On July 7, 2022, three men were sentenced to death for the murder of Li Mouyue in Menghai county, Yunnan province.
Hong Qiao, one of the culprits, and Li, a student at Nanjing University, were engaged in a romantic relationship when she was murdered.
It is said that Hong and Li argued multiple times in the run-up to the murder and Hong had even planned to kill her several times before, but was unsuccessful.
In December 2019, Hong wanted to drown Li in Thailand or bury her in Burma after she overheard his conversation with “the Head of the National Security Bureau.”
Hong was, of course, not on the phone with the Head of the National Security Bureau but he liked to use a fake identity, claiming he was a secret agent.
Unable to put up with his lies anymore, Li moved out of the apartment they were sharing.
On July 6, 2020, Hong began planning how he would murder Li with his friends, Zhang Chenguang and Cao Zeqing.
The trio decided to kill Li in Pu’er Tea Park, Menghai county, Yunnan province and prepared money and tools for the murder. They bought cameras, military bags and helmets. Before the murder took place, the trio even ran numerous mock killings.
Hong managed to lure Li, who lived in Nanjing with her parents at the time, to come to Yunnan to see him.
Li flew from Nanjing to Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan and then transferred to Menghai county. Hong then took her to the scene in Pu’er Tea Park.
Zhang and Cao then killed Li by breaking her neck and the three buried her body.
Li was reported missing on July 9 and four days later (July 13), her father traveled to Menghai county to find her.
While there, Hong helped Li’s father look for his deceased daughter and even took him to a nearby Apple store to see if they could trace her phone.
While looking for his daughter, Li’s father’s mother became sick and he had to return to Nanjing.
On July 18, 2020, police found Li’s body and after the initial investigation named Hong, Zhang and Cao as suspects in her murder.
The police also discovered that in May 2019, Hong instructed his friend Qi Wenqiang to steal a monocular vision device worth RMB18,000.
On September 4, 2020, the trio and Qi were arrested.
Li’s father received compensation from Hong’s family, but he refused to take it and claimed that his only demand was for Hong to be severely punished.
On July 7, 2022, the Intermediate People's Court of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan province, sentenced Hong to death for intentional homicide. He was deprived of political rights for life, sentenced to two and a half years for theft and fined RMB10,000.
Zhang and Cao were both given the death penalty with two years’ imprisonment for intentional homicide. They were also deprived of political rights for life.
Qi was sentenced to two years in prison and fined RMB8,000.
The court ruled that Hong was the leader and instigator of the crime, while Zhang and Cao both participated in the planning and murdering process.
[Cover image via Weibo@搜狐新闻客户端]
Cover image: Li's family outside a police station mourning their daughter.