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Girl suffocated in suitcase as gang seeks ransom

THREE people aged 16 to 20 were charged for having kidnapped a 4-year-old girl for ransom and killed her because "she knew us," Songjiang District prosecutors said today.

Li Dong, 20, a native of Anhui Province, came to Shanghai last May to work in a video game parlor in Songjiang District. In the same building is a small inn run by a couple from Zhejiang Province. They have a 15-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter.

Li, who always dreamed of getting rich overnight, decided to kidnap the girl for ransom. He called a friend surnamed Zhao, 16, also from Anhui, to help him, prosecutors said.

Li bought a suitcase big enough to hide the girl and asked his former colleague, Zhang Haiyang, a 20-year-old Shandong native, to join, prosecutors said.

Li confessed that both Zhao and Zhang were initially against the idea, but when they heard they could get a big share of money, they agreed to join.

On the night of November 20, Li strangled the girl by neck when she was playing outside alone. After she stopped moving, he sealed her mouth with adhesive tape and tied her hands and feet with the help of Zhao and Zhang. They stuffed the girl into the suitcase and Zhao took the suitcase to a room of a nearby inn, according to prosecutors.

Li bought a new SIM card to call the couple, demanding a ransom of 700,000 yuan (US$106,065). The couple reported to police immediately.

Police caught the trio early next morning in the inn and found the girl under the bed. She had died of suffocation.

The three offenders told police that they killed the hostage because she knew them.


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