Lihui Liu has been charged with capital murder in the death of her five-year-old son. Houston police say the 43-year-old suspect confessed to drowning the little boy in the bathtub.
The 43-year-old mother was arrested shortly before midnight on November 30, 2018. She was formally charged with capital murder during a court hearing on December 7 and ordered held without bond.
The Houston Chronicle< reported that the child’s father found the body and the severed head in a trash can in the garage.
A neighbor says that Liu went to her house in November and asked to use her phone. Nancy Hill told KHOU-TV that Liu seemed agitated. “That’s when she started saying she was evil, how evil she was, and I said, ‘You’re not evil, honey.’ I said, ‘You’re just depressed, you need help, you need to see a doctor, you need to go to the hospital.'” Hill told the news station she tried to get Liu’s husband to take the mother to a mental health facility, but she did not seek treatment that night.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Police: Lihui Liu Intentionally Drowned Her Son in the Bathtub
Houston police were called to the Liu home around 7 p.m. on the evening of November 30, 2018, on the report of a stabbing. They found the body of the 5-year-old boy in the garage. His head had been severed from his body.
The boy’s father, Kai Xu, told police that when he got home from work, his wife told him that she had sent the boy away from the home, as reported by the Houston Chronicle. He looked for his son around the house.
Eventually, Liu admitted that their son’s body was in the trash can in the garage. Her husband discovered the body wrapped in a plastic bag and called the police.
The couple also have a 13-year-old daughter. It was not immediately clear whether she was at the home at the time of the murder.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Harris County District Court, police believed Liu “intentionally and knowingly caused the death of Jiadong Xu… by drowning in a bathtub of water.”
2. Lihui Liu Was Charged With Capital Murder
Lihui Liu was charged with Capital Murder- Under 10 Years. Under Texas law, a person convicted of the murder of a child is eligible for the death penalty.
According to the Harris County Clerk of Courts, the presumptive bail amount was listed as $888,888. But the magistrate judge assigned to the case denied the option of personal bond and ordered Liu to be held in the custody of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
The court document shows that Liu was not present at the initial court hearing due to a medical condition. She was formally charged with capital murder and ordered held without bond during a court hearing on December 7. Liu is being represented by attorney George Parnham. He said Liu is receiving mental health treatment while behind bars.
3. Report: Liu Did Not Speak to Police About Her Son’s Decapitation
The criminal complaint filed in Harris County District Court alleges that Liu intentionally drowned her 5-year-old son in the bathtub. It does not list a potential motive.
The complaint also leaves out the fact that the child had been decapitated. The Houston Chronicle reported that police found a bloody scene in the bathroom. The bathtub was covered on blood and officers also found a bloody knife.
Liu reportedly refused to talk about why she allegedly severed her son’s head.
4. Lihui Liu Was Born in China & an Immigration Detainer Was Added to the Court File
Lihui Liu was born February 17, 1975, in China, according to the Harris County District Court. She is not a naturalized U.S. citizen. The court document does not specify how long she has been living in the United States.
But according to MySanAntonio.com, the family has been living in Texas since 2012. They moved there from Singapore. Their son Jiandong was born in Texas.
On December 2, an “Immigration Detainer” was filed.
An online search of records does not reveal a prior criminal history.
5. Liu’s Husband: She Had Been Battling Depression & Previously Attemped Suicide
Kai Xu, the father of the murdered child, told MySanAntonio.com that his wife had been battling depression. He shared with the website that her mental problems had begun in March of 2018 and that she had attempted suicide in August. He said she tried to drown herself in a bayou but was rescued.
Xu said his wife was prescribed antidepressants but did not like to take them. He sent Liu to China to visit her parents in early November, hoping that quality time with them could help Liu begin to heal. But when she returned to the United States on November 20, Xu said he was concerned that she had cut off her shoulder-length hair.
Xu tearfully told the reporter that he felt partially responsible for leaving his children alone with his wife. “She loved my son. That’s why I let my son be together with her.” Xu said he had thought spending time with their children could be beneficial for Liu.