A man accused of brutally executing an entire family outside of Houston eight years ago has finally been arrested, with authorities taking him into custody on Sunday just moments after he arrived in San Francisco from China.
Fang Lu, 58, now faces capital murder charges for allegedly massacring the Sun family—Maoye, 50, MeiXie, 49, Timothy, 9, and Titus, 7. All four were found dead in separate bedrooms with bullet holes in their heads on Jan. 30, 2014.
While the massacre itself is heartbreaking, the alleged motive behind it is equally chilling.
Lu is suspected of wiping out the Sun family because he was mad that Maoye, his superior at work, did not recommend him for a promotion, said court documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle.
Specifically, Lu told the feds in an interview that he wanted to transfer to work at another department within the oil and gas company Cameron International Corporation—now named Schlumberger—and asked for Maoye to put a good word in.
Instead of making a recommendation, however, Lu speculated that Maoye said something derogatory about him. Not only was he not promoted, but he claimed his co-workers began treating him differently a day after he asked for the promotion.
Lu has admitted to being angry at Maoye over the incident, but has always denied being behind the killings.
Court documents say Lu told conflicting stories to authorities about a gun he’d purchased and later returned to the store without a barrel. That was enough to have a warrant issued, cops said, but it came after Lu had left the country.
Authorities say they’re now able to tie the massacre to Lu, after forensic technicians recovered DNA mixtures from a Coach purse from the crime scene that had Lu’s DNA on it.
Cops said the DNA match didn’t come until after Lu had already returned home to his native China, and detectives feared they’d never be able to make an arrest. That changed on Sunday, however, when the feds took Lu into custody just minutes after he landed in California.
The Chronicle reported that the killing had baffled friends and family for years. There was a $70,000 reward offered for anyone who provided useful information, as Houston’s Chinese community reeled in grief.
But now, with the family’s suspected killer behind bars, one community leader says the arrest brings him more questions than it does answers.
“If this guy did it—how dare he come back?” David Cao, a board member of the Houston Chinese Alliance, told the Chronicle. “Was Fang in China for all of the past eight years? Had he traveled to and from the U.S. during that time? When had authorities focused on him?”
Family members felt an enraged colleague was the only explainable theory for the hit. That theory appears to have been proven correct on Tuesday, when Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced Lu’s arrest.
“There’s so much we do not know at this moment,” Cao said. “But I hope justice will be done for this family. I just can’t believe it. How can a human being do this? Wiping out an entire family?”