Chinese police suspect aunt of horrific attack on boy

Public shocked after six-year-old’s eyes gouged out

Guo Bin (6) is pushed on a wheelchair by a doctor and a nurse at a hospital in Taiyuan, in northern China’s Shanxi province. Photograph: AP

Guo Bin (6) is pushed on a wheelchair by a doctor and a nurse at a hospital in Taiyuan, in northern China’s Shanxi province. Photograph: AP

 



A woman who reportedly gouged out six-year-old Guo Bin’s eyes in a case that has horrified China was the youngster’s aunt, police in Shanxi province believe. She took her own life.

Police in the city of Linfen have identified the boy’s aunt, Zhang Huiying, as a suspect because the boy’s blood was found on her clothes, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Six days after Guo Bin was attacked, Ms Zhang killed herself.

Xinhua did not cite a possible motive for the attack.

Photographs and videos of the boy in hospital with his head bandaged were circulated widely online and the gruesome event caused horror and outrage in China.

Abuse of children was already high on the public agenda after a series of knife attacks on kindergarten children and child sex-abuse cases involving schoolteachers.

Guo Bin, whose parents are farmers, went missing at 6pm on August 24th, when he failed to return home from playing outside at his usual time to eat dinner. After a five-hour search, he was found lying in a field with his face covered in blood.

The boy’s family initially said the woman who attacked him spoke with an accent not from the area, and had dyed blond hair.


Eyes gouged out
There were suspicions his eyes had been removed for transplants by an illegal organ-harvesting gang, but police said his eyeballs were found at the scene.

The Fenxi county police posted a notice on August 27th offering a reward of 100,000 yuan (€12,400) for information leading to the arrest of the assailant.

Ms Zhang’s suicide so soon after the attack prompted suspicion she was the assailant. Reports circulated in Chinese media she had argued with the boy’s parents over support for a paralysed grandfather.

However, reports of a spat were denied by the boy’s parents. Apart from the loss of his eyesight, Guo Bin is out of danger. Doctors plan to give him cosmetic artificial eyes.

His mother, Ms Wang Wenli, said his vision might be partially restored.