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Teenage thief kills woman because she looked like grandma

A teenager has been charged with murdering an elderly woman only because she looked like his grandmother who abandoned him when he was a child, Shanghai prosecutors said yesterday.

The 17-year-old Xiao Xin allegedly killed the stranger and threw her body into a well in Dachang Town, Baoshan District as he was stealing in her house on last November, said prosecutors.

Xiao Xin covered the woman's mouth with his left hand and choked her neck with the right hand. In about 20 seconds the women fell to the ground. Seeing she was still alive, the boy hit the woman's head with a brick, and dumped her body in a well.

He stole a bike, a mobile phone, a gold ring and some cash from the woman's house and sold the stolen items later.

The young killer was arrested the next day while he was sleeping under an overpass on Hutai Road.

Xiao Xin, from northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, told prosecutors that he lived with his grandmother after his parents divorced. But his grandmother, who was weak and poor, abandoned him at a local train station in 2001 when he was eight.

"The old woman reminded me of my grandma," said Xiao Xin. "I felt so angry when I looked into her eyes."

The prosecutors said Xiao had been detained by police a dozen times for theft before.


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