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April 10, 2012

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Suspect arrested in kidnap, death of boy

A young man who allegedly kidnapped and killed a 12-year-old boy to extort money has been arrested on a charge of kidnapping, Fengxian District prosecutors said yesterday.

The 20-year-old suspect, Li Fusheng, came to Shanghai in 2005. The Anhui Province native said he was fed up with low-paid jobs in the city and wanted to kidnap a child to make quick money. Li bought a phone card and used the new number to call the victim's family.

"Then it would be difficult for police to find who I am," Li told prosecutors.

Last December 24, Li lured Hu Zhengjie, who was playing alone in front of his home, to go with him to play in a forest. After playing for a while, Li asked Hu for his father's cell phone number, telling him he wanted to send a message to make the boy's parents not worried.

However, the text message demanded a ransom of 500,000 yuan (US$79,000) and was not sent until the boy had died, prosecutors said.

At first, Li said he wanted to hide the child and then extort money from the parents. But afraid the child might run away and recognize him, Li strangled Hu to death using his hands and shoelaces taken from the boy's right shoe, prosecutors said.

After killing the child, Li hid the body in bushes, sent a message to Hu's parents and dropped the phone card in a river on his way to meet his cousin, Hu Wenjie, 19, prosecutors said.

Li and Hu Wenjie allegedly put the body on a moped and drove to a bridge near Wusi Highway, where they took the boy's clothes off, tied a big stone to his chest and threw the body into a river.

The next day, the pair was caught by police while sleeping at home. Hu Weijie was arrested for covering up the crime.

The case has been transferred to a higher prosecutor's office for further investigation.


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