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Chef's mysterious death stirs public ire in Hubei

A SENIOR official in central China demanded a thorough investigation into the mysterious death of a hotel chef while forensic experts carried out an autopsy on his body after clashes between local authorities and residents subsided.

Tu Yuangao, a 24-year-old chef at Yonglong Hotel in Shishou City, Hubei Province, was found dead outside the hotel last Wednesday, according to, a provincial news portal.

Residents believed Tu was killed because he tried to blackmail the hotel for a higher salary by threatening to disclose its alleged drug-trafficking operation.

Ying Daiming, Party secretary of Jingzhou City, which has jurisdiction over Shishou, said he was determined to find the truth behind Tu's death and the hotel's alleged involvement.

Observed by Tu's family, experts from the Ministry of Public Security and Tongji Hospital performed an autopsy early this week and a report is expected to be published soon, a Shishou spokesperson said.

Shishou police initially said Tu died after leaping from the hotel building. His family refused to accept the explanation and residents said the wounds on his body were inconsistent with a fall, according to the report.

Tu's father led a violent protest last Friday that led to the hotel being burned. Protesters also attacked firefighters and vandalized vehicles, but the report didn't say how many people were injured.

Reports also said many used syringes were found near the hotel, implying it could be involved in drug dealings.


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