The man — identified only by his last name, He, 34 – turned himself in to police in Hunan province, China Friday and admitted that he bought a life insurance policy worth about $144,000 without telling his wife, who was named the beneficiary, the South China Morning Post reported. .
He then drove a borrowed car into a river so his family would be able to claim the insurance, authorities said. Thinking that He was dead, his wife, Dai Guihua, 31, left a note on social media site WeChat on Wednesday and disappeared with their son and daughter, aged 4 and 2, sparking a search by police. .
Their bodies were recovered the following day from a lake near their home in Langtang township. Police have ruled out murder, local officials said. .
In her 1,000-word note, the homemaker wrote that after her husband went missing, she faced mounting family pressures and lost the will to live. She also wrote that He’s family complained that she spent too much cash and suffered from mental illness. .
“I wanted to leave by myself, but thinking that my children would suffer without both their parents, I decided to take them with me,” wrote Dai, who had lost her own parents when she was young. .
In her suicide note, she wrote that she was coming to “accompany” He, adding that she had “only ever wanted our family of four to be together,” according to the BBC, which cited the Voice of China. .
Police said the man turned to insurance fraud because he was more than $14,000 in debt due to his daughter’s medical bills for epilepsy, as well as car loans. In a video posted by the WeChat public account, Xinhua Focus, he was shown kneeling and wailing for his wife and kids.