The Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office detained a 30-year-old woman surnamed Lin (林) on Tuesday after the woman informed police that she had killed her mother by setting her on fire and pushing her into a drain.
Preliminary investigations into the incident indicate that Lin, a resident of the municipality’s Daya District (大雅), who is psychologically impaired, allegedly pushed her 50-year-old mother, who has been completely disabled by a stroke for more than a year, to a remote part of the city before dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire at about 1pm on Tuesday.
Investigators said that Lin was sitting by the road when they arrived and admitted that she had doused her mother with gasoline, set her on fire and pushed her into the 4m-deep drain.
Police rushed Lin’s mother to hospital, but she showed no vital signs on arrival and was declared dead after attempts at resuscitation failed.
Investigators said Lin allegedly murdered her mother before calling the police, adding that Lin said she killed her because she could not stand to see her in pain, and she originally planned to hang herself after the murder.
Lin said neither her father, sister or brother helped her care for her mother following her stroke.
Lin’s sister said Lin often shouted at her mother at home, adding that the family’s finances were in a poor state as Lin’s mother had accumulated a sizeable credit-card debt prior to falling ill.
The family’s income consists of the father’s salary as a mechanic and her own salary — a total of about NT$50,000 — the younger sister said, adding that when her younger brother was working out of town, he rarely sent money home.
The younger sister said the family were unable to afford the services of an all-day caretaker, which was why they asked Lin to take care of her.
In light of the incident, the Taichung City social welfare bureau said it would campaign for people with disabled elderly relatives to make better use of the city government’s services.
The bureau said it was unfortunate it had never received petitions for help from the Lin family.
Additional reporting by Yang Cheng-chun and Su Chin-feng