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Crime in Hong Kong

Parents arrested on suspicion of child abuse after girl, 5, dies in Hong Kong hospital

Child was found unconscious and covered in bruises at home in Tuen Mun Trend Plaza

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 January, 2018, 8:39pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2018, 1:41pm

A five-year-old girl died after being rushed to hospital unconscious and covered in bruises on Saturday afternoon, prompting police to arrest her parents on suspicion of child abuse.

Officers later found bruises and wounds on her eight-year-old brother.

Police first received a report at 1.15pm from a family member, saying the girl, surnamed Chan, was found unconscious at home in Tuen Mun Trend Plaza in Tuen Hop Street.

She was rushed to Tuen Mun Hospital for medical treatment but was certified dead upon arrival.

“We found many abnormal and suspicious bruises and wounds on her. Almost all over her body. The wounds were both small and large in sizes. The small ones were around 1 to 2cm long, while the others could be as big as 10cm across,” chief inspector Chan Yan said, adding that some of the girl’s older wounds were infected.

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Officers also took the girl’s eight-year-old brother and seven-year-old sister to hospital to see if they had suffered from any abuse.

“At home, we found the boy also had many bruises, wounds and swelling, almost all over his body,” Chan said. “The health status of the deceased girl and her brother was apparently very bad. I would describe them as being malnourished compared with other kids of the same age.”

Investigators from the crime squad later arrested the father, 26, followed by the mother, 27, at about 5pm.

They were escorted to the police station for questioning. Officers were also checking the belongings of the girl, who had not been at school since October.

Medicine, pairs of flip flops and scissors were seized from the apartment.

Chan said he was unable to confirm whether the cause of death was linked to the abuse until the result of the autopsy was known. He did not rule out the possibility the couple would face a more serious allegation once the report was published.

Police later confirmed the girl was five, instead of six as previously thought.