Man Killed a Stranger With Down Syndrome as a Substitute for Cremation

To bypass the government prohibition on traditional burial, the family paid an unaffiliated individual to procure a substitute body.

Mr. K
3 min readAug 24, 2022


Photo by Rhodi Lopez on Unsplash

Early in 2017, a family with the surname Huang desired a traditional burial rather than cremation for a deceased family member.

However, the city in which they lived, Shanwei, outlawed funerals. Local authorities in China have pushed for cremation to save land for other uses and because it is perceived to be more ecologically friendly, but traditional grave burial remains popular due to the notion that this is the only way the deceased can rest in peace.

In order to circumvent the official restriction, the family hired an unconnected individual named Huang to get them a body to serve as a substitute for the cremation of a family member.

Huang kidnapped Lin Shaoren, a 36-year-old man with Down syndrome, on the side of the road near his home in Lufeng on March 1, 2017, when Huang kidnapped him and forced him to consume a substantial amount of alcohol.

Huang told the court that he then placed the unconscious Lin in a coffin and sealed it with four steel nails.

Credit: Handout

Two days later, when the family was scheduled to deliver the coffin to the funeral home, the coffin was taken to a crossroads and exchanged with another coffin containing Huang’s remains.

Lin’s body was cremated, while Huang’s was surreptitiously transported to a remote location for a traditional burial.

The family paid a total of 107,000 yuan ($16,345), of which 90,000 yuan went to the convicted murderer Huang and the remainder to a middleman with the surname Wen.

Lin was listed as missing by local police for two years before his family found in November 2019 that he had been murdered using surveillance footage to solve the crime. Traffic cameras uncovered Mr. Huang’s connection to Mr. Lin’s disappearance.



Mr. K

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