Taiwanese millionaire heir, 18, found dead 2 hours after marrying man he had only met twice

Taiwanese authorities are investigating the case after his mother has alleged that her son was murdered for his money.

Matthias Ang | May 23, 2023, 09:41 PM

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An 18-year-old Taiwanese youth who was heir to an estate worth NTD500 million (S$21.9 million) was found dead at the foot of a building two hours after he registered his marriage to a 26-year-old real estate agent assistant, Taiwanese media reported.

His mother cried foul play and demanded that Taiwanese authorities investigate her son's death as a murder case.

The student, Lai (transliteration), died on May 4.

His body was found at the foot of the building where the agent, Hsia (transliteration), lived.

Mother alleged that her son was murdered for his money

In a press conference with Taiwanese media, Lai's mother said his father had passed on about two months before his death.

She added that his father had been progressively transferring the 30 real estate properties he owned in Taichung to Lai in recent years due to poor health.

All properties were transferred just over a month before Lai's death.

Lai's father eventually passed away on Apr. 27.

Lai's mother alleged that her son was murdered for his money and that the incident was arranged to look like suicide.

Hsia and his father were real estate agents who helped Lai's father manage his estates.

She further pointed out that Hsia and her son had only met twice before May 4 and that she believed her son was heterosexual as he had expressed interest in a female classmate at his high school.

Under Taiwan's Civil Code, partners in same-sex marriages have the same legal rights as other marriages, including inheritance rights.

What happened on the day of the incident?

Lai's mother said that on May 4, at about 7am, Hsia had gone to Lai's home and allegedly told the victim he would teach him how to handle real estate matters.

He had also supposedly asked Lai to bring along identification documents.

Hsia then took Lai back to his home before bringing the victim to the marriage registration centre.

Investigations further revealed that as the registration for marriage requires the consent of two external parties, Hsia took Lai to search for two people.

Both of the people that Hsia subsequently found were reported to be young men in their 20s, at a nearby supermarket and just outside the centre.

Hsia reportedly obtained their signatures by asking both men if they supported same-sex marriage and taking out the form for them to sign.

Hsia and Lai then returned to Hsia's residence at about 9am.

Lai was subsequently found dead outside the apartment building at 11am.

Taiwanese media initially reported that Lai had fallen from the 10th floor to his death.

Family-hired forensic doctor: Victim unlikely to have fallen to his death

Following the incident, Lai's body was subjected to an autopsy by the Taichung District Prosecutor's Office before being returned to the family.

The family then commissioned another forensic doctor, Kao Ta-Cheng, to examine Lai's body and the location of where his body was found.

Kao was subsequently quoted as saying that it was unlikely for Lai to have died by falling from the 10th storey.

He noted that the injuries Lai had sustained were too light, with only a fractured right elbow and no haemorrhages in his head and abdominal cavities.

Kao suggested that Lai was likely to have been poisoned instead and might have vomited shortly before his death, as indicated by the patch of dead grass where his body was found.

Responding to media queries, the district prosecutor's office for Taichung added that its autopsy report on Lai's death was still pending but it respected the relevant actions and remarks of the family and related personnel outside the legal proceedings.

The office also reiterated that evidence of the crime must still undergo "rigorous" legal procedures and called for relevant parties not to infer the circumstances of the crime from conjecture and to let the judiciary do its job.

Suspect out on bail at S$13,100

In the meantime, Hsia is reportedly out on bail at NTD300,000 (S$13,100).

Hsia and his father were reportedly subjected to a five-hour-long interrogation on May 22 by Taichung's authorities. They did not respond to media questions when they left afterwards.

In response to Taiwanese media queries about the incident, Hsia's father said he did not know anything.

The victim's family has called for the prosecution to apply for Hsia to be taken into custody to prevent him from fleeing.

Meanwhile, one of Taichung's City Councilors (the equivalent of a Member of Parliament at the city level in Taiwan), Huang Jian-hao, has called for Hsia to prove he had no motive in murdering Lai by voluntarily renouncing his inheritance rights to Lai's property.

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