An autopsy has determined that the couple whose bodies were found in the charred remains of their house in As Gonno both died due to asphyxiation from soot and carbon monoxide inhalation as a result of the fire.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Travis Hurst said yesterday that Guam chief medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola, who conducted the autopsy on victims Guo Huang Xu and Qing Xiu Zheng Tuesday afternoon, was unable to find any evidence of blunt force trauma on the skull of Xu.
Hurst said that Espinola’s conclusion rules out the investigators’ initial finding that the 40-year-old Xu had signs of blunt force trauma on the head. Hurst said investigators initially believed that the victim suffered from blunt force trauma due to what appeared to be a wound on Xu’s head.
Hurst said the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation still believes that arson was involved in the case.
“This case is also being treated as a homicide at this time,” he said.
DPS is asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation or the DPS Commonwealth State Police Division.
Meanwhile, Qing Ying Zheng, the 43-year-old sister of victim Qing Xiu Zheng, appealed yesterday to DPS to solve the case.
Qing Ying Zheng, who is a manager of a store in Koblerville, said she and her brother Qing Shan Zheng, who is also a farmer, are hoping that police would allow them to see the victims’ remains at the Commonwealth Health Center, now that the autopsy has already been completed.
It was Qing Shan Zheng, his wife, and son who first responded to the victims’ house, located on Magisa Drive corner Empanada Lane, about four minutes after Xu called on the phone Sunday night, asking them to proceed to their house right away.
When the three arrived, the house was already engulfed in flames. They tried to douse the flames with water, but the fire was already too big. One of them then called 911.
Investigators retrieved the charred bodies from the house on Monday at noon. The house was razed to the ground. The couple’s pickup truck was also burned.
The victims’ two children—ages 5 and 13—are currently in Fujian Province, China.