Name: Chun Li.
Died: February 4, 2019.
Age at death: 35.
Cause of death: Burns.
Location: Yulin, Shaanxi Province, China.
Disability: Polio; intellectual disability, mobility impaired.
Chun Li lived with her father until a woman approached them, saying her 65-year-old father wanted to marry Ms. Li, because of burial customs in Shaanxi Province, where they lived.
Tradition says that a person cannot rest in peace unless they are buried with a spouse. People who die single may be buried with paper dolls; the wealthy can afford to buy the body of an unidentified person in order to bury their relatives with a posthumously-married “spouse.”
The man’s daughter decided against purchasing someone’s bones because that was a crime and decided to approach Chun Li’s father instead. When Chun Li’s father agreed to marry her to a 65-year-old man, the agreement was that her husband would care for her, and after he died, her daughter-in-law and grandson would care for her. When she died a natural death, she would be buried next to him as his spouse, to allow him to rest in peace. They agreed to pay a bride price, and Chun Li was forced to marry him.
Four years later, Chun Li’s husband had grown worried that if he died first, she might not be buried with him because she was disabled. Allegedly, he decided that Chun Li should die first and set his house on fire, killing Ms. Li.
Liantang Zhu (Husband), arrested; confessed to murder.
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