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

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

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

A 19-year-old College of Utah scholar known as police for assist in January after she stated 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 medication with the intent to distribute in reference to the loss of life of Zhifan Dong. Each had been worldwide college students on the U. from China.

“Our workplace intends to do all the things in our energy to deliver a measure of justice for the sufferer and [her] household,” Salt Lake County District Lawyer Sim Gill stated in a press release Friday on the costs. Wang is being held in jail with out bail.

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

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

Police say she was killed in a home violence state of affairs 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, based on courtroom paperwork. He informed police that he had hit Dong within the head throughout an argument. Emergency responders famous that Dong had a lump the place she stated she was damage.

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 college in regards to the assault. A U. spokesperson stated he was not conscious of the college being alerted to the state of affairs in January.

That sharing of data between departments ought to now be widespread apply, following the homicide of U. scholar Lauren McCluskey. And others faculties within the state, resembling Southern Utah College, work with their native municipal police departments to speak on instances involving college students.

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

In that very same timeframe, three feminine college students had been killed on account of intimate accomplice violence.

Dong was discovered useless at a High quality Inn at 616 S. 200 West throughout a welfare verify 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 said he and Dong had been going to make use of medication to “have a painless loss of life.” The message indicated that the couple can be useless 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 informed police that he and Dong supposed to die by suicide collectively, and that he had ordered medication on the “darkish internet” utilizing bitcoin, based on the possible trigger assertion. Wang stated they each took these medication, and Dong grew to become unresponsive.

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

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

U. President Taylor Randall has expressed sympathy for Dong’s loss of life and condolences to her household. He stated the campus is mourning “the tragic loss of life of one in all our personal,” particularly Dong’s friends at school’s worldwide scholar program.

Editor’s notice • Those that are experiencing intimate accomplice 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. In the event you or folks you recognize are vulnerable to self-harm, the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline gives 24-hour help at 1-800-273-8255.