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Teenage boy died a mysterious death / by Li Jingrong, January 4, 2015 Adjust font size:

A 17-year-old boy from Hunan Province lost contact with his family on his way home from Beijing on Dec. 4 and was later found dead in Xinyang, Henan Province, on Dec. 9, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

He Zhengguo.[File photo]

He Zhengguo.[File photo]

The confusing and mysterious case

Seventeen-year-old He Zhengguo was the only son of a large family in Xinhua, Hunan Province. He was the sole male heir of several generations on both sides of his family. Unfortunately, the boy suffered from germ cell tumors and diabetes insipidus. Over the past year, his parents took him back and forth between his home and Beijing to receive medical treatment several times.

On the evening of Dec. 3, He Zhengguo and his father He Wen boarded the train home after the boy’s latest 17-day period of treatment in Beijing. “This round of chemotherapy went very smoothly. My son and I were in a happy mood," said the father.

At 4:10 a.m. the next day, He Wen woke up and found that his son was missing. He sought help from the train police immediately. They searched every corner of the train, but failed to find the boy. Later, they looked at the closed circuit video monitoring on the train and found that the boy had gotten off the train at Xinyang Station in Henan Province.

The father then got off the train at Wuchang Station in Hubei Province and returned immediately to Xinyang Station, where he contacted local police. Surveillance video at the train station showed the boy walking out of the station along with a huge crowd of passengers.

In the following days, He Wen and his wife Su Meihua - the boy’s mother - stayed in Xinyang, seeking help from various quarters to find their son's whereabouts.

According to a death inquiry report provided by the Xinyang Police Station, the boy was found by a nurse on duty at TCM Hospital in Xinyang before daybreak on Dec. 5. The nurse called the local police who then came to the site and took the boy to the local police station to speak with him.

At about 4:00 a.m. the boy was sent to the city rescue center by the police. At 11:00 a.m., he was turned away by the rescue center and sent to the city psychiatric hospital. The next day, Dec. 6, the boy’s father rushed to the rescue center, but staff there refused to provide him with any information that could help him rescue his son.

On the morning of Dec. 9, the boy was found dead in his bed by a nurse at the psychiatric hospital. According to the death certificate issued by the hospital, the boy died of “sudden death.” On the same day, the remains of the dead boy were cremated at the city funeral home. The registration name on the cremation certificate was "anonymous.”

He Wen and Su Meihua got the news of their son’s death on Dec. 12, but by then the remains of their dead son had already been cremated.

The pitiful sight filled the father with sorrow and anger. He argued that according to state regulations, the remains of the unclaimed dead must be saved for at least one month before being cremated while authorities search for their families through any possible channels. "Obviously, those people who took over my boy’s case didn’t handle it in accordance with laws and regulations," he said.

Disciplinary action against the people in charge

On Dec. 16, the Civil Affairs Bureau of Henan Province urged the Xinyang government to ascertain the facts and responsible parties in the case as soon as possible and to severely punish those who played a role in the boy’s death.

On Dec. 17, the Civil Affairs Bureau of Henan Province sent a working group to Xinyang to oversee the investigation of the case. On the same day, the provincial government issued an urgent statement which stipulated clear requirements for the management of aiding vagrants and beggars. The Xinyang government held an urgent meeting in which a preliminary decision was made to punish those culpable in the case.

On Dec. 18, Li Ming, the head of the Xinyang Rescue Center, was suspended from his duties pending investigation, and another four officials are also under investigation in accordance with the law.

Local police are continuing to investigate this confusing and mysterious suspicious death case.

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