A couple and their two sons who were found dead at home in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa last night had likely committed suicide out of debt default, police officers said on Monday.
The suicide was initially confirmed based on the results of an autopsy and evidence collected from their house, Colonel Le Trung Hieu, the spokesperson of the provincial police department, said this morning.
The deaths were discovered at about 9:00 pm on Sunday at house No. 218, which doubles as an electrical appliance shop named Ha Nhung, on Tran Phu Street in Thanh Hoa City, which is the provincial capital.
At that time, some relatives of the deceased forced the door open to enter the house, for they had failed to contact the people inside since the morning and the store had not opened as normal.
They first discovered Ngo Le Ha, 45, the house owner, hanging on the first floor.
The relatives then found Ha’s wife – 42-year-old Tran Thi Nhung – and their two sons – Ngo Duy Tan, 23, and Ngo Quang Ninh,13 – lying motionless in their beds on the second floor.
The witnesses called police, who came and examined the scene before taking the bodies of the four victims to the Thanh Hoa General Hospital for autopsies.
The post-mortems showed that Nhung and her two sons died of poisoning, without any external injuries detected, while Ha passed away because of the hanging, police officers said.
Police collected from the scene a piece of white parachute cord, pill packets, a suicide note and a recording in an iPhone.
In the note and recording, Ha said he could not be able to repay huge debts so he decided on a suicide for the entire family as a way out, police said.
The husband also mentioned in the suicide note that he had arranged for his wife to die first, then his two sons before he took his own life, news website VietNamNet quoted Colonel Nguyen Chi Phuong, chief police officer of Thanh Hoa City, as saying.
The note also included Ha’s apologies to relatives of his and his wife’s and his aspiration that all the bodies of his family would be buried in the same place, Col. Phuong said.
On Monday morning, the bodies of the four family members were brought to the Thanh Hoa Province Funeral House for rituals.
Police are further investigating the case, saying they will release an official notice about it by November 2.