12-year-old suspected of fatally poisoning 2 girls in China

AP News
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Posted: Jun 13, 2015 9:57 AM

BEIJING (AP) — A 12-year-old boy was identified as the prime suspect in the fatal poisoning of two sisters in rural southern China, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday.

It was the second tragedy of the week to raise concerns over the well-being of rural Chinese children.

The boy told police in Hunan province that the girls, aged 8 and 14, drank cola that he had laced with poison, Xinhua said. The girls died on Wednesday.

Xinhua said the suspect was familiar with the victims, but the news agency did not identify him.

On Tuesday, a 13-year-old boy and his three younger sisters died after they drank pesticide in a village in the southwestern province of Guizhou, according to state media reports and local government statements. The siblings had been living on their own, with their father working in a faraway city and their mother abandoning the family for a while.

China has tens of millions of rural children whose parents have left their home villages to seek work and better pay in industrial cities. With their parents absent from their lives, the children are prone to psychological issues.