Baby killed by Jilin SUV thief
Updated: 2013-03-06 07:09
By Wang Xiaodong in Beijing and Han Junhong in Changchun (China Daily)
Confesses to choking 2-month-old boy after finding him in rear seat
A 2-month-old baby who went missing when the SUV he was in was stolen is believed to be dead, authorities in Northeast China said on Tuesday.
The blanket used by a 2-month-old infant lies on the seat of a gray sport utility vehicle on Tuesday in Gongzhuling, Jilin province. A man who turned himself in to police confessed to killing the boy and burying him in the snow. Li Lei / for China Daily
A man identified as Zhou Xijun, handed himself to the police at around 5 pm on Tuesday and confessed to killing the child, according to local police.
The 48-year-old said he choked the baby to death after discovering him in the back seat of a silver gray Toyota RAV4 he had just stolen in Changchun, the provincial capital, according to a police statement on Sina Weibo, the micro-blogging website.
Zhou buried the body in the snow beside a road and abandoned the child's clothes and the SUV near a primary school in Yingchengzi village at about 8:20 am, the statement said.
China Daily was unable to confirm with officers on Tuesday night whether the baby's body had been found.
Public security bureaus and citizen volunteers in Changchun, the provincial capital, and surrounding cities have been searching for Xu Haobo, the missing child, since Monday morning.
The baby's father, identified only as Xu, said he left his son wrapped in a pink blanket in an unlocked silver gray Toyota RAV4 outside his grocery store at about 7 am. The vehicle was stolen moments later.
Police recovered the SUV on Tuesday morning.
A security guard working close to where the vehicle was found told police he saw a man in his 30s park the SUV at about 9 am on Monday. He then got into another car and drove away, China Central Television reported.
The guard said he did not see a baby, only a blanket and a bag, which the man was carrying.
The vehicle's license plate - JI AMM102 - and the child's clothes were found in a roadside ditch 500 meters away.
Shortly after hearing the child's death, his mother suffered a sudden heart attack and was taken to the hospital. She had appealed to the suspect not to harm her baby, saying she would not hold the thief accountable.
News of the abduction attracted national attention. Following Tuesday's tragic news, many people expressed their fury at the killer and sympathy for the baby's family.
"I'm really sorry. I can't find the words to express my grief," wrote one netizen on Sina Weibo. "There are no bad guys in heaven, baby."
Changchun public security bureau assigned 8,000 officers to carry out a citywide search, including those from traffic and criminal investigation departments, and also received assistance from neighboring cities.
Many citizens also joined the search.
Sun Bing, a toll station worker in Changchun who lives near the grocery store where Xu Haobo disappeared, said he rushed to help after hearing about the abduction.
"All of us were very worried, as the baby is only 2 months old," he said.
Ding Luyang in Changchun contributed to this story.