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November 12, 2009

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A noisy quarrel, then two are dead, infant orphaned

A MAN committed suicide by jumping from his apartment building in the city's Yangpu District yesterday morning, and soon afterward his wife's corpse was found in their apartment.

Their 20-month-old son was left an orphan.

The district police, quoting neighbors, said the couple had been in a bad relationship for a long time and had a dreadful row on Tuesday night.

Police suspect the husband killed the wife, but were still investigating the circumstances last night.

"The kid will be taken care of by the couple's parents," a police officer said after checking with the neighborhood committee.

The tragedy happened at about 6:30am. The 33-year-old husband surnamed Zhou jumped off from the seventh floor of the building in a complex on Rende Road.

"It was a huge sound," said a resident who lives on the first floor. "I thought it was a flat tire until I saw the body."

The police cordoned the scene and later found the wife surnamed Chen, also a 33-year-old white collar, dead on the floor at her home.

"She was dead from suffocation," a police officer said to Shanghai Daily yesterday, indicating Zhou to be the suspect. "No other people were in the apartment."

Neighbors said the couple were always quarreling, a fact known to many of the complex's residents.

The conflict peaked the night before when Chen asked for a divorce, suspecting Zhou of having affairs with others, neighbors said.

"It was at about 9pm. They quarreled very hard and there was the sound of glass broken," a neighbor said. "Zhou ran out and tried to call someone but was stopped by his wife."

Shanghai TV news said Zhou dialed 110 to call the police and the couple were taken to a nearby police station for mediation.

"They were calmed in the police station and came back," said the director of the neighborhood committee. "I never thought it would end like this."

The couple were both well-paid and worked at mid-level positions of big companies.


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