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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

31: The Sun Family Homicides

From left to right: Mr. Maoye Sun and Mr. Mei Xie in front of sons, Timothy and Titus.
From left to right: Mr. Maoye Sun and Mr. Mei Xie in front of sons, Timothy and Titus. I'm sorry. I don't know which son is which.

Howdy! So a couple of weeks ago I did a quick write-up of the Chen Family Homicides that took place in Guilderland New York in 2015. Wikipedia listed two other similar cases, one of which was a triple homicide that took place in Mississippi, which I wrote about last week. Today I’m focusing on the Sun Family Homicides in Texas.

Around 7;30pm, on January 30, 2014, one of the Sun family adults had not shown up for work in days. A wellness check, requested y a friend of the family, found Mr. Maoye Sun, Mrs. Mei Xie, and their sons, Timothy, age 9, and Titus, age 7, dead. They died of gunshot wounds, and their bodies were located in their bedrooms, at 14015 Fosters Creeks Drive, in Cypress, a generally safe suburban subdivision of Houston Texas. The bodies sat in the house, possibly for days, before being discovered. Initially, with authorities still tight-lipped about who died, the scene was assumed to be a murder-suicide by their neighbors. By February 3rd, 2014, however, when no murder weapon was found, and it was determined that all of the gunshots were head wounds, the Harris County medical examiner ruled that their deaths were homicides. It was later revealed on February 3, 2014, that police initially suspected foul play as multiple windows were broken and the back door was open. The victims were not tied up, which is generally the case with home invasions. Investigators did not see obvious evidence of anything having been stolen. By then the police still could not reveal the names of the deceased, though the school and a local boy scout club both had figured out who died and were holding local vigils, because next of kin still needed to be contacted and notified, and the police were having difficulties finding them through the Chinese Consulate.

Eventually, kin must have been located because names were released.

It is believed the family was murdered Friday night, January 24, 2014. None of the neighbors reported hearing gunshots. The children were last seen in school January 23, 2014, a full week before the bodies were found, however, school was out from January 24-28 on account of the weather. Likewise, Mr. Maoye Sun was last seen leaving work on January 24th at 7:37pm. The Toyota Corolla and Sienna minivan parked out front on January 30, 2014 were proven to belong to the victims. Mr. Maoye Sun and Mrs. Mei Xie married in November 2000, bought their house for $270K, and spoke Mandarin at home. Mr. Maoye Sun “had a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in engineering mechanics and worked as an analyst at Cameron, an oil field equipment manufacturer.” Mrs. Mei Xie is remembered as quiet but friendly. They were both naturalized USA citizens. Timothy is remembered as outgoing, a soccer goalie, with Titus considered quieter, and reportedly close to his mother. On Saturdays, the boys went to Chinese school.

The community raised $75K for anyone who can come forward with information that brings the Sun family’s killers to justice. The family’s relatives live in China and so were unable to offer much information regarding who might have reason to hurt the Suns. As of 2015, there were two billboards up on local highways requesting information regarding the case. Cameron, Mr. Maoye Sun's employer, hasn't provided a single comment to a single news source ever, regarding this case, as far as I've seen. I don't point this out because I think they were directly involved with the family's demise, but because everyone else who had connections to the family stepped forward, holding vigils, arranging memorials, raising money to help find the killers, etc.

As of January 18, 2015, Police admitted they’d received a great many tips that they cannot share with the public. CBS News reported that there were allegations that Mr. Maoye Sun might have been connected to an official in China, a member of the Communist Party, who was being investigated for corruption. They did not name the official.

Citing vague Chinese news/language sources without bothering to link to them, named the mysterious high ranking official as Zhou Yongkang. The theory, which I cannot cite beyond their page and similar sleuth sites, Mr. Maoye Sun first met with various high ranking Chinese officials, who were later found guilty of corruption, while he was in school. Later Mr. Maoye Sun worked for China National Petroleum Corporation, where he was aware of Zhou’s illegal dealings in the state oil industry. Then, when Mr. Maoye Sun moved to the USA, he managed Zhou’s affairs here. Zhou reportedly confessed to putting a hit on the Sun family so that Mr. Maoye Sun wouldn’t reveal his guilt, however, assuming such a confession occurred (which I haven’t been able to find and link), it could’ve been coerced. Or completely fabricated by these news outlets I can’t find to read. It’s not like “journalists” in the USA only report the truth. I’d be lying if I said I’d take news from China at face value. This theory, as I've read it, does not indicate that Cameron, Mr. Maoye Sun's employer, was involved with Zhou Yongkang's corruption.

Another theory is that this was a home invasion gone wrong, though their neighbors doubt that.

Is this related to the 2015 Chen Family Homicides in Guilderland New York? I doubt it. Right now, the leading theory in the Chen Family Homicides is that their deaths were related to human trafficking, with other theories including gambling and money laundering. Aside from helping allegedly helping a high ranking Chinese official rake in wealth over illegal oil dealings, there are no reports of Mr. Maoye Sun engaging in crimes.

Regardless, this crime remains unsolved. If you, or anyone you know, has information to share regarding this case, please Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS, or send an anonymous tip through the mobile app, iWatchHarrisCounty.

Thanks for stopping by! I put out a new blog post every Monday. Stay safe!

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