Chinese authorities suspect that the woman who gouged out a six-year-old boy’s eyes was his aunt who later killed herself.
The attack on the boy has horrified the Chinese public. Heart-wrenching images of the wailing child in hospital, his eyes bandaged and parents distraught, have circulated on the internet as news commentaries condemned the brutality of the attack.
“Mama, why is the sky still so dark?” the child has been quoted as saying while recovering in hospital, his parents unable to bring themselves to tell him about his condition.
Today, police in the city of Linfen in northern Shanxi province confirmed a Xinhua news agency report that the boy’s aunt, Zhang Huiying, had been identified as a suspect because his blood was found on her clothes. Six days after the boy was attacked, Zhang killed herself by jumping into a well.
Xinhua did not cite a possible motive for the aunt to attack the boy.
Initial reports said the boy, Guo Bin, had been playing outside his home on the evening of 24 August when he was lured by an unidentified woman into a field where she used a tool to gouge out his eyes. Family members found the boy late at night in a remote area, his face covered in blood, eyelids swollen.
The police finding seemed to conflict with the family’s earlier comments on the boy’s assailant, which cited him as saying that the woman spoke with an accent from outside the area and had hair that was dyed blonde.