University of Utah reaches settlement with family of murdered student

Feb 22, 2023, 1:00 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— The University of Utah will pay $5 million to the family of a student who was murdered last February in 2022.

In a statement, the university said the settlement will go to the family of Zhifan Dong, who was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend in a Salt Lake City hotel.

Dong was a first-year student at the U of U from China.

As part of the settlement, the university will also create an on-campus memorial for Dong.

The investigation

Haoyu Wang is still awaiting trial for murder charges in connection to Dong’s death.

According to arrest documents, the university got an email from Wang stating he had injected his girlfriend with heroin to “relieve her from suffering.”

Police pinged the victim’s phone to a hotel at 616 South 200 West, where they say they found Dong unresponsive and Wang also in the room with her.

According to documents, Wang told police he injected her with a high dose of heroin after she didn’t die from their initial intake of the drug.

He was charged with one count of murder and two counts of possession with intent to distribute.

Domestic Violence resources

The Salt Lake City Police Department encourages anyone who has experienced domestic violence to call 799-3000. And ask to speak with a Victim Advocate or call their 24-hour hotline directly at 801-580-7969.

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University of Utah reaches settlement with family of murdered student