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A school said it protected a student who was killed by ex. Parents feel betrayed after admitting missteps.

The family of Zhifan Dong, a Chinese student at the University of Utah who was allegedly killed by an ex-boyfriend and fellow student, has spoken out after the school released a stack of public records that appear to show a variety of omissions to heed them calls for help.

Dong’s father, Mingsheng Dong, and mother, Junfang Shen, told NBC Asian America in their first media interview that in addition to the pain of losing their 19-year-old daughter, they felt overwhelmed by the school’s inaction and stressed that she was achieving had to ask the university authorities for help before going to the police.

The parents said school officials initially told them they had done everything in their power to protect Dong, but failed to disclose a number of apparent missteps by the apartment staff, according to documents shared by the school, such as: B. Failing to notify the school police of the man’s arrest just a month before an altercation with Dong.

The university told us they did everything for Zhifan, but that turned out to be wrong.”

“The university told us they did everything for Zhifan, but that turned out to be false.”

Parents Mingsheng Dong and Junfang Shen

The couple said they learned of the university’s failures on the news and later in statements from police and prosecutors.

“Before the school released the investigative report, we thought the school had done the right thing but couldn’t protect them. The university told us they did everything for Zhifan, but that turned out to be wrong,” Dong’s parents said in an email through a translator.


Image: Zhifan Dong and Swoop, the University of Utah mascot.
Zhifan Dong and Swoop, the University of Utah mascot.Courtesy of the Dong family

“Before publishing the document/file, they didn’t tell us about their mistakes. We had to find out from the news. Zhifan asked the school for help. She hasn’t called the police for a while.”

In a statement to NBC, the University of Utah said it had “publicly acknowledged shortcomings in its handling of the case,” including “delays in notifying police; unclear processes and staff training; and ‘inadequate and unprofessional’ internal communications.”

“Zhifan Dong’s death was a tragedy and illustrates the global problem of intimate partner violence – a societal problem that transcends nationality,” the university said. “It is heartbreaking and we extend our condolences to her family and loved ones.”

Now the parents are taking legal action against the school as they mourn the loss of their only child.

“We can’t get over it. It was so difficult for us, mentally and physically,” the parents said. “We still don’t want to believe that this really happened and we often dream that she is with us again.

“We felt betrayed and lied to,” Dong’s parents said. “This is bureaucratic arrogance, contempt for life and an unforgivable mistake.”

“We felt betrayed and lied to,” Dong’s parents said. “This is bureaucratic arrogance, contempt for life and an unforgivable mistake.”

Dong, a freshman college student, was found dead in a downtown Salt Lake City motel room on February 11 with her former boyfriend Haoyu Wang, also an international student from China. He later confessed to giving her lethal doses of heroin and fentanyl. Wang was accused of murder and pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Joseph C. Alamilla. He will face a competency hearing on August 8.

“There are mental health issues that affect everyone involved in this case that need to be addressed before the trial,” Alamilla previously told NBC News.

The attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

University documents published thereafter The Salt Lake City Grandstand Pushing for the release of public records of the case showed members of the housing staff had known for weeks that Dong was in a dangerous situation with Wang, 26.

According to the documents, on Jan. 14, Dong informed the school’s housing administration that Wang had been arrested by Salt Lake City police two days earlier for assaulting her during an altercation. However, the documents show that apartment workers did not notify the school police of the arrest until about a month later – after Dong went missing.

The released documents not only revealed missteps in handling reports of domestic violence, but also raise questions about the school’s ability to support international students. Records show that the dormitory staff repeatedly confused Dong’s name with Wang’s and mistakenly called another student’s number with the same name as Wang.

“We felt betrayed and lied to,” Dong’s parents said. “This is bureaucratic arrogance, contempt for life and an unforgivable mistake.”


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/school-said-protected-student-was-killed-ex-admitting-missteps-parents-rcna41155 A school said it protected a student who was killed by ex. Parents feel betrayed after admitting missteps.

Fry Electronics Team

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