UPDATE: Salt Lake City police identify woman found dead at Quality Inn hotel

Feb 11, 2022, 8:57 AM | Updated: Feb 14, 2022, 12:27 pm
University of Utah...
Salt Lake City police on scene at what they call a suspicious death at 616 South 200 West. Photo credit: SLC Police

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City police have identified a 19-year-old woman found dead in a Quality Inn hotel room on Friday, Feb. 11.

Zhifan Dong was found unresponsive in a hotel room, police said, along with 26-year-old Haoyu Wang. Both were students at the University of Utah.

Detectives from the Salt Lake City Police Department took the 26-year-old into custody Friday afternoon in connection with the death of Zhifan Dong. 

According to a police press release, Salt Lake City police received information from the University of Utah Police Department about a man threatening to kill his girlfriend. 

Friday homicide

The press release states that police responded to 616 South 200 West at 6:06 a.m. to assist the University of Utah Police Department investigation and to conduct a welfare check.

When authorities entered the hotel room, they discovered two individuals — a non-responsive 19-year-old woman and 26-year-old Haoyu Wang, according to the press release.

Life-saving measures were immediately started on the woman. However, she was pronounced dead at the scene, police say.

During the police investigation, detectives discovered Wang allegedly claimed that he killed the woman. The press release further states, that Wang claimed he attempted to take his own life by injecting himself with drugs.

University of Utah responds

“Zhifan Dong was a first-year undergraduate student from Anyang, Henan, China,” said University of Utah President Taylor Randal on Monday. 

“I want to express my deepest sympathy to Zhifan’s family, friends and loved ones. Zhifan’s family will travel to Salt Lake City in the coming days and at that time we will consult with them as to the most appropriate way to remember and honor Zhifan.

Randal said that Zhifan was part of the University’s Utah Global program, which immerses first-year international students into the academic and cultural life of the school. 

Romantic relationship

Police said the two individuals were in a romantic relationship and living together. According to the press release, the case is being investigated as a domestic violence-related homicide. 

Wang has been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail under investigation of murder.


 Our previous reporting

SALT LAKE CITY — Police are investigating what they call a suspicious death at the Quality Inn in downtown Salt Lake City.

They are securing the scene at 616 South 200 West, and say that right now there is no threat to the community.

“We did find an individual deceased in a room,” said Michael Ruff with Salt Lake City Police.

“That death is considered suspicious at this point, so we have our detectives and our crime lab working to figure out exactly what happened.”


Police were called to the scene around 6 a.m. on Friday morning. By mid-morning there was a heavy police presence on the corner of 600 South and 200 West.

One person has been taken into custody for questioning, but their connection with the person that died is unknown.

KSL NewsRadio has a reporter on the scene, and we will update this story as soon as more information is available.

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UPDATE: Salt Lake City police identify woman found dead at Quality Inn hotel