Police are searching for a female suspect who gouged out the eyes of a 6-year-old boy in northern China.
The boy, who remains hospitalized and does not understand that he is blind, told authorities that he was playing outside when an unidentified woman with an accent took him to a field. Hours later his parents found him.
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There was speculation the woman may have wanted to harvest the child's corneas for money. But the eyeballs were found at the scene with the corneas intact, a police officer told The Associated Press
"We are sparing no efforts trying to solve this case," he said.
Authorities launched a massive search Wednesday and offered a reward of 100,000 yuan ($16,000) for the capture of the woman. Police did not say if they had a suspect.
State media raised the possibility that the boy's corneas were wanted because of a donor shortage in China, CNN reported
. China typically relies on executed criminals to harvest transplant organs because so few people donate organs. In 2008, only 36 people donated organs in a country with a population of 1.3 billion people.
But police do not believe that was a motive since the corneas were still attached to the eyeballs, reported news.com.au
A news report on a provincial TV channel showed the boy, from Fenxi County in Shanxi Province, writhing in pain on a hospital trolley, his head bandaged as his parents cried.
"He asks why the sky is always dark ... and why the dawn still hasn't come," an uncle of the boy told the Beijing Youth Daily, reported news.com.au. "We could only tell him that his eyes had some injury and have to be bandaged. (We tell him that) they will be fine after the bandage is removed.
“It is such a difficult question to explain to him. It is the most heartbreaking thing,” he said.
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