Police in Qianshan, East China’s Jiangxi Province confirmed during a press conference on Thursday that Hu Xinyu, a 15-year-old boy who had been missing for more than three months, ended his own life by hanging, providing closure for a case which has drawn significant attention on Chinese social media platforms.
Hu mysteriously disappeared from his school on October 14, 2022. A local worker found his body hanging from a tree in the yard of a grain depot located near the Zhiyuan middle school where Hu was enrolled. The police identified the body as belonging to Hu after conducting DNA tests on biological materials recovered from the scene, Jiangxi police announced at the press conference.
Following a thorough investigation covering the school, the location where the body was recovered and other physical evidence, local police concluded that Hu had taken his own life by hanging.
There were no signs of a struggle at the scene of the body. Hu’s bones and organs all remain intact, according to police.
Police found a recording pen at the scene, which was confirmed to belong to Hu. His suicidal intent was confirmed through accessing two files retrieved from the recording pen, according to police.
The two files were separately recorded at about 20 minutes to 6 pm and 11 pm on October 14, 2022, the day he went missing. Police noted that there appeared to be no artificial synthesis or tampering of the recordings.
Footage of closed-circuit video in the school also showed that Hu walked to the balcony of the fifth floor of the dormitory at 5:40 pm on October 14, 2022, before attempting to jump off the building.
According to Jiangxi police, they had searched the grain depot on four occasions over recent months.
“Due to the deficiencies of our work, it took more than 100 days to find Hu. We will learn from the experience and continue to improve our work,” Hu Mansong, deputy director of Jiangxi public security department, said at the press conference.
Following extended investigation and analysis, psychological experts concluded that Hu was isolated and lacked emotional support. He also suffered from insomnia and cognitive dysfunctions such as inability to concentrate and memory difficulties after he started to study in the Zhiyuan middle school from September 2022 and was struggling academically.
An official from Qianshan education authority told media at the press conference that the tragic incident would lead to a renewed focus on students’ mental wellbeing.