TSEKHOG, CHINA - OCTOBER 28: Little house in the grassland, Qinghai province, Tsekhog, China on October 28, 2017 in Tsekhog, China. (Photo by Eric Lafforgue/Art In All Of Us/Corbis via Getty Images)
Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us—Corbis via Getty Images
By Precious Adesina
October 18, 2018

A woman in rural China killed herself and her children in Hunan province after her husband allegedly faked his own death, according to Chinese police.

The 32-year-old woman’s husband, had faked his death by driving a borrowed car into a near by river. Though his body was not found, the man identified by his last name He was pronounced dead and subsequently went into hiding, according to the BBC.

Unknown to his wife, 34-year-old He hoped to use the insurance payout to support his family, which was going through financial difficulties. He also hoped to be relieved of his debts, which amounted to over $14,000, according to the BBC.

Believing he was dead, the man’s wife posted a suicide note on the social media app WeChat, before drowning herself and her two children three weeks after her partner’s supposed death. Her body was recovered from the water on Oct. 11 along with her son and daughter, age 4 and 3.

He, who handed himself to the police the next day, is being held for insurance fraud and intentional damage to property, according to a statement by Xinhua police.

Some have blamed the incident on the harsh lives of women in rural China, prompting a national debate on the matter.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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