A 55-year-old woman allegedly drugged her son and strangled him at her home in the New Territories, then tried to commit suicide by taking rat poison and hanging herself. Police believe the son, 23, had been dead for at least 24 hours before his body was found late Sunday.

The woman, a widow with the surname Choi, was found wandering on the ground floor of Shin Lai House at Shin Ming Estate in Tsueng Kwan O at about 10.30pm by a security guard, Apple Daily reported. She told police she had consumed rat poison, as had her son.

When officers broke into the apartment they found her son, who had the surname Lai, lying on a sofa with a blanket over him, and a badminton racquet placed on top. Some electric wire was wrapped around his neck and it was believed he had been dead for 1-2 days.

Enquiries revealed that the man had consumed food that contained a drug before the cord was tied around his neck. His mother tried to hang herself with electric wire after consuming poison, according to a government press release. Rat poison, sleeping pills, two pieces of electrics wire and a suicide note written by the mother were found in the apartment. She reportedly did not give any motive in the suicide note for her actions.

The mother, who was taken in a semi-conscious state to Tseung Kwan O Hospital, was charged with murder.

News website HK01.com said the woman had been getting treatment for depression and psychosis, but this has not been confirmed.

The Samaritans run a 24-hour multilingual suicide prevention hotline: +852 2896 0000 or emails can be sent to jo@samaritans.org.hk.