Buried alive in Jilin


City Evening News
August 3, 2009

When farmer Zhang Yuanjin was herding goats on a hill nearby his village in Baishan, Jilin Province last Friday, something that sounded like a crying lamb struck him as odd. Tracing the source of the sound, he found a small leg stretching and kicking where it stuck out of the soil, and he discovered that it belonged to a newborn baby girl that had been buried there.

Shortly after receiving Zhang’s report, the police narrowed down the suspect list to another villager, identified in the newspaper by the pseudonym Daqiang. Villagers testified that when Daqiang’s daughter, 21-year-old Xiaofang, came back after working as migrant worker in April, she was noticeably fatter than before.

Father and daughter were found at a hospital, where the daughter was in a coma due to massive bleeding caused by labour. The man confessed that he buried his granddaughter in an attempt to avoid shaming his family.

The City Evening News recounts the incident:

After Xiaofang came back in April, her parents noticed that she was getting fatter over time. Despite their inquiries, she refused to say a word.

At around 1 am on July 30, the daughter had a sudden stomachache. Her mother, who thought that Xiaofang might have caught a cold, made her some ginger soup, but her condition didn’t improve.

Xiaofang then went repeatedly to use the family’s pit toilet. Upon her third visit, she cried loudly for her mother. Her mother and father came over and were surprised to find a baby lying on a pile of excrement, crying. The parents realized that their daughter’s abdominal pains were prelabour symptoms.

After they collected the baby, they found themselves in a dilemma - their daughter was unmarried, and it would be scandalous if the news got out. After difficult deliberations, the couple reached the consensus that the baby must be abandoned.

Daqiang roughly cleaned the baby with some toilet paper before he put her into a plastic bag and carried it to the hill where he dug a hole to bury her. When he add the third shovel of soil to the hole, he found it hard to continue, thinking to himself, “If someone later finds her alive, she must is destined to live on. If not, then that’s her destiny.”

When he came home, he found that his daughter was hemorrhaging after giving birth, so he carried her to the hospital.

According to the hospital, the newborn was lucky to survive, but had suffered multiple complications which were likely caused by oxygen deficiency. The mother had awakened from her coma but was still too weak to talk.

Given the urgent need to take care of the baby, the grandfather’s trial was postponed.

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