OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — The boyfriend of murdered Oakland dentist Lili Xu killed himself while in custody on Friday, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) confirmed to KRON4. The man, 73-year-old Nelson Chia, had been arrested in connection with Xu’s death, which police described as a murder-for-hire.
A press release from ACSO said while Chia was being booked into Santa Rita Jail on Friday, he was assigned to a single-person holding cell at about 2:00 p.m. When officers later went to check on him, they found him motionless and unresponsive.
“Jail medical staff and emergency medical responders immediately began life saving measures but unfortunately, their efforts were unsuccessful,” ACSO said. “It appears Chia took his own life in the single occupant holding cell. There are no indications of foul play or any other suspicious activities.”
Xu was shot and killed in broad daylight on August 21 as she was getting out of a car near 10th Street and 5th Avenue. A man approached the passenger’s side of the vehicle she was in. After what looked like a struggle for her belongings, she was killed.
OPD announced Friday that Chia and Hasheem Bason, a 33-year-old Stockton resident, had been arrested for Xu’s death. It was described as a murder-for-hire killing, not a hate crime or random attack.
“What does it say about our community when we cannot walk down our own street, visit a neighbor, or enjoy a picnic on the lake on a Sunday afternoon? We can and must do better,” Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas said after the killing.
Another deadly shooting took place in Oakland’s Little Saigon neighborhood on July 17 when ride-share driver Kon Fung was shot and killed in his car. Two suspects ran up to Fung’s car, fired shots and fled.
ACSO, the Coroner’s Bureau, and the Alameda County District Attorney’s will all conduct investigations into Chia’s death.