Investigators are still trying to determine why popular business associate may have killed Dr Weidong Henry Han in triple murder
A business associate of a popular practitioner of Chinese herbal medication was arrested on Friday in connection with what California authorities say was the horrific slaying of the herbalist, his wife and their five-year-old daughter.
This was a diabolical, pre-meditated crime, one of the most odious that I have ever been involved with, said Santa Barbara County sheriff Bill Brown.
Pierre Haobsh, 27, of Oceanside, was taken into detention at gunpoint at a gas station in San Diego County, Brown said, adding that investigators with an apprehend warrant had been following a red Lexus that belonged to Haobsh. A loaded handgun and property belonging to one of the victims was found inside the car, the sheriff said.
Deputies who went to check on the welfare of 57 -year-old Dr Weidong Henry Han on Wednesday received the bodies of the physician, his 29 -year-old wife, Huijie Jenni Yu, and the couples five-year-old daughter, Emily, in the familys multimillion-dollar home on the outskirts of Santa Barbara.
Their bodies were found shooting, wrap in plastic and duct-taped in the garage, a sheriffs statement said. They had last been assured the night before.
Brown said investigators were still trying to determine why the family was killed, but they believe Haobsh was lately involved in a business deal with Han and financial gain could have been involved.
This investigation is far from over, Brown said. It is complex and ongoing.
Two business associates of Han went to his home after he failed to show up for a session something they told authorities was highly uncharacteristic. The associates called authorities when they found the front doorway ajar and the familys vehicles parked outside.
Authorities didnt say what led them from the palatial two-story home that sits on seven acres surrounded by avocado trees to the Oceanside area, where Haobsh was apprehended, more than 170 miles to the south.
Haobsh is a US citizen, authorities said, but few other details were released.
The killings shocked Santa Barbara, where Han, who owned and operated the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, was a popular figure.
The couples daughter was a kindergartener at Foothill Elementary School in the Goleta Unified school district, where counselors were made available to her classmates and their parents.
It is impossible to express the tremendous pain that this situation presents to us, superintendent William Banning said in a statement.
Han had owned and operated the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic since 1991, according to the clinics website. Public records demonstrate he was a licensed acupuncturist.
A biography on his website said he earned degrees in oriental and western medication from a Beijing university in 1982, graduating at the top of his class. He moved to the US a few years later, to study psychology.
Han came from a family of Chinese doctors and traditional treatments including acupuncture, acupressure and herbal formulas from an on-site Chinese pharmacy.
He was co-author of the book Ancient Herbs, Modern Medicine, and was working on a volume about how to integrate Chinese and western medication. At the clinic, he created individualized herbal formula for each patient.
Not merely is he going to be missed by me personally and professionally, but this community is going to miss him unbelievably. He was “the mens”, said Dr Glenn Miller, a psychiatrist who co-authored Ancient Herbs, Modern Medicine and considered Han one of his closest friends.
Patients we share would talk about how in the true sense of the word he was a healer, in that he would listen to the wholeness of his patients, said Miller, who choked up several times as he spoke. He said Han wanted his patients mended both physically and emotionally.
A somber recording on the clinics voicemail said the facility was shut on Friday, but people would be there to greet those who wanted to express their condolences.
Our doors will be open for you to honor, pay respects and celebrate the lives of Dr Henry Han, his wife, Jenni, and daughter Emily. They truly were special, the recording said.
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