The family of a deputy mayor yesterday expressed anger at the official explanation that he had committed suicide, insisting that the dynamic and hard-working man was murdered. According to a local government statement cited by Xinhua, Yang Kuansheng - a deputy mayor of Wugang, Hunan - leapt to his death from his apartment in the early hours on Thursday. It said Yang, 47, committed suicide because he was suffering from depression. 'He definitely did not commit suicide,' said his cousin Lu Kaihong, who had seen his body. 'He had never shown any sign of depression. He was always a very hard-working and active person.' Another relative, Lu Kaihua, who was present at the autopsy, said his left wrist and neck had several deep knife cuts and his back was badly bruised. There were scissors, fruit knives and meat cleavers lying around his flat, he said. 'Why would someone who wanted to kill himself do so in such a brutal manner?' He also doubted that the wounded Yang could manage to walk to the window and jump out. Lu said Yang, who was staying in government staff quarters alone, had returned from a business trip the previous night. When his wife called him, he said someone had threatened his life but said he would be fine. His relatives said once the funeral - scheduled for today - was over, they would petition the government. 'We won't give up. He was such an outstanding official, and now he died mysteriously,' Lu Kaihong said. A staff member at the Wugang city government declined to comment. According to the Southern Metropolis Daily, Yang had spoken out about the need to close illegal mines. 'He was tough on a lot of things; he must have upset some people,' Lu Kaihua said.