Haoyu Wang was arrested Friday after police came to believe he killed his 19-year-old girlfriend, Zhifan Dong, with a lethal dose of heroin and fentanyl. The 26-year-old University of Utah student alleged it was a suicide pact and that he survived after injecting the drugs into himself. Police are investigating.

Salt Lake City officers arrived at the Quality Inn Downtown on 616 S. 200 West in Salt Lake City at around 6 a.m. Friday. Police were there because of a “welfare check investigation.” University officials told the police that a student was making threats to kill his girlfriend.

The suspect had sent an email to a university staff member that “stated that he injected his girlfriend, the victim, with heroin to relieve her from suffering. The email indicated that both would be dead when they were found,” according to police reports.

Haoyu Wang Zhifan Dong
Haoyu Wang was arrested for killing his girlfriend, Zhifan Dong, in an alleged suicide pact gone wrong. The 19-year-old was dosed with heroin and fentanyl. (Credit: Shutterstock.com)

Zhifan Dong and Haoyu Wang were found in a hotel room after police pinged Wang’s phone location. University of Utah police and Salt Lake City officials found the girlfriend dead on the scene, but Wang was still alive.

“During their investigation, detectives assigned to the SLCPD Homicide Squad learned Wang claimed he killed the victim and then attempted to kill himself by reportedly injecting himself with drugs,” officials said in a statement. “Detectives also learned Wang and the woman were in a romantic relationship and had been living together. As such, this case is being investigated as a domestic violence-related homicide.”

The University of Utah revealed that both Dong and Wang were international students, Haoyu Wang is from China, but it is unclear where Zhifan Dong was from.

The university college student was taken into police custody and charged with murder of the first-degree and booked in the Salt Lake City County Jail. His bail has not been set, and it is unclear when he will appear in court.

Haoyu Wang told police that he purchased the drugs on the dark Web. The young man was taken to the hospital before being questioned by police. According to the suspect, Dong and he snorted heroin to try to kill themselves. The 19-year-old passed out after her first dose of the drug.

“Haoyu then injected her with a high dose of heroin with the intent to kill her and relieve her suffering. After injecting the victim, Haoyu said that she died. Haoyu then injected himself with heroin and remained in the room with the victim until police arrived,” said Salt Lake City police.

This is not the first time that Wang was charged for hurting a woman. Back in January, police arrested the 26-year-old for allegedly hitting his girlfriend in the head, according to KUTV. The domestic assault took place at a different motel in downtown Salt Lake City. He was charged with a class-B misdemeanor domestic violence assault and is expected to appear in court this week for his crime.

After Zhifan Dong’s death, the University of Utah released a statement to its campus community. They said, “We know this news is difficult to process and will affect members of our campus community—especially those who are survivors or close to survivors of domestic violence. The death of any young person embarking on adult life is devastating. And, unfortunately, domestic violence is more prevalent than many of us are aware, even among college students. On behalf of the university, we extend our heartfelt grief and sympathy to the family, friends and classmates of the victim during this incredibly difficult time.”

They added that the university would provide counselors to any students or faculty who felt overwhelmed by the death of Zhifan Dong.