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Suspect dies with police: case reopened

POLICE in northwestern China's Shaanxi Province will reopen the investigation into the death of a teenage girl after a schoolmate died while being questioned by police.

The Public Security Bureau in Shangluo City's Danfeng County will re-examine the death of Peng Lina, a 19-year-old student from Danfeng Middle School who was found dead on a river bank on February 10, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Her schoolmate and former lover Xu Gengrong, 19, was picked up by police for questioning over Peng's death on the night of February 28. Danfeng County police have said Xu confessed to Peng's murder on March 1 and was immediately detained. While being questioned by police on March 8, Xu suddenly became short of breath, authorities said. He was sent to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Peng's death came into the spotlight after Xu's family claimed their son was beaten by police while being questioned.

The family said bruises had been found on Xu's body and blood in his nose. They say police showed them no evidence of Xu's involvement in Peng's death when he was taken. The results of an autopsy, conducted the day after he died, are expected to be revealed next week. Prosecutors have already launched an investigation into Xu's death.

Danfeng police director Yan Yaofeng earlier told the Shaanxi-based Chinese Business View that the police had substantial proof of Xu's involvement before detaining him.


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