Salt Lake City police say University of Utah Chinese student killed his girlfriend by buying drugs on the dark web

Police respond to suspicious death at downtown Salt Lake City hotel on Feb. 11, 2022

Police in Salt Lake City announced the arrest of a University of Utah student from China accused of killing his girlfriend Friday at a downtown hotel in what he allegedly said was a suicide pact. The 26-year-old University of Utah student killed his 19-year-old girlfriend using drugs he bought on the dark Web, according to investigators.

Officials confirmed Friday afternoon that the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was also a student at the University of Utah.

Haoyu Wang, 26, who is from China but attends the University of Utah, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of murder, according to an arrest statement. Wang told police he purchased heroin and fentanyl on the dark Web and that the couple intended to kill themselves together.

Wang rented a room at the Quality Inn near 600 South 200 West in downtown Salt Lake City, and the couple began using drugs together when the woman was unresponsive, according to a police statement.

"The victim was still breathing, but in pain," Wang said. Wang then injected her with a large dose of heroin with the intent to kill her and relieve her pain. After injecting the victim, Wang said she died. King then injected himself with heroin and remained in the room with the victim until police arrived." The arrest statement said.

Police said a University of Utah staff member received an email from Wang early Friday morning saying "he killed his girlfriend by injecting her with heroin and said he was dead when they were found."

University police contacted Salt Lake City police to check on the Quality Inn hotel at 616 S. 200 West around 6 a.m. Friday, and when officers entered the hotel room, the victim was dead and Wang was taken into custody.

Wang was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on a charge of first-degree felony murder, a first-degree felony.

At the hotel, police found a 19-year-old woman dead in a room, said Salt Lake City police Detective Michael Ruff. The woman's name has not been released. The school identified her as an international undergraduate student and said her name will be kept confidential until her family is notified. Wang was a Chinese national and the couple had been living together, police said.

Wang had been arrested in January, allegedly for hitting his girlfriend in the head during an argument at another motel in downtown Salt Lake City. He was charged with a Class B misdemeanor domestic violence and is scheduled to appear in Salt Lake City Justice Court next week in the case.

The University of Utah sent a notice to the campus community Friday informing students of the death.

"The death of any young person beginning their adult life is devastating. Unfortunately, domestic violence is more prevalent than many of us realize, even among college students. On behalf of the university, we extend our heartfelt sorrow and sympathy to the family, friends and classmates of the victim during this incredibly difficult time."

In recent years, dark web drugs have been a serious concern for federal investigators.

In 2020, a Cottonwood Heights man was sentenced to life in prison for running a large dark web drug ring that prosecutors said was linked to 90 overdose deaths.

Aaron Shamo testified in court that he began selling painkillers on the dark web as a way to help people who needed the drugs.

Catherine Hermsen, assistant commissioner for criminal matters in the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigation, said at Shamo's sentencing, "The tragedy of the opioid crisis, which continues to this day, is in large part driven by those who use every method available, including the dark web, to sell their illegal wares to people with substance abuse addictions driven by."

From:On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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