Boyfriend Arrested in Apparent Murder-for-Hire Slaying of East Bay Dentist Apparently Dies by Suicide: Sheriff

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The boyfriend who was arrested in the apparent murder-for-hire slaying of an East Bay dentist appears to have died by suicide Friday while in custody, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said.

Nelson Chia, 73, of Oakland was found motionless and unresponsive by deputies conducting a routing check at Santa Rita Jail.

"Jail medical staff and emergency medical responders immediately began life saving measure but unfortunately, their efforts were unsuccessful," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "It appears Chia took his own life in the single occupant holding cell. There are no indication of foul play or any other suspicious activities."

Sheriff's detectives have launched an investigation into the death.

The August shooting death of a well-regarded dentist in Oakland's Little Saigon appears to be a murder-for-hire, officials said Friday, adding that two suspects had been arrested. Velena Jones reports.

Earlier Friday, Oakland police announced the arrests of Chia and 33-year-old Hasheem Bason of Stockton in connection with Dr. Lili Xu's slaying, which police said appears to be a murder-for-hire.

Xu was shot and killed Aug. 21 in the 1000 block of Fifth Avenue in Oakland. She had just turned 60 years old and was a well-regarded dentist with offices in Oakland and Castro Valley.

Xu's slaying was captured on surveillance video. The footage showed a white car pull up beside a black sedan Xu was in. A person seen getting out of the white car ran up to Xu's vehicle and started shooting.

Oakland officials on Friday provided updates on the fatal shooting of a well-regarded dentist in Oakland's Little Saigon.

Authorities say Chia orchestrated the slaying and Bason waited for Xu before carrying out the killing.

Investigators have not released specific details on a motive, aside from saying Xu's slaying was driven by financial gain.

"This crime was a personal crime committed against the victim and not a crime of race or a crime of hate, other than the hatred that the defendant had against his girlfriend," Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said.

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