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Girl witnesses father’s suicide after murder

By Chen Xiaoru (Global Times)

08:36, May 15, 2013

A 5-year-old girl witnessed her father commit suicide Monday after he killed his girlfriend in their high-rise apartment in Putuo district, a neighborhood committee staff member said Tuesday.

"The daughter returned home and opened the door to find her father's girlfriend lying in a pool of blood. She then saw her father jump off the high-rise right in front of her eyes," the staff member told the Global Times.

Police first got word of the apparent murder-suicide when they received a report about a man who fell off a building in the Cosco Brilliant City residential complex around 7 pm Monday, according to the Putuo district police's microblog.

An initial investigation found that the man had committed suicide after stabbing a woman to death with a table knife in his apartment, according to the post. Police said the man and the woman had been in a relationship, but offered no further information about the case.

A Shanghai Television Station news report later identified the man as a 37-year-old surnamed Yang and the woman as his girlfriend, a 32-year-old surnamed Ma. The report said Yang jumped from his 13th floor apartment.

The family's housekeeper had been with Yang's daughter when they returned home from school that evening, the committee staff member said. The housekeeper did not go inside the apartment and was waiting for the elevator when she heard the daughter crying inside, saying she saw her father jump from the building.

A witness and a neighbor told Shanghai Television Station that Yang's daughter identified the fallen man as her father when police turned over his body on the ground.

Yang and his daughter lived together after he divorced her mother, said the neighborhood committee's Party secretary, surnamed Yuan.

Nothing seemed amiss with Yang, other than he was a slightly shy man who did not talk a lot with his neighbors, Yuan said. Yang was unemployed, but the family seemed wealthy. He met his girlfriend at his daughter's kindergarten, where she worked as her class teacher.

The woman moved into Yang's apartment after the Spring Festival. Neighbors had never heard the couple fight before Tuesday, according to another neighborhood committee staff member.

The kindergarten's headmaster said that Yang had gotten into an argument with the woman at the school about a month ago, Yuan said.

The police are checking the pair's phone records and text messages to see whether they were having problems, Yuan said. Yang's daughter is now staying with her mother.

Kong Yilang, a psychiatrist with a 24-hour psychological help hotline, told the Global Times that the family will need to watch over the girl day and night. People who witness a family member commit suicide can suffer serious psychological problems for the rest of their lives.

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