Wed, Feb 20, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Deaths deemed murder-suicide

By Chen Chien-chih, Yang Cheng-chun and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

The deaths of an estranged couple and their two children found in a taxi by a field in Taichung’s Taiping District (太平) is suspected to be a murder-suicide, police said on Monday.

At 9am that day, a man surnamed Wang (王) called the police about a taxi parked with the motor running beside a stretch of farmland, the Taichung Police Department’s Taiping precinct said.

Inside were the bodies of a man surnamed Wu (吳), 32, the car’s registered owner; his wife, surnamed Peng (彭), 34; and the couple’s two children, a boy and a girl, whose identifying details were withheld as required by law in cases involving minors, police said.

Peng’s hands were bound with clear plastic tape, they said, adding that a stove, a bag of charcoal, two empty soft drink cups and some unidentified pills were also found on the scene.

A preliminary forensic examination found bruises, defensive wounds and ligature marks on Peng’s wrists, arms and neck consistent with strangulation, but the official cause of death is pending an autopsy, police said.

No marks indicating a struggle were found on the bodies of either child, they added.

Wu last year lost his job as a computer-aided designer and his unemployment had strained his marriage with Peng, who worked as a dental assistant, police said.

The couple separated about two months ago and the children stayed with Wu until the Lunar New Year, after which they moved in with Peng, they said.

Peng’s family last heard from her on Sunday morning before she took the children to the district’s 921 Earthquake Memorial Park to talk to Wu about a divorce, police said.

Investigators said they suspect that Wu picked up Peng and the children from the park before driving to Nantou County’s Houtanjing (猴探井), where a geo-tagged Facebook post was made on Peng’s account that read: “Who would not want their family to be together if they could?”

After being unable to contact her, the family filed a missing person report, police said.

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