Family members say a young woman’s extramarital affair with an older man led to an altercation in east-central Fresno on Tuesday morning that left the woman dead and her husband arrested.
Officers were called to a house near East Norwich and North Whitney avenues, just east of Highway 168, around 8 a.m., where they found a dead woman with head injuries.
Chinnawat Vue, 23, was identified as the suspect in the death of his 22-year-old wife. (Based on information from the Fresno Police Department, the story initially reported her age as 21. The Fresno County Coroner on Wednesday said she was 22.) He fled the scene and was later arrested near Hume Lake by U.S. Forest Service police after an officer saw a man who matched Vue’s description.
Fresno police offered no motive for the killing as homicide detectives continue to investigate, but family and friends – who gathered at the victim’s parents’ house next door – say a six-month affair hit its boiling point.
The victim, identified by family as Xia Vang, was filing for divorce from her husband of five years after meeting another man, said Vang’s mother, Ge Her. Vang and her husband have three children, ages 3 to 6.
“I never thought they would have problems like this,” Her said in Hmong.
She described her daughter as a good person and dedicated student at Fresno City College. Vang, who wanted to become a social worker, would have graduated in May. But last September, Vang met someone new and changed, ignoring her family responsibilities, Her said.
Meanwhile, Vue worked two jobs, fitting in only two hours of sleep every night, his mother, Mao Vue, said. He loved his wife, she said.
But on Tuesday morning, Chinnawat Vue called his mother to say he had injured his wife badly. Police Lt. Joe Gomez said he also notified other relatives and sent a photo to them that appeared to show he was injured. He said he had cut his throat. Relatives say he also stabbed or cut himself in the side.
Ge Her, the victim’s mother, said she heard no commotion from the couple’s house next door Tuesday morning. But she received a phone call from a relative of Vue’s telling her to check on the couple because something bad had happened.
Her discovered her daughter’s bloodied body on the bedroom floor covered with a blanket. One of the couple’s two sons was asleep in the bed.
A week ago, family members gathered at the couple’s home to provide counseling and advice, as is Hmong tradition when a couple has problems, in the hope of bringing them back together.
“I told her (what she’s doing) is not good,” Her said. “You need to hold your kids and fix your life.”