TAIPEI - Taiwanese actor Ming Dao's older brother was reportedly found dead with his wife and son on Sunday afternoon (Jan 5) in a forested area beside a temple in Neihu District, Taipei.
According to Taiwanese news outlet Apple Daily, Ming's brother, a 42-year-old man surnamed Lin, was found hanging from a tree while his wife, a 40-year-old woman and their 12-year-old son were found dead beside him. Both reportedly had strangulation marks on their necks - giving rise to speculation that Lin had killed his own wife and child in a murder-suicide.
The man's link to Ming was discovered by Apple Daily as the address of residence on his identity card matched the address of a house Ming had previously bought for his mother.
Lin's motorcycle, with three helmets, was also found near the crime scene.
On Sunday evening, Ming’s agency issued a statement confirming that the dead man was the actor’s brother.
“Currently Ming Dao is very shocked and sad, he knows nothing about the case and is trying to find out what happened,” said the statement. He would do his best to help the police with investigations and comfort his family, it added.
While investigations are still ongoing, police have discovered messages in Lin's phone which suggested that he had over NT$2 million (S$89,834) worth of debt and had told a friend that he has long "lost the will to live".
Ming, whose real name is Lin Chao-chang, has previously opened up about his troubled relationship with his brother in interviews.
The 39-year-old said he often had to help his brother pay off debts and felt silly for saving money just for his brother to gamble it away and once called him a "ticking time bomb".
In 2013 and 2016, Ming came under media scrutiny as a result of his brother's actions. His brother had reportedly scammed people into loaning him money, promising that his celebrity kin Ming will pay back his debts if he cannot do so. Creditors even went to Ming's promotional events to seek compensation.
In response to the scandals, Ming has repeatedly said that his brother, as an adult, should be the one responsible for his own actions.
Ming is well-known to audiences in the region for his various idol drama appearances including The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog (2005) and The Magicians Of Love (2006) and the 2015 romantic comedy Let's Get Married.
He is also a member of the now-defunct boyband 183 Club.