A Hong Kong mother has been arrested on suspicion of killing her son in a botched murder-suicide bid in the early hours of Saturday.
The 46-year-old woman allegedly strangled the 21-year-old, who is believed to have an intellectual disability, inside their public housing flat in Kwai Chung.
Police said three other family members, including the father, were in the flat at Ying Kwai House, Kwai Chung Estate, at the time, but were still too traumatised to calmly talk about what had happened.
The mother is understood to have attempted to kill herself, but paramedics arrived soon after police were called at around 3am, and she was taken to Yan Chai Hospital. She had sustained injuries to her hands and was conscious.
Superintendent Lam Chi-yuen said officers were called after a report of fainting or an injury in the flat, and paramedics found a man dead at the scene.
“We are still investigating,” he said at a press briefing. “At this moment, we believe it is a case about murder and suicide. From the information we have collected, we believe the deceased was strangled. The tool for murder may be a stringlike object made from rubbish bags, or something like tablecloths.”
Lam said officers were trying to discover whether other family members saw what had happened, and were still waiting to question the mother.
“Whether she injured herself before or after the incident, we don’t know yet because she is still in hospital,” he said.
In a statement issued by the force hours later, police said officers found the man lying unconscious on the floor when they arrived. The man had injuries to his neck and was certified dead. Officers had seized a plastic tablecloth in connection with the case.
Earlier, Lam said that while officers could not see any documents to show the man had intellectual disabilities, he had reason to believe he did, because the man had just returned to the flat from a care home for people with intellectual disabilities.
He also dismissed earlier media reports that suggested the son had been given drugs at some time before the incident, saying there was no evidence to support that.
“I think such details reported are not accurate,” he said.
In a similar incident in 2014, a father slashed his autistic son about 100 times and killed him, before cutting his own neck. The man survived and was sent to jail in 2016 for four years.
The victim was a 15-year-old who had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and at the father’s trial the court was told the boy had previously attacked his day care teacher, and constantly bullied his younger brother.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, or you know someone who is, help is available. For Hong Kong, dial +852 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or +852 2382 0000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on +1 800 273 8255. For a list of other nations’ helplines, see this page
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This article Hong Kong police arrest mother after son dies in suspected murder-suicide bid first appeared on South China Morning Post