TAIYUAN, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Police in north China's Shanxi Province disclosed on Wednesday night details of a horrifying case in which the eyes of a 6-year-old boy were gouged out, in response to mounting doubts over the police's accusation his late aunt was the suspect.
Zhang Huiying, 41, the boy's aunt, was identified by police as the suspect based on investigations and DNA test results on Tuesday. She jumped in a well at her home and died on Aug. 30.
But many people, including the boy's relatives, doubted the authenticity of the accusation with conflicting information circulating on the Internet and in media reports.
On Aug. 24, the boy, Guo Bin, was lured by an unknown woman with yellow-dyed hair into a field, where she gouged out his eyes, according to initial media reports.
While according to Zhang Liqing, a senior police officer from Linfen municipal public security bureau, Guo insisted it was a woman with black and long hair who attacked him.
Many people are curious why the boy could not recognize his own aunt.
"I asked the boy if the woman looked like his aunt. He first said yes but later, no," said Zhang.
"A traumatized child is not in a stable mood after an incident. He could only confirm it was a woman," Zhang added.
An examination of a purple shirt with dozens of bloodstains found at the scene on Aug. 30 showed that it contained DNA of both Guo and Zhang, according to Han Zhihui, a criminal investigation expert with the bureau.
Zhang Huiying was also not one of the 12 people who tried to give the boy emergency aid, according to the police.
"Witnesses have also confirmed a woman in a purple shirt took the boy away," said Zhang Liqing.
The investigation had proved that the shirt was left by Zhang Huiying and she was the only person to wear it, said Han.
The details from the police seemed not strong enough to convince the public.
"It is not proper and against procedure to ask a victim if the suspect looked like a specific person. It is more likely a presumption of guilt," commented Xiaotianmi on Sina Weibo, a twitter-like microblogging service.
"You can not say a person who did not take part in an emergency aid is the suspect," wrote another comment.
Doubts still linger as the motive of the boy's aunt is still unclear.
There were reports saying Zhang Huiying had a dispute with Guo's parents over the care of senior members of the family.
While Guo Zhiping, the boy's father, told Xinhua on Wednesday evening that "we have sound relations with each other."x A medical report from the Shanxi Ophthalmic Hospital where the boy was treated showed that Guo's eyelids were cut with a sharp instrument as the wounds were straight incisions. But the boy said the woman was using a wooden stick to gouge his eyes, according to a local media report quoting his father.
The police said the criminal motive of Zhang Huiying may not be known as she had died.
The public has called for more details from the police to disperse the doubts over the case.
The boy's tragic experience led to national concern. As of Wednesday, his family had received one million yuan (162,085 U.S. dollars) in donations, according to media reports.
The boy's eyelids have healed and the hospital will implant a pair of artificial eyes (ocular prosthesis) in a month's time, Jia Yading, director of Shanxi Ophthalmic Hospital told Xinhua on Wednesday.
"The artificial eyes cannot restore his sight," Jia said, who is also the head of the therapeutic team responsible for Guo's treatment.
All his medical expenses will be exempted by the hospital.
Hong Kong-based eye expert Dennis Lam said earlier his team would provide free treatment to the boy.
Lam told Xinhua on Wednesday that the boy is likely to restore partial sight within five to ten years thanks to electronic eye technology.
Lam is still waiting for consent from the child's parents to bring Guo to his eye hospital.
Meanwhile, Taiyuan Deaf-mutes School based in the provincial capital of Taiyuan announced on Wednesday it will offer the boy free education when he is able to go to school.