China police acknowledge lapses in probe into missing teen’s death

Hu Xinyu was a 15-year-old who was reported missing on Oct 14, 2022, and found on Jan 28 in the woods near his school campus. - TONGBINGXUE/TWITTER

BEIJING (Bloomberg): Chinese police acknowledged lapses in their investigation into the death of a high school student that has captivated the Asian nation.

The four rounds of searches that police conducted for Hu Xinyu "were not thorough,” Hu Mansong, the top police official in the eastern province of Jiangxi, said at a news briefing in Shangrao city.

"There is still inadequacy in our work,” Hu Mansong said at the press conference shown on Chinese state media Thursday. "We will learn from the past to further improve our work.”

The case has drawn widespread attention on Chinese social media in recent days, with many people raising questions about police competence. The episode echoes news stories last year that gripped the nation. These included one involving a mother of eight children who was found chained in a hut and another where women diners were beaten by men in a restaurant.

Hu Xinyu was a 15-year-old who attended a boarding school in Shangrao, some 500km (310 miles) southwest of Shanghai. He was reported missing on Oct 14. and found on Jan 28 in woods near campus.

Police said at the briefing that Hu Xinyu committed suicide, with Hu Mansong saying the boy expressed suicidal thoughts in recordings.

But the boy’s family has raised questions about his death. His mother posted a video online on Jan 5 in which she says she’s concerned he was killed or injured at school. Bloomberg News hasn’t been able to independently verify the video.

Discussions related to the briefing attracted more than 360 million views on China’s Twitter-style Weibo social media platform in less than two hours.

One internet user posed a question to the government, saying: "When everything from you is being questioned by the people, have you ever thought that something could be wrong?”

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China , missing , teen , death , investigation


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