A 26-year-old man and his wife were charged with murder following the death of their five-year-old daughter, with the police believing the case is far more serious than their initial suspicion of child abuse.
Apple Daily reports that police received a report Saturday afternoon from a person who said a girl, surnamed Chan, lay unconscious in their flat at Trend Plaza on Tuen Hop Street in Tuen Mun.
The child was rushed to Tuen Mun Hospital, where she was pronounced dead later.
As multiple old and new wounds caused by canes and other objects were found on her body, police suspected she had been suffering long-term brutal beating before her death.
They arrested the girl’s father and her stepmother, who was said to be 27, for suspected child abuse.
The dead girl’s step-grandmother, 57, who was living in the same flat, was also taken to a police station for questioning.
Meanwhile, the girl’s brother, 8, was sent to hospital after he was also found to have sustained multiple injuries caused by ill treatment. The boy looked smaller than others of his age. His health conditions were suspected to be worse than his peers of the same age.
The boy was suspected to have suffered from malnutrition for quite a long time.
Further investigations by the Regional Crime Unit of New Territories North, which was in charge of the case, revealed that the boy and the girl were cruelly beaten up by the parents a day before the girl died.
The abuse included lifting her up and throwing her onto the ground, according to the police.
The step-grandmother, meanwhile, is also said to beaten the child from time to time, or not stopping the parents when they were doing so.
As such, police decided to reclassify the case as murder on Sunday night, pending post-mortem examinations Monday on the deceased to ascertain the cause of her death.
According to the Education Bureau, the girl had dropped out of kindergarten in early December, while the boy, whose size made him look like only a six-year-old, was a Primary 3 pupil at Hing Tak School.
Siu Lai-shan, principal of the school, told media that on-campus social workers began to notice him in November last year as they suspected that there was something wrong about him.
However, the Social Welfare Department said its records showed the school only contacted it for inquiries but did not refer the case to it for follow-ups.
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