British father, 39, died in China – as authorities keep tight-lipped
17th August 2019

Mystery over death of British father-of-two, 39, who was teaching English in China – as authorities refuse to reveal how he died amid police investigation

  • Kevin Little, 39, died in his home near Shanghai in July under mysterious circumstances
  • Mother Wendy Viljoen, 58, said their loss is ‘gut-wrenching’ and ‘heartbreaking’
  • The family revealed they need to raise nearly £25,000 to bring his body home

Kevin Little, 39, passed away at his home in Nantong in July

Desperate family members of a father-of-two who died in China tell of their heartbreak after authorities remain tight-lipped about the circumstances surrounding his death.

Kevin Little had spent the last eight years teaching English in China near Shanghai.

The 39-year-old, who was epileptic, passed away at his home in Nantong in July.

The family revealed they need to raise nearly £25,000 to bring his body home. 

His mother Wendy Viljoen, 58, said: ‘It’s the most frustrating, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking thing.

‘I feel like someone has stabbed me in the heart.

‘I just want my child home so we can do what’s right for him with his brothers and his sister.’

Mrs Viljoen, a pub landlady in Portsmouth, Hampshire, said she only found out on Friday where her son’s body was being stored.

The family revealed they need to raise nearly £25,000 to bring Mr Little’s body home. His mother Wendy Viljoen, 58, said: ‘It’s the most frustrating, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking thing’

 

Ms Viljoen (left) with Kevin’s siblings (left to right) Adam Little, Shelly Little and Chris Little. Ms Viljoen last spoke to Kevin on July 29 as he celebrated his birthday

She last spoke to him on July 29 as he celebrated his birthday.

She said he was laughing and joking so she is at a complete loss as to what happened to him.

Mr Little’s brother said: ‘Not knowing what happened is really hard. ‘We’re thinking was it something malicious? Did he fall over and bump his head?’

Mr Little passed away the next day.

His brother, Adam Little, 35, also of Portsmouth, said: ‘Not knowing what happened is really hard.

‘We’re thinking was it something malicious? Did he fall over and bump his head? It could be any one of a million things.’

Wendy said the last thing her family had been told was the police investigation was still on-going.

The local community, including regulars at the Derby Tavern where she is landlady, have rallied around the family and so far have raised more than £2,000 to repatriate Mr Little’s body.

They hope the fundraising campaign will mean Mr Little, who was once honoured by Shanghai police for rescuing people from a burning building, can be brought home as soon as possible.

Repatriating Mr Little’s body is likely to cost around £18,000 with additional costs relating to funeral arrangements set to take the total cost to the family even higher.

The family thought repatriation costs would be covered by his place of work, but this is not the case.

Mrs Viljoen, a pub landlady in Portsmouth, Hampshire, said she only found out on Friday where her son’s body was being stored. Repatriating Mr Little’s body is likely to cost around £18,000

Adam Little said: ‘In a way we can see that £25,000 is almost an impossible amount to raise, but if we can’t raise that amount then we can’t bring Kevin home.’

Mrs Viljoen added: ‘I just want answers from the authorities. I want to know they’ve finished the investigation and when can we bring him home.’

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