​Teenager poisons father, grandmother in southern Vietnam

By Nam An   October 20, 2023 | 10:24 pm PT
A 14-year-old boy in Tien Giang Province has confessed to putting dog poison in milk powder to kill his father, but his grandmother also unwittingly drank from the same can.

Pham Minh Quoc, 14, was arrested on Friday night by police in the Mekong Delta province five days after the deaths of Pham Van Yen, 45, and Pham Thi Phan, 83.

Two funerals are held at the same time at the house in Tien Giang Provinces Cai Be District where the murder takes place. Photo by VnExpress/Nam An

Two funerals are held at a house in Tien Giang Province's Cai Be District for a man and his mother, who had drunk from milk from poisoned powder. Photo by VnExpress/Nam An

Quoc's parents, both from Tien Giang's Cai Be District, separated when he was six, and his mother moved back to live with her parents along with him and his two younger siblings.

Two years ago Quoc dropped out of school and joined his mother to work on the farm.

In recent times he has been living with his father and grandmother in Hoa Hung Commune.

His father drank too much alcohol, but his efforts to dissuade him would only elicit anger and cursing.

It made Quoc increasingly resent him until he wanted to kill him.

Two months ago he became acquainted with a local man and learned that he had dog bait.

On Oct. 13 he obtained some of the bait to "get rid of some bad dogs."

But that night he added the poison in milk powder that his father and grandmother usually used.

The next morning Yen was found dead, but his family members assumed he must have died of some sickness and went on to hold a funeral for him.

That evening, during the funeral, the old woman's daughter made her a glass of milk, and within five minutes she had breathing difficulty, threw up and died.

Once again the family did not suspect anything, assuming merely she had died of old age given that she had the flu a few days earlier.

On early Oct. 15 another son of the old woman, Pham Minh Tan, 55, drank from the same milk can, immediately got a headache, felt dizzy and threw up.

He was rushed to a hospital and was in critical condition for several days. He is now at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City and stable.

The police visited the house shortly after Tan was hospitalized, collected all milk cans from the house, including the one the family had drunk from, and glasses and sent them to the Forensic Medicine Center in HCMC for testing.

As police launched an investigation into the case, Quoc admitted what he had done.

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