Man kills ex-wife's family for daughter's custody

By Bui Toan, Quoc Thang   May 30, 2022 | 03:00 am PT
Man kills ex-wife's family for daughter's custody
Doan Minh Hai is held at a police station in HCMC for alleged murder, May 30, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Nhat Vy
A man was arrested in HCMC for the alleged murder of his ex-wife and her parents over fight for custody for his daughter, police said Sunday.

Doan Minh Hai, 34, was incapacitated and arrested in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 12, according to the police. At the point of the arrest, Hai was calm and complied to police orders.

Hai said he wanted to get revenge on his ex-wife, 28-year-old Duong, due to custody arrangements for their three-year-old daughter. Last Saturday, he brought a knife and hammer to Duong’s house in the south central Phu Yen Province, killing her along with her parents.

After the murder, Hai brought his daughter to his parents, who live about 500 m away. Then he rode a motorbike nearly 500 km from Phu Yen to HCMC.

"Hai was going to escape to Cambodia when he was arrested," said the police, adding that he was handed over to police of Phu Yen for further investigation.

The murder was discovered on Sunday morning after 85-year-old Tran Thi Hien, Duong's grandmother, tried to call people inside the house but no one answered. Neighbors helped break down the door and saw Duong and her parents' bodies on the floor. The three-year-old girl had disappeared.

Hai told the police that he and Duong divorced when their daughter was several months old. Duong took the baby to live with her parents and they had been preventing Hai from seeing his daughter, he said.

"Many times I came to see my child but they stopped me. I even begged them, but to no avail." He said he was full of hatred for Duong and her family and decided to kill them.

The murder took place in a quiet neighborhood, with houses hundreds of meters apart. Neighbors didn't hear any abnormal sound in the night of the murder, but they knew Hai often visited the house picking fights with Duong while seeking custody of their daughter.

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