The family of a woman who was killed by alleged cult members at a McDonald's in Shandong province returned to the scene yesterday to mourn her death.
Wu Shuoyan's husband, five-year-old son and other relatives gathered outside the restaurant in Zhaoyuan, some dressed in white mourning robes, and burned paper offerings.
It was the seventh day since Wu died, a traditional time of mourning in Chinese culture.
Police say the 35-year-old was beaten to death by members of a cult called Quannengshen, or Almighty God, last week.
Wu was waiting in the restaurant for her husband after work on Wednesday when she was approached by a group of six people, believed to be a family, who asked for her phone number.
Wu is reported to have refused, after which the group's leader, identified as Zhang Lidong, flew into a rage.
State-run television quoted Zhang as saying the beating started when his daughter accused Wu of being an evil spirit.
Wu's husband, Jin Zhongqing, said he had been reluctant to tell his son what happened to his mother, only saying she had gone to "a place far, far away".
"I didn't want to tell my son what happened, but he seemed to understand and kept comforting me, telling me not to cry or be sad and that mum was watching us from above," Jin said on his social media account.
"My heart has been ripped to pieces. My wife, have you heard our son's words? We miss you so much," Jin wrote.
A close relative told the South China Morning Post that Jin and his mother had been distraught since the killing.
They also hoped the authorities would help them find a new school for the son.
"The media have revealed details about his parents. He can't go back to kindergarten," the cousin said.
Relatives said two women dressed in white carrying a placard reading "injustice" stood outside the restaurant as the family mourned, but the pair were taken away by the police.
Officers told the family they were investigating whether the women were cult members.
A state television report said Zhang's family were from Wuji county in Hebei province and neighbours had said they kept to themselves.
Customers at the McDonald's restaurant at the time of the killing were criticised on social media for failing to stop the attack.
One witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had shouted "stop" in the middle of the assault, but he was confronted by one of the suspects who threatened to kill him if he interfered.
"I feel guilty about not being able to help," he said. "But I'm willing to be a witness in court if needed."
The witness said he and other people nearby thought at first the incident might be a family dispute because the victim did not scream for help. Other witnesses ran outside to call police as the attack intensified.
Another witness, in her 20s, told the Post that she was overwhelmed by the killing.
"The little boy who was with the family was so calm. Even when the police arrived, he kicked the victim in the head, yelling 'evil goes to hell'."
Five suspects were arrested for suspected intentional homicide. A sixth will be dealt with separately because he is under the age of criminal responsibility.