Internet users are crying foul over police claims that a Hubei anti-graft official found dead with 11 stab wounds had committed suicide.
Xie Yexin, 46, a cadre on Gongan county's disciplinary committee, was found dead in his office on Saturday afternoon. He had four stab wounds to his neck, one of them 17cm long, four to his chest and abdomen, two on his left wrist and one on his right wrist. Police said he died from blood loss after a vein in his chest was severed.
One of his relatives who witnessed the autopsy said his trachea was cut, as were tendons, blood vessels and arteries in his right wrist, Cnhubei.com reported.
Local police told the family they had found, based on a 'meticulous' investigation, that Xie had taken his own life. His relatives said this seemed implausible given the lethal injuries to both his neck and wrist.
The local public security bureau was forced to delay a briefing by three hours on Monday night because Xie's family were protesting at the site over the official cause of death.
They besieged Guan Haoxiang, a deputy secretary of the county's disciplinary committee, with questions about the death. They said there should have been more blood on the desk Xie was sitting at, given that his trachea had been cut. They said Xie spoke to several people on Saturday morning and had seemed fine.
In response, Wang Jianping, vice-director of the local public security bureau, said the first 10 wounds were 'tests', while others were just 'superficial wounds'.
Police conducted a toxicology test and examined other evidence. Wang said the knife found near Xie's body was the same brand and model as others in his home and that no evidence was found of another person at the scene, or of a struggle.
The local government denied speculation Xie's death was related to a corruption probe. Xie was said to be one of the officials in charge of the case of Liu Baojun, a deputy party secretary of the county being investigated for graft. But the authorities told Cnhubei.com that Xie was merely relaying information and his involvement had ended last month.
Xie's death has stirred a massive outcry online, with some users calling it 'the most horrific suicide'.