieve.

Dong was a freshman on the U. who got here to the varsity via Utah World, which helps immerse first-year worldwide college students within the tutorial and cultural lifetime of the college. She was from Anyang, Henan province, China.

Police say she was killed in a home violence scenario earlier this month at a Salt Lake Metropolis motel. The slaying occurred a few month after a earlier Jan. 12 home violence-related name from Dong that Salt Lake Metropolis officers additionally responded to.

The charging paperwork Friday confirmed for the primary time that Dong was the reported sufferer in that January name. Wang was charged on the time with home violence-related assault, in line with courtroom paperwork. He advised police that he had hit Dong within the head throughout an argument. Emergency responders famous that Dong had a lump the place she mentioned she was harm.

The day after the incident, Dong “known as police once more on account of Wang’s conduct,” the courtroom submitting notes.

A Salt Lake Metropolis police spokesperson declined to touch upon what sources had been supplied to Dong at that time, if any, or whether or not they known as the U. to tell the varsity concerning the assault. A U. spokesperson mentioned he was not conscious of the college being alerted to the scenario in January.

That sharing of knowledge between departments ought to now be frequent apply, following the homicide of U. pupil Lauren McCluskey. And others colleges within the state, corresponding to Southern Utah College, work with their native municipal police departments to speak on instances involving college students.

Dong is the second Chinese language pupil on the U. to be killed in lower than 5 years. Beforehand, pupil ChenWei Guo was shot east of campus in October 2017.

In that very same time-frame, three feminine college students had been killed on account of intimate associate violence.

Dong was discovered lifeless at a High quality Inn at 616 S. 200 West throughout a welfare test by Salt Lake Metropolis police, in a room that had been registered to Wang since Feb. 3. Officers had been known as there after the U.’s police division alerted them that Wang had allegedly made threats to Dong, whom he recognized as his girlfriend.

Charging paperwork launched Friday state that Wang had emailed a U. worker and acknowledged he and Dong had been going to make use of medicine to “have a painless demise.” The message indicated that the couple could be lifeless earlier than they had been discovered.

Salt Lake Metropolis police, aiding College of Utah officers, arrived on the motel after pinging Dong’s cellphone location.

Wang advised police that he and Dong meant to die by suicide collectively, and that he had ordered medicine on the “darkish web” utilizing bitcoin, in line with the possible trigger assertion. Wang mentioned they each took these medicine, and Dong turned unresponsive.

Paperwork state Wang fell asleep, and when he awoke, he seen Dong was having bother respiratory. As a substitute of calling an ambulance, the courtroom filings state, he injected her with a bigger dose of medicine. She then died.

Wang advised police he then injected himself with medicine once more and remained within the room till officers arrived.

U. President Taylor Randall has expressed sympathy for Dong’s demise and condolences to her household. He mentioned the campus is mourning “the tragic demise of considered one of our personal,” particularly Dong’s friends in class’s worldwide pupil program.

Editor’s observe • Those that are experiencing intimate associate violence, or know somebody who’s, are urged to name the Utah Home Violence Hyperlink Line, 1-800-897-LINK (5465), or the Utah Rape and Sexual Assault Disaster Line, 1-888-421-1100. Should you or individuals are vulnerable to self-harm, the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline supplies 24-hour help at 1-800-273-8255.