Police are investigating the case of a mentally disabled nine-year-old boy who’d gone missing from his home six months ago and was recently reported dead at a shelter for the homeless in Xinyang city, Henan province.
Wang Xinhong, a villager in Linhe village, Xi county, said that his son had left home on October 2, 2014, and was reported missing two days later. Police never found the boy and neither did the family, who’d continued searching for him for half a year. On April 20, Wang saw an obituary published by the Xinyang rescue center, and traveled there to discover that it was his son, whose body was barely recognizable.
“He was nothing but skin and bone, and had scars all over his body,” Wang said.
“He was a healthy 45 kilograms when he left home, but he’d shrunk to just 15kg,” he said. “I want to know what really happened to him”.
Police had reportedly found the boy wandering alone on the streets on October 3 and escorted him to the rescue center. Officials there, however, said that the child was “severely retarded” and couldn’t tell them where he lived, so they sent him to a home for elderly people.
On March 31, he was sent to the hospital and diagnosed with malnutrition and organ failure. He fell into a coma and died on April 18.
Wang has accused the shelter of failing to help find the boy’s family. The Xinyang Civil Affairs Bureau claimed in a statement from yesterday, however, that authorities had fulfilled their duty taking care of the boy and that he hadn’t been abused.
[Images via Sina News // SCMP]