SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Feb. 25, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office on Friday morning filed multiple felony charges, including murder, against a 26-year-old man who allegedly injected his girlfriend with a fatal dose of heroin earlier this month.
Haoyu Wang has been charged with:
- Murder, a first-degree felony
- Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a second-degree felony
- Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a third-degree felony
According to a probable cause statement filed in Third District Court in Salt Lake County by an officer of the Salt Lake City Police Department, a staff member at the University of Utah received an email from Haoyu Wang on February 11, in which Wang stated that he and his girlfriend “decided to use opioids to have a painless death. So, I bought heroin and fentanyl on dark net.”
The girlfriend, Zhifan Dong, 19, is referred to as “Z.D.” in the document. She and Wang were both international students at U of U.
Wang stated that after they tried some of the drugs, Dong suffered respiratory depression and vomiting, then was unconscious for several hours, the document says.
“WANG said that he didn’t want to see Z.D. suffer, so he injected her with a high dose of heroin,” it says.
When officers with the University of Utah Police Department pinged Z.D.’s phone, it led them to the Quality Inn at 616 S. 200 West in Salt Lake County.
Officers from the Salt Lake City Police Department responded to the Quality Inn to conduct a welfare check, and motel staff verified that Wang had checked in on Feb. 3 and was still registered there.
Officers had to force their entry into Wang’s room, the charging document states, because there was no response when they knocked on the door.
“They found Wang lying on the bed next to Z.D. who was deceased. A butterfly syringe was located next to Z.D.,” the statement says.
After being Mirandized, Wang told officers that he and Dong had snorted heroin that Wang had bought on the internet. Wang said he fell asleep and didn’t immediately realize that Dong had vomited. He “eventually saw that Z.D. had vomited and was having difficulty breathing.”
According to the charging document, Wang told police “that he did not call an ambulance because Z.D. would have been hospitalized and not around to commit suicide. Wang further admitted to officers that Z.D. was unconscious but still breathing for several hours before he chose to inject her hand with more drugs to relieve her suffering and cause her death.
“Wang informed the officers that he had purchased illegal drugs via the dark web and had them shipped to the hotel room. WANG injected Z.D. with some of the drugs he received to cause her death,” the document states.
On Feb. 11, a DEA Metro Narcotics Task Force Officer tested samples of “unknown white powders found in the motel room” with a narcotics analyzer, and the samples tested positive for fentanyl and ketamine.
According to the document, officers found “numerous substances in the room which tested positive for Ketamine and Fentanyl. Unopened packages addressed to Wang were collected and other substances believed to be drugs were sent to the state crime lab for handling and testing. Additional items, including syringes and other drug paraphernalia, were also seized from the scene.’
An autopsy was performed on Dong on Feb. 12 by the assistant medical examiner with the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner, and injection marks were identified in her arm and hand, but there were no signs of trauma or injury that could have caused her death.
During the investigation it was discovered that on January 12 of this year, Wang was arrested for domestic violence against Dong. The following day she called police again due to Wang’s behavior, the document states.
It was requested that Wang be booked into jail on a no-bail hold because:
“He is a native of China and has no formal ties to the community, other than being a new student at the local university.
“He has demonstrated knowledge of how to use the dark web to engage in criminal activity and by his own admission has access to bitcoin, which he can use to flee the area without the ability of authorities to trace his activities.
“The increase in criminal activity between January 2022 and February 2022 from assault to murder make him a substantial risk to the safety of others, and his lack of ties to the local community and knowledge and experience with clandestine criminal activities makes him an extremely high risk to flee the jurisdiction.”
District Attorney Sim Gill said in his Friday news release:
“This is a tragic case. Our Office intends to do everything in our power to bring a measure of justice for the victim and their family. We have met with the family and ask that their privacy please be respected as they deal with their loss.”
The news release also stated: “These are allegations, Haoyu Wang is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”