Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
The ashes of the young Chinese influencer who drank pesticide during a livestream after being egged on by online trolls have reportedly been stolen for a ‘ghost marriage’.
Luoxiaomaomaozi, better known as Lou, 25, who boasted nearly 680,000 Douyin (what TikTok is known as in China) followers, was taken to hospital in Jining City in the Chinese province of Shandong after the filmed incident on 14th October, but died the following day.
Luo reportedly said that she had been suffering with depression in the video and ended up being hospitalised for over two months.
She had previously stated that she missed her ex-boyfriend and sometimes felt depressed over their split, with one friend, name not reported, claiming that she did not plan to kill herself and only wanted to get her ex-partner’s attention.
However, her family blames the influencer’s death on online trolls during the livestream who encouraged her to ingest the pesticide, which had been mixed with normal drink, according to The Paper.
Screenshots of the influencer holding the pesticide as trolls called on her to “down it quickly” reportedly went viral on Chinese social media.
Luo’s friend claimed she mixed the pesticide with normal drink and that she called for an ambulance as soon as the livestream had finished. But she still died and was cremated.
However, her ashes have reportedly been stolen for an underworld ceremony known as a ‘ghost marriage’, a folk custom in some Chinese regions where a wedding is arranged for those in the afterlife who also need to get married and raise families.
Local media said the ashes of dead young women have become a commodity for such ceremonies in these Chinese regions.
Local reports said some funeral workers earn between CNY 50,000 and 70,000 (GBP 5,866 and 8,213) selling remains for ghost weddings.
According to Global Times, the influencer’s ashes were taken by a funeral home worker called Shao who arranged a buyer with two other undertakers surnamed Lei and Zhang.
The two associates reportedly arranged a deal with a buyer and took the remains to them.
However, the alleged deal fell through and the buyer did not purchase the influencer’s ashes.
The three funeral workers were arrested and are currently under investigation by the police.
The provincial Department of Civil Affairs also said that funeral homes in Shandong will undergo an inspection to prevent similar incidents taking place in the future.
The investigation is ongoing.