A four-year-old girl died on the street in a Taipei commercial neighborhood after being decapitated by a suspected drug addict.
The girl was on a bicycle on her way to meet her grandfather and siblings at the Xihu train station in Neihu district when she was attacked by the suspect, Apple Daily reports.
The girl’s mother, who was a short distance from the incident, said she saw a man approach her daughter and thought he was trying to help dislodge her bike from the tracks.
Forensic investigators said the girl was slashed 12 times, severely enough to sever her head.
News photos show the girl’s horrified mother looking at her remains covered in sheets, presumably the head and body several feet from each other. The victim’s bicycle lies nearby.
The suspect was subdued by passersby and taken to custody.
He was later identified as a 33-year-old unemployed local resident, surnamed Wang.
Wang had been convicted for drug offenses and treated at a psychiatric hospital, the report said.
He had no disability card.
Health and welfare officials said Wang might have been having drug-induced hallucinations at the time of the attack.
Wang told police he does not know the girl or her family. He said he bought the knife that morning.
Earlier, he had tried to enter the Taipei Municipal Xihu Elementary School but was stopped by a security guard.
President Ma Ying-jeou ordered the National Police Agency to conduct a thorough investigation and ramp up police patrols of residential neighborhoods across the island.
The victim’s mother said the problem cannot be solved by laws or punishment alone and called for more effective measures such as family education.
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