City-wide Changchun manhunt for missing baby ends in tragedy
A two-day city-wide manhunt in snow-covered northeastern China ended in heartbreak and disbelief after a baby stolen along with a SUV was found murdered and the suspected thief and murderer turned himself in.
The case gripped the heart of the nation after reports on Monday that a two-month-old baby was stolen, along with a parked SUV he was in, from a supermarket in Changchun the capital city of Jilin province.
The baby’s father, identified in news reports only by his last name Xu, had left the baby in the rear seat of his Toyota RAV4 and his key in the ignition while he went inside the supermarket he worked at for just a moment, but found both car and baby gone when he came out.
On Tuesday evening, after an exhaustive manhunt, Changchun police said the man who stole the car had turned himself in. According to the police statement, Zhou Xijun, a local man of 48, walked into a police station earlier this afternoon and confessed to strangling the baby and burying it in the snow by a country road after he stole the car. It was only after he drove out of the city in the stolen car that he discovered the baby.
Changchun police said it sent the whole city’s police force of more than 3,500 officers to set up roadblocks, comb the city’s streets and check parking lots after the family alerted police. Local media said thousands of taxi drivers and local residents joined the search after the news was circulated on the radio.
Earlier on Tuesday, the police said they found the car abandoned in front of a school 40 kilometres outside of the city, but there was no trace of the baby.