Tamkang University student may have been electrocuted before drowning in Taipei park

Police suspect Tamkang University student may have been electrocuted before drowning in ditch

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Location where Wei was found. (Taipei Police Department photo)

Location where Wei was found. (Taipei Police Department photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Police suspect that the cause of death of a 25-year-old Tamkang University student found in a Taipei park could be electric shock, followed by drowning, reported UDN.

A fourth-year female student at Tamkang University surnamed Wei (魏) was found dead yesterday in a riverside park under Bailing Bridge in Taipei's Shilin District. When detectives examined her body, they found that her index finger, middle finger, and ring finger on her left hand had wounds that appeared to have been inflicted by an electric shock.

With the exception of an abrasion on her nose and sand found inside, investigators saw no other visible wounds to her body. Prosecutors suspect that she might have grabbed an electric pole by mistake at the Danan Pumping Station, was knocked unconscious, fell face first into the nearby ditch, and ultimately drowned.


Police investigating the scene. (Taipei Police Department Photo)

Prosecutors returned to the scene to continue the investigation. Based on an initial investigation by police, Wei might have struggled before she died if she had accidentally fallen into the ditch, but no sediment was found in her mouth, there were not any scratch marks on the edges of the ditch, and there was no sign of a struggle.

Investigators theorized that the electric shock knocked her unconscious and she then fell into the nearby ditch, which was at high tide that morning. Because her nose had a minor abrasion, they believe this may have been caused by the impact from her fall.

The initial judgment is that it was an accidental drowning, but details still need to be analyzed and clarified.


Police investigating the scene. (Taipei Police Department Photo)

As for the 16-year-old boy surnamed Yuan (袁) who was found passed out near Wei's body, he is suspected of consuming an excessive amount of alcohol and drugs. When police first attempted to question Yuan, he was in a trance-like, groggy state.

Prosecutors then ordered that Yuan submit to a blood sample to test for the presence of drugs. The lab report revealed that in addition to smoking marijuana, Yuan had swallowed sleeping pills, Panadol (paracetamol), which led to a high liver index and required hospitalization.

Prosecutors pointed out that they would wait until Yuan was fully sober to begin a formal inquiry. According to local media reports, Yuan had invited Wei to smoke marijuana before the incident, but police are not certain who supplied the drugs.


Paramedics tending to Yuan. (Taipei Police Department photo)

Police suspect that the two were taking drugs near the Danan Pumping Station. Yuan had reportedly been staying in Wei's home for about two weeks.

Although police did not find illegal drugs when they searched Wei's home, they did spot a cigarette rolling machine, hookah pipes, and other paraphernalia used to smoke marijuana. The also encountered a large number of legal drugs, such as sleeping pills and Panadol, all of which were seized for identification.

The prosecution pointed out that if the results of a second drug test show the presence of a Class II drug, Yuan will be transferred to a juvenile court on suspicion of violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例).

In order to obtain a preliminary determination of Wei's death, prosecutors are planning on having an autopsy performed her body today.


Yuan and Wei spotted outside of convenience store the previous night. (Taipei Police Department photo)