China eye-gouge case: Boy's late aunt named as suspect

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Media captionGuo Bin was found in a field by his parents having sustained horrific injuries.

Chinese police say a six-year-old boy whose eyes were gouged out may have been attacked by his late aunt, state media report.

The boy's aunt, Zhang Huiying, killed herself six days after the incident by jumping into a well, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Police say they found blood from the boy, Guo Bin, on the aunt's clothes.

The attack, which happened in Fenxi, Shanxi province, on 24 August, shocked the nation.

Guo Bin's parents found him with his eyes removed and covered in blood.

He had been lured by an unknown woman into a field where she gouged out his eyes, Xinhua reported at the time.

It was not immediately clear from the reports if Guo Bin - who had reportedly told his family that the woman spoke with an unfamiliar accent - had identified the woman as his aunt.

"It is easy to understand that he wasn't clear about the situation,'' his mother told the Associated Press news agency. "He said her accent was from another region, but he later amended that. He then said it was a local accent, but he did not say that it was his aunt.''

Guo Bin is now recovering in hospital.

Police found his eyeballs at the scene. Local reports initially said the corneas were missing, potentially pointing towards organ trafficking. But police then said they were not missing, leaving the motive for the attack unclear.

The little boy's mother told AP that the family had not been involved in any dispute with the aunt.

"I have heard that someone said we had a dispute over taking care of the grandfather, but that is just a lie," she told the agency.

A Hong Kong eye expert leading a team visiting Guo Bin has offered to treat him for free and, if possible, eventually help him install electronic eyes that will help him see light and shapes through signals sent to his optic nerves, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

One of the doctors in the team told the SCMP that Guo Bin "seemed cheerful given that he has gone through so much. He is a very brave boy."

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