On Thursday, March 24, 2016, a family of three was found brutally murdered in their upscale Goleta, California, home. KEYT News reports that local law enforcement called the triple homicide “horrific.”
The victims were identified late Thursday as Dr. Weidong Henry Han, 57, his wife Huijie Yu, 29, and their daughter Emily Han, who was just 5-years-old. Their bodies were discovered in the garage of the home that sits less than one mile from the local sheriff’s department just above Goleta Valley, according to KEYT News.
KTLA reports that deputies found the family dead after they received a call to perform a welfare check at the home. A colleague of Dr. Han’s became concerned when the he did not show up for a business meeting in Los Angeles. According to KTLA, it was uncommon for Dr. Han to fail to keep an appointment and no one had heard from him and he could not be reached since that time.
By Friday morning, an Oceanside, California, man had been arrested, accused of the Han family murders. According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, Pierre Haobsh, 27, was taken into custody in the town of Bonsall in San Diego County.
KSBY notes that Haobsh was recently involved in a business transaction with Dr. Han, however, a motive for the triple murder has not been announced and is still being investigated. Nonetheless, in a news conference held Friday, Sheriff Brown announced that the killings may have been motivated by money, KSBY reports.
When arrested, Haobsh was reportedly carrying a loaded nine-millimeter firearm, along with other items that may have belonged to one of the family members murdered, KEYT writes.
During the news event, Sheriff Brown also said that each of the Han family members was “wrapped in plastic wrap. They had been duct-taped over the plastic wrap and they were all in the garage of the residence,” according to KEYT.
The sheriff emphasized, “This was a diabolical, premeditated crime. One of the most odious that I have ever been involved with, or that this agency has ever or that this agency has ever investigated.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that “Preliminary indications are that…” each victim “suffered gunshot wounds.”
KEYT reported that Emily would have celebrated her sixth birthday on Saturday. She was a kindergarten student at Foothill Elementary School, which was the center of a local tragedy only two years ago.
In 2014, Foothill Elementary School student Vincent Holzer, 10, his brother, Sebastian, and the boys’ grandparents were all stabbed to death by Vincent’s father, Nicholas Holzer, KEYT reports. Although the school is now on spring break, counselors will be available to assist students, parents, and teachers grieve regarding Emily’s death.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Foothill Elementary Superintendent William Banning said in a statement, “Yesterday our community was confronted by the tragic loss of lives due to violence… Words cannot begin to express the deep sadness that has overcome us.”
LAist reports that Dr. Han ran a successful medical clinic specializing in herbal medicine. The holistic medicine community is shocked by the news, according to the Los Angeles Times, while patients of Dr. Han’s brought flowers and handwritten notes to the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic on Friday.
According to the Los Angeles Times, one of Dr. Han’s patients, Ron Rakow, 78, spoke highly of the doctor.
“His life was solving insolvable problems… This is a sacred place where people come here broken and get fixed.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that just this week, Rakow received a call from little Emily, Dr. Han’s daughter, inviting him to her sixth birthday party. Rakow stated he was heartbroken to learn the family had been killed.
[Photo by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office]