University of Utah student killed girlfriend in alleged suicide pact, police say

A University of Utah student was arrested Friday in the death of his girlfriend and fellow U. student at a Salt Lake hotel.

Haoyu Wang, 26, who is from China but attending the U., was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of murder.

Officers were called to the Quality Inn Downtown, 616 S. 200 West, just before 6 a.m. Friday as part of a "welfare check investigation." Investigators had received information from University of Utah police that a man had made threats to kill his girlfriend, according to a statement from Salt Lake police.

Wang sent an email to a staff member at the University of Utah 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 a police booking affidavit.

Investigators pinged Wang's cell phone, which led them to the downtown hotel, the affidavit states. Salt Lake police were called to the hotel to assist University police with their investigation.

At the hotel, police found a 19-year-old woman deceased in a room, said Salt Lake police detective Michael Ruff. The name of the woman has not yet been released. The university identified her as an international undergraduate student and said her name was being withheld pending notification of her family. Police said the couple had been living together.

Wang told police he killed the woman and "attempted to kill himself by reportedly injecting himself with drugs," police said.

After he was examined at a local hospital, Wang was interviewed by detectives. He told them that he and his girlfriend "intended to commit suicide together. He ordered heroin and fentanyl on the darknet. He and the victim both snorted heroin," according to the affidavit.

The woman became unresponsive after taking heroin, the affidavit says.

"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," police wrote in the affidavit.

In a statement to the campus community, the university said it was offering help for students and employees through its counseling centers.

"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," the statement said.