Single mother and two sons in northern Taiwan commit suicide, older son survives

A single mother and her two sons in Taoyuan City committed suicide by burning charcoal in the closed house late Tuesday night, but the older son, who text messaged his classmates to bid farewell forever, survived the ordeal

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(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—A single mother and her two sons in Taoyuan City committed suicide by burning charcoal in their closed house late Tuesday night, but the older son, who text messaged his classmates to bid farewell forever, survived the ordeal when police broke in, finding both the mother and the younger son without vital signs, according to a news release posted by Taoyuan Police Department on its website.       

Songwu Police Station chief Yao Jin-bao (姚金寶) said that the station received a call after 11 p.m. Tuesday night to inform that a classmate of the caller could be committing charcoal-burning suicide as the caller had just received a farewell text message from the classmate, according to the release.

Yao said the police took the call seriously and sent personnel to Guangfeng Street, Pingzhen District, where the text message originated, to investigate.   

After the exact location of the classmate’s house was confirmed by the caller, police broke in to find smoke permeating the house, the release said. Police searched every room and found the older son, 16, still had vital signs, but unfortunately his 41-year-old mother surnamed Wang and the 13-year-old younger son were not breathing and without a heartbeat, according to the document.

Police called an ambulance immediately to send the older son to hospital for treatment, notified the mother’s relatives of the incident, and asked them to come to the scene to assist the police with sorting out the problem.

The older son, who recovered well after receiving the treatment, told police that he and his brother were brought up by their single mother, who later had a mental illness and could not work. So the older son took the responsibility of raising the family upon himself. He works during daytime and then attends a night school, but they had been financially strapped, he said.     

The mother’s younger brother told police that since his sister came down with mental illness, she had tried to kill herself many times.