30: Triple Homicide in D'Iberville, Mississippi
Howdy! Last week I blogged about the Chen Family Homicides that took place in Guilderland NY in 2015. WIkipedia happened to mention a couple of similar cases so I decided to look into them.
On October 5, 2011, in D'Iberville, Mississippi, a little girl came home from school to find her mother, father, and aunt, Mei Rong Li, Rong Chen, and Mei Jin Li respectively, dead. While articles dated from that week identify the girl, Nina Li, now Nina Li Brashear, as between 6-8 years of age, a more recent article says she was 10 at the time. The earliest articles claim that she was dropped off from school in front of her family's restaurant, Chinese Happiness. One of four siblings, her brother was at basketball, and her sister's bus was running late, otherwise they'd normally have been dropped off with her. She found the restaurant closed and walked home, where she found her aunt face down in her mother's room. She ran to the nearby auto shop, Stringer Auto Center, where she asked Paul Powell for help. He stated, according to the earliest articles, that her exact words were, "Our waitress killed my aunt." When he asked for charity, she followed up with, "He killed my aunt." Powell stated that she was crying, upset, and might have been confused, as she used "he" to refer to the "waitress." However, I'd argue calling a male server a waitress rather than a waiter is an easy mistake to make, especially for a kid, and even more so if her family spoke Chinese at home or in the restaurant.
When police arrived, the other two victims were discovered and it was revealed they had all been stabbed. Rong Chen was last seen alive that morning, at the bus stop, seeing his children off for school. FBI revealed in March of 2015 that on the morning of the homicides, a small car was parked behind the family's car. It was likely light-gray, with two doors. The hood was open.
DNA evidence was taken at the crime scene and tested. Neighbors were interviewed. There are claims that the FBI has even conducted interviews in China. Whether because of Nina Li's testimony, or because there was other evidence suggesting he might be of interest, the waiter, an undocumented immigrant, was taken into custody for questioning, and deported. As of 2015, there are reports that connections to the case spanned to NY (like the Chen Family Homicides of Guilderland), Atlanta, and China. FBI has been tracking down a person of interest in China, presumably the waiter, as that's the only person of interest hinted by so much as a title in any article.
Is this case related to the 2015 Chen Family Homicides? I doubt it. That they both touch on NY and China sounds coincidental, and not in a big way. 19% of Chinese immigrants live in New York state. However, that the case is so far reaching, and the publicly released details are so scarce, is curious. Of the several articles I read, written years a part and by different papers, none cited a probably motive. Unlike the Chen murders, the only crime mentioned on the part of the deceased is having hired an undocumented immigrant. Regardless, it's a sad case that deserved more attention. If you or anyone you know has information you'd like to share, please contact, the D’Iberville Police Department at 228-396-4252 or Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898 or www.crimestoppers.com.
As for how Nina Li Brashear and her siblings, Carlos, Anna, and Joseph, are doing, her then-teacher Allison Brashear and her pastor husband Dean Brashear, applied to become foster parents the day after they heard the terrible news. Once they were approved, they took the children in, and adopted them two years later. Nina Li Brashear graduated as Salutatorian of her high school in 2019.
Thanks for stopping by! I put out a new blog post every Monday. Stay safe!