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Tormented by eczema, woman kills her parents and then herself, police say

Lung Mun Road in Hong Kong's Tuen Mun District. (Google Maps)
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In her suicide note, she talked about her longtime struggle with eczema, a common but chronic skin condition.

Authorities said she explained that the disorder, which causes red, itchy patches on the skin, made her believe that she would be “better dead than alive,” according to the South China Morning Post. She apparently had blogged about it, too, saying that she held her parents responsible, according to CNN.

The 23-year-old woman, identified in news reports as Pang Ching-yu, was found dead Monday alongside her parents in an apartment in Hong Kong. Police suspect that she stabbed them to death, then took her own life.

Police have not released a motive but suspect that her struggle with her skin may have played a part in the killings.

“In the 23-year-old's bedroom, we found a suicide note,” Yan Fong-wai, assistant district commander of Tuen Mun District, said at a news conference. He told reporters in Cantonese that the note explained that the woman was “struggling with some disease that makes her feel that to live is worse than to die.”

Thin, invisible ‘second skin’ could treat eczema and hide wrinkles

Authorities responded to a call this week from a relative who said the daughter and her parents would not answer the door at the apartment on Lung Mun Road in Tuen Mun. Police said in a statement that when they arrived, they found the woman with a plastic bag over her head, which was connected to a gas canister. Her father, 60, and mother, 56, had been stabbed in the chest. Her mother also had been stabbed in the waist and leg, police said.

Investigators discovered a bloodstained knife in the kitchen.

【屯門一宗謀殺及自殺案 • 案情簡報】就今日(2018-06-18)在屯門新屯門中心發生的一宗謀殺及自殺案,警方署理屯門警區助理指揮官(刑事)殷晃偉現向傳媒交代案情。Acting Assistant District Commander (Crime) Mr. YAN fong-wai of Tuen Mun District is giving a briefing to the media in relation to a case of murder and suicide reported in Sun Tuen Mun Centre, Tuen Mun today (2018-06-18).

Posted by 香港警察 Hong Kong Police on Monday, June 18, 2018

Police think the daughter attacked her parents and then committed suicide.

An initial investigation showed that the three had been dead about 24 hours, authorities said.

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition, especially in children, that causes dry, itchy and scaly patches to appear, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The condition, which may be exacerbated by certain allergens or irritants such as soaps or detergents, can flare up from time to time. But it can be treated with prescription creams and ointments as well as oral medication.

CNN reported that the young woman wrote in an online forum that “people with eczema giving birth to kids are worse than poor people giving birth to kids. If you're poor, you can rely on your own hard work. With eczema, sorry, you have to suffer (your whole life) with no change.”

She apparently wrote in another post that she had an adverse reaction to the steroids she used to treat the condition. CNN reported that she said there was nothing to do “except to wait and die.”

Zhiyan Zhong contributed to this report.

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