The Strange Wife’s Disappearance Case

  In May 2007, Yang Juan (pseudonym) suddenly disappeared. Since then, the family members have repeatedly reported to the public security organs that Yang Juan might have been killed by her husband Zhang Mouwei. In 2022, the Fuyang Municipal Public Security Bureau restarted the investigation of the case. Because there was no objective evidence and the suspect refused to cooperate with the investigation, the task force decided to adopt residential surveillance in a designated location and carry out interrogation. On July 21 of the same year, the suspect Zhang Mouwei truthfully confessed the criminal facts of killing his wife Yang Juan and burying her body in his own courtyard due to an altercation that year. On February 15 this year, Zhang Mouwei was prosecuted for intentional homicide, and the police disclosed the details of the case.
  Sudden loss of contact
  Yang Juan (pseudonym) is from Zhugang Township, Huoqiu County, Lu’an City, Anhui Province. More than 20 years ago, she worked in the Laboratory Department of Hefei Armed Police Hospital.
   In 1995, Yang Juan and Zhang Mouwei met and established a relationship. Later, the two got married in Daiqiao Town, Jieshou City, Zhang Mouwei’s hometown.
   Yang Juan’s younger brother Yang Jun (pseudonym) recalled that because their family was poor, Zhang Mouwei’s family had always opposed the marriage, but her sister and Zhang Mouwei still came together.
   After her son was born, Yang Juan resigned and became a housewife, while Zhang Mouwei worked as a sports car in the town, selling coal and cement. At that time, Yang Jun had helped his sister’s family do business for several years, and he also saw the disharmony between the two. He recalled: “They always quarreled over trivial matters, and even fought. My sister and wife are okay, but they can’t reconcile the conflict. His parents quarreled with my sister, and he always scolded her with the old man.” After the child grew up, Yang Juan
   sold After removing the clothes, Zhang Mouwei continued to run the car. “During this period, he (Zhang Mouwei) had an affair, and his relationship with my sister became worse and worse,” Yang Jun said.
   In 2006, Yang Jun committed a crime and served his sentence in a prison in Shanghai. In May 2007, Yang Juan cried to her parents on the phone that her life was not good, her husband and wife were not harmonious, and her parents-in-law beat and scolded her every day. The parents thought that it was inconvenient for the natal family to get involved too much in the conflicts arising from the daughter’s family, so they just persuaded the daughter a few words. Unexpectedly, this became the last time Yang Juan contacted her family.
   Two months later, Yang Juan’s parents couldn’t contact Yang Juan, so they rushed from Lu’an to Jieshou to look for her, but they still couldn’t see her. For this, Zhang Mouwei gave various reasons, sometimes saying that Yang Juan went to other places to buy goods, sometimes saying that she eloped with an affair, and sometimes saying that she ran away from home after a quarrel.
   Yang Jun recalled that Zhang Mouwei also said that his sister never came back after visiting him in prison. In order to find out the whereabouts of his sister, he applied to investigate the prison visit records, but there was no news.
   After confirming that Zhang Mouwei was lying, Yang Jun asked his parents to report the case to the police. “I haven’t contacted my family for two months. There must be something wrong. My intuition tells me that my sister may have been killed.”
  The family has been chasing the murderer for 15 years.
  According to the public information of the local police, on July 12, 2007, Yang Juan’s father reported to the Jieshou City Public Security Bureau that his daughter Yang Juan had disappeared in May 2007, and requested the public security organs to assist in the search. Later, Yang’s father complained to the public security organs many times, suspecting that his son-in-law Zhang Mouwei killed his daughter, but he could not provide any valuable clues.
   On August 10, 2009, the Jieshou City Public Security Bureau filed a case against Yang Juan for being suspected of being trafficked. After investigation, it was found that Yang Juan’s husband Zhang Mouwei was suspected of committing the crime, and criminal coercive measures were taken. However, due to failure to obtain strong evidence, the police lifted the criminal coercive measures.
   In 2011, Yang Jun, who was released after serving his sentence, began to run for his sister. Although he suspected that his sister was killed by Zhang Mouwei, the police were unable to file a criminal case because no substantive evidence could be found, and Yang Juan could only be counted as a “missing person.”
   According to the materials provided by Yang Jun, after Yang Juan disappeared, Zhang Mouwei filed a lawsuit with the court twice from 2009 to 2010, demanding a divorce from Yang Juan, but the court refused. In addition, he also falsified the village committee and the town government to issue proof that Yang Juan’s whereabouts have been missing for many years.
  ”I haven’t been able to find Zhang Mouwei. His parents always say they don’t know where he went, and there is no contact information.” Yang Jun said, “I also asked for help from the public security and petition departments at all levels, and wrote a lot of The materials and articles were handed over to the city and the province, and I hope they can help investigate this matter.” After
  21 days of wits and courage, the husband confessed to killing his wife and burying her body
  Until January 2022, things ushered in a turning point. On January 4, when Wang Qingxian, Governor of Anhui Province, went to Huoqiu County to receive letters and visits, Yang Jun handed over the prepared materials to the staff present. Soon, various departments set up a task force to investigate the matter.
   The Fuyang Municipal Public Security Bureau set up a special team to restart the investigation of the case, and through a large number of interviews, found out the personality characteristics, social relations, and behavior of Zhang Mouwei and his family.
   Because there was no direct objective evidence, and Zhang Mouwei was stubborn and refused to confess, after careful study, the special case team decided to adopt the measures of residential surveillance in a designated location and carry out interrogation.
   After 21 days of wits and courage, on July 21, Zhang Mouwei truthfully confessed the criminal facts of killing his wife Yang Juan and burying her body in his own courtyard due to a quarrel, and the case was successfully solved. According to insiders, the police got the information from Zhang Mouwei’s lover, and the case made a breakthrough.
   Soon, the police unearthed Yang Juan’s bones under a house in Zhang Mouwei’s house. Yang Jun said that the place where the body was buried was the yard where Zhang Mouwei’s family lived. Later, they built a three-story building and rented it out after decoration. Now it is a milk powder store.
   On August 31, the appraisal notice issued by the Jieshou Public Security Bureau showed that the deceased had signs of suffocation, and the possibility of mechanical suffocation could not be ruled out.
   Yang Jun also mentioned that the Zhang family had done rituals when building the new house. “They planted cacti in large iron barrels in the courtyard of their new house, buried red cloth strips under the iron barrels, and burned incense around the iron barrels all the year round. I went to the scene to check under the witness of the police from the police station, and found burning incense ash around the iron barrels.” Yang Jun said.
   How was Yang Juan killed? How did Zhang Mouwei bury Yang Juan? Is someone covering up Zhang Mouwei? For Yang Jun, although his sister was found, there are still many unanswered questions.
  Criminal defense lawyer: No matter what, it will not affect the sentencing result. At 3 pm on February 15
  this year , Zhang Mouwei’s case of killing his wife and burying his body was held in Jieshou City. He was prosecuted by the prosecution for “intentional homicide”. Family members of 12 victims were present.
   Yang Jun said that Zhang Mouwei pleaded guilty and accepted punishment for killing his wife and burying his body in court, but he has been sophistrying about the specific details of the crime. “Zhang Mouwei said that my sister scolded him, so he did it.” Yang Jun said, “He has always argued that he used a pillow to suffocate my sister and did not use other tools, but we do not agree with this statement. Because the forensic examination does not rule out the possibility of mechanical asphyxiation.”
   Zhang Mouwei and his son tried to mediate, hoping to obtain a letter of understanding through financial compensation, but Yang Jun’s family refused. “We don’t want money, we just want justice for my sister,” Yang Jun said.
   Yang Jun also revealed: “At the court trial, Zhang Mouwei pleaded guilty and accepted punishment for killing his wife and burying his body. The prosecution said he was confessing, but we don’t think so. No matter how many times he was arrested by the public security organs, he concealed the facts of the crime. How can it be considered a confession?”
  According to Article 15 of the revised Criminal Procedure Law: “Where a criminal suspect or defendant voluntarily and truthfully confesses his crime, admits the facts of the crime charged, and is willing to accept punishment, he may be dealt with leniently according to law. “Starting from this provision, the premise for the application of the leniency procedure for pleading guilty and pleading guilty is that the criminal suspect or defendant both pleads guilty and pleads guilty. The so-called confession means that the criminal suspect or defendant voluntarily and truthfully confesses his crime, admits the alleged criminal facts, or has no objection to the accused criminal facts, that is, realizes that his behavior is a crime, and fully understands and accepts its legal consequences The so-called acceptance of punishment means that the criminal suspect or defendant is willing to accept the punishment, that is, he accepts all the main punishment, additional punishment, and execution method of the punishment suggested by the sentencing, and it should even be included in some crimes with recoverable legal interests (according to the norms of the elements of crime). The evaluation has stopped at the completed criminal behavior, and the actor is willing to bear the cost of restoring legal interests, etc. in crimes where the perpetrator can eliminate the actual danger of legal interests harm through independent and effective behavior control or independently recover the legal interests infringed by his previous criminal behavior.
  At the same time, the second paragraph of Article 120 of the Criminal Procedure Law stipulates: “When interrogating a criminal suspect, the investigators shall inform the criminal suspect of his procedural rights, and the law of lenient treatment and pleas of guilt and punishment for truthful confessions of his crimes.” Regulations.” It can be seen that if a criminal suspect or defendant pleads guilty and accepts punishment, it must constitute a confession; but if a criminal suspect or defendant is found to be confessing, it does not necessarily mean that a confession must be constituted. Therefore, confession is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the procedure of pleading guilty and accepting punishment.
   As for the “confession” mentioned by the prosecution, Zhao Liangshan, a well-known criminal defense lawyer, analyzed that this may be because the prosecution believes that the defendant truthfully confessed the criminal facts after he was re-arrested. He said that confession can only be given a lighter punishment as appropriate, and the intensity is very small. According to the current situation, the defendant may be sentenced to death. No matter which method of killing is used, the means are extremely cruel and will not affect the sentencing result. As of press time, the case has not yet been sentenced.
  The law is a majestic edifice that shelters each of us. No matter what stage of life we ​​are in, we will more or less encounter various legal problems. “2020 Civil Code Practical Edition” (7 volumes in total, special price 160 yuan), the content of each edition is “tailor-made” for the common people, penetrates into every corner of social life, and is an encyclopedia of common people’s social life. If you want to know more about legal issues, you can read the classic legal series, including “All Know the Law”, “Lawsuits by Yourself”, and “Legal Guide for a Lifetime” (3 volumes in total, special price 160 yuan). Your life is better.