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Search for clues in eye-gouging attack

By Hou Liqiang in Beijingand Cheng Hong in Taiyuan | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-29 07:26

Six-year-old Guo Bin, whose eyes were gouged out in an attack, is out of danger after surgery, but the boy from Shanxi province is very upset even though he is not aware he is now blind.

"The boy is in a poor physical state and in a bad state of mind after the surgery," one of the boy's uncles, Guo Sibao, told China Daily on Wednesday. "He cries a lot and only likes to stay with his mother.

"The boy is unaware that he has lost his eyes and we told him his eyes were injured and there will be no problem after treatment when he asked why it was dark all the time," said the boy's another relative.

"We lied because we were worried telling the truth will deal a further blow to him."

Fenxi county police posted a notice on Tuesday offering a reward of 100,000 yuan ($16,340) for information that leads to the arrest of the assailant, who they said is a woman.

Guo's uncle told Beijing News that the boy's friend, who was playing with him before the attack, said a woman with blond hair took the boy away.

It was confirmed by a video the police found, but other physical features are too vague to recognize.

According to the Guo's mother, Wang Wenli, the boy said that the woman had asked him if anybody in his home played mahjong before taking him away.

"We had no disputes with anybody," said Wang, adding that she had no idea what had driven the attacker to commit the act.

Earlier media reports said the boy's corneas were missing, which led to speculation that the assailant was an organ trafficker.

But police said the corneas were "surely" with the eyes and ruled out the possibility of organ trafficking, but offered no alternative explanation for the attack.

"We are still working on it, so we cannot offer any comment or make any assumption on the motives," said a local police officer who declined to give his name.

The boy, who was set to start school next month, was discovered missing on Saturday evening. He was found after a five-hour search lying in a field, his face drenched in blood.

Guo's parents knew the boy's eyes were removed only after a CT scan at a local hospital before they called the police, Guo's uncle told China Daily.

The boy was later transferred to Shanxi Eye Hospital in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi, that night.

Police then found the boys' eyes near where he was lying late on Sunday.

More surgery planned

One of the boy's aunts, who declined to give her name, told China Daily that a further operation will be performed in at least two months, but the exact date is still unknown.

Doctors plan to give the boy artificial eyes so that people will not be startled by his appearance, she added.

The surgery has cost the family more than 20,000 yuan ($3,270), excluding the fee for tests, according to his family.

Provincial health authorities have suggested reducing the cost of the boy's medical treatment, or providing it for free.

Good-hearted people have donated almost 40,000 yuan, his aunt said.

The attack has gotten widespread attention of Chinese netizens, many of whom have offered their sympathy to the boy and who want severe punishment for the attacker.

"It was so inhuman, so cruel. (The criminal) should be dealt with strictly by law," Taiyuan resident Wang Yongwei said.

The case has topped the hot-topic list on China's popular Sina Weibo micro-blogging service, attracting tens of thousands of discussions and forwardings within days.

Xinhua contributed to the story.

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