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Sister takes bottle of pills to find death cause

A WOMAN in northeastern China swallowed a bottle of flu tablets, which had been considered the killer of her sister, to force local authorities to conduct a fourth autopsy of her sister's body and find the truth of her death.

Dai Yi, 38, died at home in Nenjiang County, Heilongjiang Province, on August 25, 2007. Police said she had argued with her husband Xu Zhiming the night before.

Three autopsies by local authorities said she died of taking dozens of flu tablets containing aminopyrine and caffeine, but her family insisted she was murdered, reported Southern Weekend on Thursday.

A fourth autopsy suggested mechanical asphyxia couldn't be excluded.

Dai Yi died at about 7:40am, half an hour after speaking to one of her sisters.

Xu said Dai took pills at home. Police found an empty bottle of expired flu tablets.

But Dai's brother said he saw Xu wiping blood off the ground when he entered the room. Dai's body had several cuts and blood was coming out of her mouth.

Nenjiang police carried out an autopsy on the afternoon she died. Liu Jun, a forensic scientist at the Nenjiang Public Security Bureau, went to Beijing with Dai's blood and stomach for further testing.

Beijing's No. 307 Hospital of People's Liberation Army said Dai's blood and stomach contained aminopyrine, which was used as evidence supporting Dai's suicide.

But Dr Sun Chengwen, who was in charge of the test, said it was an analysis and not a conclusion and he had never checked Dai's corpse.

Many forensic experts also doubted whether the tablets could kill someone in half an hour even with a huge dose.

Liu also allowed Sun to discard Dai's stomach after the test, even though judicial authorities are supposed to keep evidence safe.

Suicide questions

On September 9, 2007 Liu told Dai's sister Dai Li that she died of taking 40 aminopyrine and caffeine tablets.

Liu was later sacked due to his dereliction in the case.

Dai Li wouldn't accept the result and demanded another two autopsies, but all came back with the same conclusion because they were based on the report by the No.307 hospital.

In a desperate bid to get another autopsy, Dai Li swallowed 96 aminopyrine and caffeine tablets in front of Nenjiang police on December 5, 2007. She lived and Nenjiang authorities agreed to a fourth autopsy in September 2008.

In May this year Beijing experts in charge of the autopsy suggested aminopyrine did not cause Dai Yi's death and couldn't exclude mechanical asphyxia in her death.

However, local police still haven't filed murder investigation over Dai Yi's death.


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