An unfortunately sad turn of events has provided police with the identity of a 9-year-old murdered female, whose body was found in Jurong River of Nanjing’s Jiangning District, approximately 1 month ago, in a case linked to the girl’s learning difficulties.
25 June 2018, police received a phone call regarding a body that had been found in a Jiangning river. A pink jacket, t-shirt and trousers were found on the girl, along with a necklace and a lady bug backpack.
Shortly after the body was found, police released a statement along with pictures of the girl’s clothes and a ￥2,000 reward for any information from the public. After no one came forward, the reward was raised to ￥20,000.
1 month later, the girl’s father, surnamed Yang, 36, and her 65-year-old grandfather confessed to pushing her into the river on 23 June to “get rid of her”. Their motive for killing the girl was the result of costly expenses due to her alleged cerebral palsy. The family was far from rich, yet claim they had spent an estimated ￥100,000 on the girl’s medical treatment.
“Her mother had decided to give up on her and divorced the father when she was 3 years old”, a source has revealed to Asia One news. “Nobody in the family except the grandmother wanted the girl. She took the girl back to her hometown in Huai’an, Jiangsu, to take care of her”.
The grandmother had taken care of the girl for 6 years and was recently separated from the child in order to receive surgery for herself in Wuhu. She says she is heartbroken after learning of her granddaughter’s death, and even more so when she discovered who is responsible for taking her granddaughter’s life.
The case remains under further investigation; both father and grandfather will appear in court soon, reports Jiangsu Television.
While social stigma towards people with learning difficulties in China’s urban cities is shifting to a more widely accepted viewpoint, rural areas have yet to change traditional thinking toward people with what is referred to as an “unhealthy” mind.
Children with learning difficulties in China are beginning to receive more government assistance than ever before, by building more schools and training people, but full change will take time. At least 5 percent of children in China suffer from ADHD, with only a tiny fraction diagnosed, a report by Peking University Sixth Hospital estimates.
“In China, the lack of support is even more profound and some families will have to either learn to teach their children themselves or move to another city or country to find support for their children”, says Minna Chau, a clinical child psychologist talking with Ben Halder for See Beyond.
In China’s 2018 there is a growing number of organisations and professionals helping to increase public awareness and break taboos and stigma that surrounds those with learning difficulties.