Mother and Son Die at Home, Only Discovered 2 Years Later

A forensic at the scene.

From QQ:

Mother & Son Die at Home in Beijing, Discovered 2 Years Later

From Beijing Evening News. A mother and her son pair who lived in Beijing’s Dongcheng District Jingtaidongli Building No.4 had not been seen in their neighborhood in nearly 2 years. In the morning the day before yesterday [January 22], the bodies of this mother and son pair were discovered in their home, the both of them having been dead for some time. Yesterday [January 23], the police collected a refrigerator drawer and other everyday items used by the deceased for examination.

Yesterday [January 23] afternoon, the reporter of this article saw that the metal door of the apartment where the incident happened was locked and already sealed off with yellow [police scene] tape. According to residents in the building, a mother and her son lived in this apartment, “the woman was about 30 to 40 years old, with a little boy who was about 5 to 6 years old.” The residents also claimed that it has been 3 to 4 years since they’ve seen the father of the boy come home, and it had always been the mother and her son living here, but the last time anyone saw the mother and son was in early 2011. “We too were wondering where the mother and her son had gone to at the time. Then we heard that they had simply gone back to their hometown.”

However, the day before yesterday [January 22] after 9am, an old woman who claimed to be the woman’s mother-in-law arrived with a locksmith who unlocked the door. To everyone’s surprise, the bodies of the mother and son were discovered. A neighbor called Ms. Mu described that many police cars arrived at the community that morning. The police was investigating the scene in the apartment where the incident happened until late at night. “In the beginning we didn’t know who died, until later when the police was asking questions around the neighborhood did we know that they were the mother and her son.”

The door to where the incident took place was locked.

The day before yesterday [January 22] after 5pm, the bodies of the mother and son were carried out of the scene. “The two bodies were carried out together on one stretcher, covered with a white cloth, the child together with his mother even to the end.” A Mr. Li who witnessed the scene was very upset. According to him, this little boy was very lively, and could often be seen playing on the fences. Sometimes the boy would be at home alone, yet nobody ever heard him cry or make a fuss. Residents say the mother and her son were old residents here, but they rarely went out, and nobody had ever had any dealings with them. The woman didn’t really have much contact with her husband’s family either. People didn’t even know the names of the mother and her son. “The woman was fairly tall, very pretty, but she didn’t talk much. If someone ran into her, she’d just smile or nod her head.”

According to the residents, the last time they saw the mother and son was at the beginning of 2011. Afterwards, they never saw them go out ever again. In August or September of 2011, some neighbors noted that there was a foul smell in the hallway, and many flies appeared from nowhere, leading the residents to also think the worst from time to time. They say they’ve contacted the neighborhood and subdistrict committee, but then someone said that the mother and her son had simply returned to their hometown, and so no one ever thought of the worst again.

Yesterday afternoon [January 22], the police took away a refrigerator drawer and some other everyday items for examination from the apartment where the incident happened, and the apartment door was locked again as well.

“The gas bill is collected once every three months here, while the water meter must be checked by going into tenants’ apartments, once a month, so [their bodies] should have been found [earlier]. Did no one from their family think of calling them after this much time?” The residents say that the mother and her son have been dead for 2 years without being discovered. The more they think about it, the more unbelievable it is. What pains the residents the most is [the death of] the little boy who was only 5 to 6 years old. “When he played in the fences, we would playfully tease him and he’d even talk back.”

Two forensic at the scene.

Comments from QQ:

腾讯网友 唐伯虎点蚊香:

Sigh, I feel a little bit like crying, how about everyone else?

腾讯网友 y1世、疼伱永吥弃:

The countryside is still better. After supper, people go visit their neighbors, not like in the city, where people shut their doors and live their own lives! You can die and no one would know! Some don’t even know the names of their neighbors!!!

腾讯上海市网友 龙顾天下:

“A nearby neighbor is better than a far away relative”, how can their neighbors’ conscience be at peace??
Can we blame the neighbors? They are not legally responsible, but can our society rely only on laws? Laws are cold, only the human heart is warm. When I was in elementary school, my teacher told us that only in that extremely evil XXX [likely referring to “capitalist”] society would something like this happen, where a person can be dead in their home for years without anyone knowing. What has gone amiss with our lives? So, first we must determine the authenticity of this news. Second, is it necessary to launch an “open your doors, care for each other” community campaign?

腾讯网友 夏雨飞花:

Neighborhood committee, property management, water-meter inspector, what were you all doing?


Just a few days ago there were reports about Koreans being cold and indifferent, saying that a Korean person had been dead in his rented home for 17 years before being discovered. Now there’s a report that in China there are people dead only to be discovered after 2 years. Sigh, the fickleness of human relations. Just like what the other brother [person] commented above, the countryside is still better, where everybody knows everybody in the village, where if a relative visits a villager often enough, eventually everyone comes to know that person to be the relative of that villager whenever he comes again.

腾讯淄博市网友 翩若惊鸿:

What about her relatives? How can 2 years go by with nobody looking for them both? Sigh.

腾讯网友 312611652:

I’m a little suspicious. A few days after a person dies, the body starts decomposing, and gives out a terrible smell. It’s impossible that no one smelled anything, that no one went to look [for the source of the odor]; Even when a mouse dies somewhere and begins stinking, people will think of a way to find it.

腾讯苏州市网友 付多奇怪:

Seriously suspect this news is fake, or at least the reporting is not complete and accurate.

腾讯天津市网友 未命名:

Dead in an apartment for 2 years, a woman and a boy. Reminds me of Ju-on… Were there no rumors of that building being haunted at night?

腾讯网友 410313800:

Only to be discovered after being dead for 2 years, so sad, and the boy was only 5. Sigh. I’m very curious about how they died at home. Suicide or murder?

Two forensic at the scene.

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  • pants

    daddy did it

  • Dr Sun

    no visitors in 2 years ?

    now that’s odd

    • Loki

      I think it is perfectly acceptable.
      I hate people knowing where I live, surprise guests coming to my house. bad enough every person in my building know what floor the laowai lives on.

      • Dr Sun

        what’s your name- “Billy Nomates” ?

        • Chingicide

          Loki is right. Paranoia is a good friend in The China.

  • vincent

    Talk about a lack of human connection, good grief :(

  • the ace of books

    Just reaffirming the un-talked about truth that in every close-knit community (all around the world, not just China), there’s always outsiders. Admitting there’s outsiders would admit failure within the community. Nobody there was friends with this family, but they’d all call themselves “good neighbors” if you asked.

    Human nature: “we don’t care about you unless you’re in our circle or do something unusual”.

    • Germandude

      I agree with you but wouldn’t necessarily call them outsiders per se. I mean, I come from a small city with with just under 100,000 inhabitants. I know all my neighbors on the same street pretty well. When back home in GER, I usually meet almost all of them within a week, either on the streets, in a restaurant/pub or simply in a supermarket. Small-talk during such occasions is just normal.
      Here however, I am living in a compound with probably 20,000 people and during a single day, I probably see 100,000 different faces in the metro, office, streets, restaurants and so on, that I actively try NOT to make too much contact. I know the neighbors living on the same floor as me, but don’t want to get to know all the others. It would simply be too much. Most of my real friends here are living in other city districts so that I can find some peace when needed: My home is my castle if you know what I mean.

    • Guest

      I don’t really talk to my neighbor neither. The people living in the cities are always so busy go to work come home and sleep. No time to really talk to neighbor.

      So sad with the mother and son. She sounds like she is a loner. She only has her son. No help and support from family or the gov’t. I am not surprised if it is a suicide and she took her son with her. She didn’t want her son to be left behind. So sad. The China gov’t needs to create more social support system for people like that. Social workers and funds.

  • Rick in China

    “When he played in the fences, we would playfully tease him and he’d even talk back.”

    This is a funny way to describe a kid, sounds more like a zoo animal.

    • the ace of books

      It’s the kind of thing people say about a kid they don’t know. There’s a benign vagueness to it, sort of like saying, “he was a good kid … I guess…”

      • cupermo

        yep, that’s it.

        • bert

          Thanks Freud 1 and 2!

  • That tells you about the quality of the people in China, neighborhood, community, society are words that shouldn’t exist in chinese language because nobody, NOBODY gives a fuck about the people living around them, and you can see that everyday, everywhere.

    • the ace of books

      No. This is not just China. This is everywhere in the world. You see this kind of neglect and lack of care and consciousness in communities in every country, only people are too ashamed or embarrassed or self-absorbed to notice or care about their exclusion of certain individuals. And then they justify it to themselves to make themselves feel better about it.

      This is not just China. This is human nature.

      • bert

        No. This IS China only. Only in China! haha! Troll

        • Hongwu Emperor

          No, this is china AND the world. this is modernity. this is modern life. people slowly getting isolated, and each other getting apart.

          Back in the good days, there wasnt that coldness in a small village.
          now people only care about f*king tech and money lol.

    • Reila90

      lol “quality of the people”. The hell that suppose to mean? You need a better words.

      • Kiff

        Yeah, because your English is perfect.

        • Reila90


          • “a better words”..but I don’t care, just answering your question. :)

          • bert

            you obviously do care retard!

    • Germandude

      Good god… Your stupid simplification just shows me that you are good at pointing fingers on others to overcome your inferiority complex. I don’t know where you are coming from, nor do I give a shit, but I’d bet 100 bucks that sth like this also has happened in your home country in the last 5 years.
      Compare one of China’s biggest cities to one of your country’s bigger cities and you will see that people are more indifferent than the average bloke from smaller communities. I am not surprised that sth like this has happened.
      To the mother and child: R.I.P.

    • PixelPulse

      Oh please, in my hometown there was a body of a little old woman who was dead for 3 months before anybody noticed and the only reason anybody noticed was because the smell. Tell me how much this shows the quality of people in the US, or would that be a gross generalization?

    • [email protected]

      Community is a word used veeerry loosely in Chinese cities.

      For me, it meant constantly getting mocked and joked about by security guards, having the local a yi gang stare and gossip every time I walk by, and having the groundskeepers and even complex admin workers stare at my wife’s boobs on a daily basis, this was normal.

      Having no one else talk to you, smile back at you, offer to help you when you clearly appear to need it, show consideration towards you, hold the elevator door, hold any door, not steal your taxi, not cut in line at the local store, control their children to the point of their not driving other people crazy much, this is very very normal.

      Where you have to be old to make friends with your neighbors, and even then knowing they gossip behind your back about your family and your
      kids and everything else, because it is something for them to do. That’s
      This is the Chinese apartment complex community. Just think about what community means to you, and send that thought to bizarro world.

      • fedupwithchina

        Right on man, u 2 have endured the China that I put up with for far toooo long, so glad to read my thoughts, written by another to feel normal again, cheers !

  • its stupid to pity and care for someone when they are dead. Should have done that when they were alive. Must be suicide.

  • radbab

    happens in the west too. you see that every once in a while in the newspapers. usually old people without relatives and friends living in big city apartment blocks. Or folks with no friends or family who had an accident at home. Bills are paid automatically and as long as you don’t make too much noise while dying nobody will bother.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    Summer time Beijing can get over 40 degrees Celsius, can’t imagine how two dead bodies can go through 2 summers without rotting and smelling like hell.

    • Strelnikov

      Their neighbors had their Funk Tolerance set to 11.

    • I first arrived in China and immediately thought there was a massive sewage problem. Only later did I find out it’s just stinky tofu. Then, any time I smelled what seemed to be human shit and rotting corpses, I just assumed it was stinky tofu nearby. Perhaps this is what happened in this case, as well.

      • linette lee

        stinky tofu………..hahaha.. it really smell that bad?

        • mr.wiener

          You should try this one in Taipei. It’s called “the house of unique stink” It even stymied the host of “weird foods” Anthony Zimmern. He went green in the face and had to spit it out.

          • linette lee

            the house of unique stink……………

            hahahah……lol Who on earth can come up with that name?

          • linette lee

            獨臭之家 house of unique stink

            that is a really good name. I love it. So creative. I need to go try next time.

        • [email protected]

          yes, it is like the worst feet smell, mixed with wet dog, mixed with clothes that got washed and didn’t dry quickly enough and got stinky, mixed with cooking cheap oil. It is rank.

          • but it is still tasty. :D

        • Tau

          Oh yes…it’s like stuffing your whole face inside a sweaty old shoes with bunch of shits in it. It’s that bad…

  • maybeabanana

    Like everyone is saying: To each and their own.

  • don mario

    i agree this is something that happens everywhere.. seems especially sad that they didnt seem to know anyone though.

  • melvin

    wouldn’t the landlord miss the rent collections?

    • [email protected]

      yes, unless they owned the apartment, in which case it would be the bank missing the mortgage payments

      • bert

        Unless they REALLY owned it. Then it is theirs. There are people who OWN their home and have no debt!

  • Taddious

    Pictures… or it didn’t happen! (Yay for mobid fascinations)

  • MonkeyMouth

    this story ‘stinks’… something a bit ‘foul’ about it.

  • ric

    hmm this is unbelievable. some how i feel like foul play is involved….

  • [email protected]

    Just about nothing in this story makes sense. A lack of speculation also is odd, especially for Chinese journalists, regarding how the mum and child died.

    A few things that bother me –
    Mum and child brought out on the same stretcher… Were they literally found together in that position and thus forensic examiners deemed it necessary to transport them the way they were found? This makes it sound like a murder suicide to me, if my own speculation is right.

    The point about the bill collectors is very strong, and baffling. While I do know that in China, bills will often be sent to a residential address, for one reason or another – not be paid, and then another and another and another bill be sent, people will come knocking, more bills pile up, more visits from collectors (who will almost always knock on the neighbors’ door also, for some info on the debt evader’s whereabouts), all of this happening for months without the utility ever being cut off. (my last neighbor literally the perfect example of this, not bothering to pay a 23quai electricity bill for half a year.) It seems like this house was totally ignored and overlooked. Unless the utilities had all been switched off prior to these deaths occurring.

    Another commenter mentioned the lack of visitation, or inquiry from other relatives.

    The neighbors smelled rotting death and saw flies, yet did and said, and apparently thought nothing.

    Police removing certain items including a refrigerator drawer. This is really odd.

    You can see how close the door is to the nearest neighbor’s door. They lived mere feet from the scene. How could they have not heard, smelt, felt, detected or suspected something strange and called the police?

    So the mother-in-law shows up? Yet no mention of the husband. Clearly she knew something had happened to his wife and child. So where is he?

    This bugs me so much.

  • Sam

    This community is next to ours and I never heard anything about it. Scary if it really happened. I think the father killed them and the mother in law knew something. Two years without hearing from her grandson? Impossible in China. My mother in law would be around searching if we didn’t contact her for just one day.

  • This happens all over the world, not just China. And it happens in the USA regularly. I say this, because the USA likes to think its standard of living and way of life is superior to anywhere else in the world. Pffffft! Please.

    • bert

      So to defend China you say some stupid useless thing about the US to appear fair and balanced? Pffffft! retard.

  • random person

    maybe they died from starvation or sickness and had no money for medicine…still, but their neighbours should have atleast did a little visit

  • Charles

    Though it is a common mistake the term 小区 shouldn’t be translated as “community.” That’s Chinglish, like calling the left lane of a highway a “carriage way” and so many other Chinese-style English words and phrases. A better translation would be “apartment complex.”

  • The Oracle

    In uk, if someone dies in their home/apartment the alarm is usually raised by neghbours within a week who say they noticed a bad smell…. doesn’t that tell you something about the smell of china?

  • Regina

    So…how did they die?

  • Lila

    It’s like that in big cities. But how did they die? If one of them died first the other one would have tried to warn the neighbours.

    And again, what kind of grand-mother doesn’t inquire about her grand-son for as long as two years?

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