A funeral care worker in China reportedly stole the ashes of a popular Chinese influencer who died drinking pesticide on a livestream with the intent of having a "ghost marriage".
The influencer, who went by the name "Luoxiaomaomaozi", died after she drank pesticide during a livestream on the social media platform Douyin, which is the Chinese version of TikTok.
The woman had previously expressed suicidal thoughts, and some users on the app encouraged her to drink the bottle of pesticide, according to Vice.
Chinese media reports confirmed that the woman died on October 15 after emergency medical services tried and failed to save her life.
In her last video that she posted a day before, she spoke about her depression and suggested that this may be 'her last video'.
Luoxiaomaomaozi had a considerable following on Douyin, having gained 678,000 followers and published 38 videos on the app before she died.
After she was cremated, a funeral home worker stole her ashes and conspired with two others to sell them to buyers who wanted to perform 'ghost marriages'.
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A ghost marriage is a tradition in some regions in China where people try to marry off the dead as they believe that even the departed souls need to get married to maintain the prosperity of their offspring, according to the Malay Mail.
The tradition is 3000 years old and usually done by parents who want their dead children to find partners. The practice has been banned in China for decades, yet it has returned recently, with a new market of "ghost matchmaker" sellers appearing online.
The three men's plans were foiled when they found no buyers for the ashes and were later arrested by the police.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. Agencies like the ones listed here provide confidential listening services from trained professionals.
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