A popular Chinese herbalist was found fatally shot and wrapped in plastic along with his wife and 5-year-old daughter in their home in upper-class Santa Barbara County. Over 170 miles south of the scene, a 27-year-old suspect was arrested in the San Diego area. Investigators were analyzing the relations between the two men on Saturday–a little after the girl’s sixth birthday, authorities revealed. After exploring the potential motives, authorities discovered that the two men were involved in a business deal, and a sizable financial gain could’ve been on the table if everything went well.
Pierre Haobsh, 27, of Oceanside was temporarily detained at a gas station in San Diego County, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bob Brown said Friday. A gun was discovered in a surrounding area to one of the victims, the sheriff said.
Deputies went to investigate Dr Weidong (Henry) Han on Wednesday discovered the bodies of the physician, his 29-year-old wife, Huijie (Jenni) Yu, and the 5-year-old daughter, Emily Han. The family had been spotted last night, and Han’s two associates were concerned when he did not come to a meeting the following day. Authorities said that all family members were U.S citizens, but did not elaborate.
Nadine Jolie Courtney, a beauty blogger and author, told The Associated Press in an email message Saturday that Haobsh was her brother. She denounced the brutal killings and sent her positive thoughts. “We cannot wrap our minds around this tragedy and are in a state of shock,” she wrote on behalf of herself and her husband.
The killings were a shock to Santa Barbara inhabitants, where Han, who controlled the the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, was a well-known and popular figure.
“Han had owned and operated the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic since 1991, according to the clinic’s website. Public records show he is a licensed acupuncturist. A biography on his website says he earned degrees in Oriental and Western medicine from a Beijing university in 1982, graduating at the top of his class. He moved to the U.S. a few years later to study psychology,” Reports the Associated Press.
Han came from a family of Chinese doctors and provided traditional treatments including acupuncture, acupressure and herbal formulas from an on-site Chinese pharmacy.
Han’s career path was largely the result of his upbringing; surrounded by a family of Chinese doctors, Han
learned the tradition treatments of acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal formulas. He is co-author of the book “Ancient Herbs, Modern Medicine,” and he was working on a volume about how to integrate Chinese and Western medicine. At the clinic, he formulated unique medicines tailored to meet each patients’ needs and then carried out the orders at an on-site pharmacy.
Haobsh, 27, is charged with three counts of murder and is expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday. It remains unclear whether he has an attorney. “This was a diabolical, pre-mediated crime, one of the most odious that I have ever been involved with or that this agency has ever investigated,” Brown said. Money appears to be the motive, Brown said, adding that the investigation was ongoing. Han “had an impressive background in both Chinese herbal medicine and Western medicine” and “had an extensive patient network in the Santa Barbara area and beyond,” Brown said.