A college stated it protected pupil who was killed by ex. After admitting missteps, mother and father really feel ‘betrayed.’

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The household of Zhifan Dong, a Chinese language pupil on the College of Utah who was killed allegedly by an ex-boyfriend and fellow pupil, is talking out after the varsity launched a pile of public information that seem to point out a large number of failures to heed her requires assist. 

Dong’s father, Mingsheng Dong, and her mom, Junfang Shen, instructed NBC Asian America of their first media interview that on high of the ache of dropping their 19-year-old daughter, they felt blindsided by the varsity’s inaction and emphasised she had reached out to college authorities for assist earlier than going to police. 

The mother and father stated faculty officers initially instructed them that they had performed the whole lot they might to guard Dong, however uncared for to reveal plenty of obvious missteps made by housing workers, as revealed within the paperwork the varsity shared, similar to not alerting faculty police in regards to the man’s arrest only a month earlier than following an altercation with Dong.

The college instructed us it did the whole lot it might for Zhifan, however this turned out to not be true,”

“The college instructed us it did the whole lot it might for Zhifan, however this turned out to not be true.”

mother and father Mingsheng Dong and Junfang Shen

The couple stated they discovered about what they stated have been the college’s failures within the information, and later in statements from the police and district attorneys.

“Earlier than the varsity launched the investigation report, we thought the varsity had performed the suitable issues however couldn’t defend her. The college instructed us it did the whole lot it might for Zhifan, however this turned out to not be true,” Dong’s mother and father stated in an electronic mail by way of a translator. 


Zhifan Dong and Swoop, the College of Utah mascot.Courtesy Dong Household

“Earlier than publishing the doc/file, they didn’t inform us about their failures. We needed to find out about it from the information. Zhifan requested for assist from the varsity. She didn’t contain the police for some time.”

In an announcement to NBC, the College of Utah stated it has “publicly acknowledged shortcomings in its dealing with of the case,” together with “delays in notifying police; unclear processes and workers trainings; and ‘inadequate and unprofessional’ inner communication.” 

“Zhifan Dong’s dying was a tragedy and illustrates the worldwide drawback of intimate accomplice violence — a societal difficulty that transcends nationality,” the college stated. “It’s heartbreaking and we prolong our condolences to her household and family members.” 

Now the mother and father are pursuing authorized motion towards the varsity, whereas grieving the lack of their solely youngster. 

“We are able to’t recover from it. It has been so tough for us, mentally and bodily,” the mother and father stated. “We nonetheless don’t need to imagine that this actually occurred, and we regularly dream that she’s again with us.

“We felt betrayed and lied to,” Dong’s mother and father stated. “That is bureaucratic vanity, contempt for all times, and an unforgivable mistake.”

“We felt betrayed and lied to,” Dong’s mother and father stated. “That is bureaucratic vanity, contempt for all times, and an unforgivable mistake.”

Dong, a freshman, was discovered useless on Feb. 11 in a downtown Salt Lake Metropolis motel room along with her former boyfriend, Haoyu Wang, additionally a world pupil from China. He later confessed to giving her a deadly dose of heroin and fentanyl. Wang has been charged with homicide and pleaded not responsible by way of his legal professional, Joseph C. Alamilla. He’ll face a competency listening to on Aug. 8.

“There are psychological well being points regarding everybody concerned on this case that can should be addressed previous to trial,” Alamilla beforehand stated to NBC Information. 

The legal professional didn’t reply to a request for remark. 

College paperwork, which have been made public after The Salt Lake Metropolis Tribune pushed for public information on the case to be launched, confirmed that members of the housing workers had identified for weeks that Dong was in a harmful state of affairs with Wang, 26.

In line with the paperwork, on Jan. 14 Dong notified the varsity housing division that Wang had been arrested by Salt Lake Metropolis Police two days earlier for assaulting her throughout an altercation. Nevertheless, the paperwork present housing workers didn’t alert faculty police in regards to the arrest till a few month later — after Dong had gone lacking. 

Along with exhibiting missteps within the dealing with of home violence studies, the launched paperwork raised questions in regards to the faculty’s capacity to help worldwide college students. Information revealed that the housing workers repeatedly confused Dong’s title with Wang’s, and mistakenly referred to as the variety of one other pupil who shared the identical title as Wang.  

“We felt betrayed and lied to,” Dong’s mother and father stated. “That is bureaucratic vanity, contempt for all times, and an unforgivable mistake.”


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