A mentally-challenged man was killed and put in a coffin for cremation instead of someone else’s corpse.
What was the motive? A wealthy Chinese family spent 107,000 Chinese yuan ($16,300) on the corpse switch “in order to fulfill the relative’s dying wish of having a traditional burial in a city, where cremations have been mandatory since 2012 for the sake of saving land,” according to Newsweek.
After a thorough investigation on the missing person case, the convicted murderer was caught in November 2019 with the help of CCTV footage. He was slapped with a two-year suspended death sentence in September, which he appealed, claiming that the victim had “drunk himself to death” and “died of a sudden illness while drunk.”
The high court, however, found no evidence to back his statement.
As per the Shanwei Intermediate People’s Court, the convicted murderer crossed paths with the victim on the street in March 2017. The latter was forced to drink six bottles of alcohol until he became unconscious. From there, he “was driven to a predetermined area, placed inside a coffin, killed and sealed in with four nails.”
The dead body was cremated and placed in a public cemetery, as the rich clan mourned the death of their loved one in a secret traditional burial. “Cases against the brother and middlemen resulted in no punishment due to the ‘minor’ nature of their crimes,” as stated in the same report.
A civil suit, which was filed by the victim’s mother, “was dropped last August after the murderer agreed to pay the family 70,000 ($10,700) in damages.”