The Case of Gao Yingying

(Dahe News based upon Democracy and Legal System Magazine)  The Earthquake in Xiangfan Government Exposed the Mystery of the Death of a Young Girl.  July 5, 2006.

[in translation]

An anti-corruption campaign took down senior Xiangfan officials such as Sun Chuyin and others and it also brought closure to certain corruption cases.  But the case of the death of citizen Gao Yingying is still full of mystery.

For the people of Xiangfan, the name Gao Yingying is quite familiar, and it will bring tears to many.  No matter whether it is a People's Congress representative, a news reporter, a taxi cab driver or a small business person, they can tell this reporter about tragic life of Gao Yingying and the unusual circumstances that surround her death.

To the northwest of Xiangfan city in Hubei province, there is Laohekou city.  Ten miles away from Laohekou City is the Baoshi Hotel.  On the evening of March 15, 2002, a young girl died there.

At 10:20pm, Laohekou city Zhaogang town citizen Gao Tianfu was about to go to bed when he suddenly received a call from the female boss of Baoshi Hotel Wang Shujun: "Your daughter has disappeared!  You must come to the hotel immediately."

Gao Tianfu and his wife Chen Xuerong went through the dark night and arrived at the hotel several kilometers away at around 11pm.  Chen Xuerong saw Wang Shujun and her younger sister on the fourth floor.  The two of them told Chen: "Gao Yingying went to deliver tea on the ninth floor and she has not been seen since for more than one hour."

Five minutes later, the boss Wang Shujun told Chen: "She's been found.  She's been found."  Chen saw her daughter being carried from the third-floor hall.  Her daughter's face was covered with blood, several buttons on her blouse were undone, her waist belt and shoes were missing, her face and stomach had scratch marks and both her wrists were bruised.  Reportedly, her daughter had fallen down from the ninth floor and landed on the platform on top of the laundry room behind the hotel building.

Chen embraced her daughter and felt two cold hands.  The boss Wang Shujun immediately sent Gao to the hospital.  When Gao arrived at Number Two People's Hospital in Laohekou, the doctor pronounced her dead.

Gao Tianfu and his wife felt that their world had ended.  Who was responsible for the death of their daughter?  When Gao Tianfu asked the hotel boss's young brother Wang Yong if the police had been notified, he said: "If you want to file a police report, we will stay away."

At that moment, Gao Tianfu's younger brother Gao Tiancheng arrived at the hospital.  He used his mobile phone to dial 110, but could not get through.  So Gao Tiancheng went personally to the police station to file a report.  The police came to the hotel, but said that it was too dark and they would come again tomorrow morning.  So the public security officers left the scene of death without looking further.

"After the incident, we couldn't get through to 110.  Why didn't the public security people come to examine the scene that night?  Why didn't they secure the scene?"  Gao and his wife never understood.

Gao and Chen also did not understand about the evidence contained in Gao Yingying's suitcase in the dormitory.  There were diaries and clothing which could have been useful.  But when the public security officers opened up her suitcase, they did not examine the evidence and they took no notes.  The public security people were incredibly sloppy and careless.  But everything else afterwards was even more surprising.

The next afternoon (Mach 16), the Laohekou city political and legal committee and public security office leaders told Gao and Chen: "Based upon an examination of the scene, Gao Yingying committed suicide."

Gao and Chen believed that the conclusion was inconsistent with the facts and strongly demanded an investigation of the truth of their daughter's death.

Five days before Gao Yingying died, she went home once and told her parents that a certain city leader was after her and invited her to dine, but she refused.

Gao Yingying also told her parents that it was a complicated situation at the hotel, but she would never do anything to disappoint her parents.  She will tolerate certain things, but she will not tolerate certain other things.  She intended to collect her pay for that month and then quit.

An eyewitness told the reporter: "At just past 8am the next day, I saw Gao Yingying's body at the Laohekou Number Two People's Hospital.  My first intuition is that this was not a case of suicide via jumping down a building.  She must have been murdered!  The most obvious sign was that her throat showed prints of the hands strangling her.  Several of the buttons on her blouse were undone, and one of them was buttoned incorrectly.  The zipper on her pants was undone.  At that moment, someone reminded Gao Yingying's relatives to surreptitiously take photographs of the conditions of her injury."

During the process of preparing this report, the reporter saw those preserved photographs.  In the photographs, Gao Yingying was already a corpse.  There were various scratch marks and bruises on her eyelids, wrists, neck and right ear.  These could not have been caused by the collision after falling down a building.

But if this was a suicide, where were her shoes and waist belt?  Why was her blouse improperly buttoned?  Why were buttons missing?  Why was her zipper opened?

The hotel had varying explanations of what Gao Yingying was up to.  The boss said that she went to add tea; a department manager said that she went to provide change; another manager said that she went to add hot water.  What were there so many different reasons?

Hotel worker Guo Yanjing offered the following written testimony: "The hotel rules stipulates that all workers must stay at their stations.  I and Gao Yingying were responsible for the fourth floor and lower.  So how could Gao Yingying have gone upstairs from the fourth floor?  What I stated here is true, and I will testify as such no matter which cadre or leader wants to ask me."

Another co-worker told Gao Tianfu after Xiangfan Party Secretary Sun Chuyin was placed under the "double regulations": "Sun Chuyin has been arrested.  So your time has come.  Go and complain now."  That call encouraged Gao Tianfu to seek justice for his daughter.  According to what people living around the Baoshi hotel told this reporter, there had been more than one death/disappearance of young girls at this hotel.

According to an informed source, it was already too late when the public security office arrived to examine the scene.  The Baoshi Hotel had immediately did what they needed to during the preceding night, including changing the underwear of Gao Yingying.  But due to the hard impact of Gao Yingying falling down the building, certain residual material inside Gao's vagina dripped onto the new underwear.

When Gao Yingying's aunt was interviewed, she told the reporter that when they changed Gao Yingying's clothes, they observed bite marks on one of her nipples.  This important detail was not noted by the legal doctor.

The legal doctor conducted the regular examination.  He took some photographs, he examined injury marks and then he left.  This physical examination for a major case was finished in less than ten minutes.  The legal doctor had no explanation for the exterior injuries and did not provide a cause of death to the family.  He merely said verbally that "it was an accident."  When the family relatives asked him about the bruise marks on the neck and wrists and the obvious handprints, the legal doctor said: "I say that they are related to her death."

Why was the forensic examination so sloppy?  Why was the important evidence not sealed?  Why was no sample taken and analyzed from the vagina?  Why?

After the legal' doctor's examination, the body was moved to the funeral home by order of the public security bureau.  That afternoon, many leaders from the Laohekou city government came to meet with the family to talk about the arrangements and they wanted a cremation as quickly as possible.  The family demanded to meet with the hotel owner Wang Shujun, but they were ignored.

Gao and Chen demanded an investigation of the cause of death of their daughter, but the Laohekou government leaders rejected him.  Finally, on the morning of March 17, the angry family moved the body from the funeral home to the third floor of the Baoshi Hotel in order to demand justice.  To prevent the body from being moved, the family had people guarding the room day and night.

In early morning of March 18, 2002, a large number of police officers and armed police officers showed up at the Baoshi Hotel.  Armed with batons, they beat and dispersed the family members on guard and then moved the body to the funeral home.

According to the people, all the 3P girls and service workers at the Baoshi Hotel were dismissed the next day and the boss Wang Shujun and her brethren also vanished.

So who had the power to direct the Laohekou government leaders, the police officers and the armed police officers to seize the body?

At around 11am on March 18, 2002, a deputy secretary of the Laohekou City Political and Legal Committee told Gao Tianfu in the office of the funeral home: "It does not matter whether you agree or not, the body will be cremated today.  If you sign the papers, we can give you some money.  If you won't sign, we will cremate the body anyway, you won't get a cent and your relatives will be dismissed from their jobs."

On March 19, at the office of the Laohekou City Political and Legal Committee, a leader took out the previously prepared "The Compensation Agreement related to the accidental death of Gao Yingying" and asked Gao Tianfu to sign in order to receive 49,000 RMB.  Party A in the agreement was Gao Tianfu and Party B was the "City Committee Working Group."  According to the agreement, once Party A receives the compensation/subsidy for the death and the funeral expenses, it promises not to go after any party.

Based upon what the hotel and the public security department said, Gao Yingying committed suicide at the hotel.  So why is the "City Committee Working Group" showing up to sign an agreement with the family?

Due to their persistent doubt about the suicide conclusion of the public security bureau, Gao and Chen have been working out of town and whenever they make two or three hundred RMB, they would petition the case.  The source of their will to seek justice for their daughter was based upon a firm piece of evidence.

When Gao Yingying was forcibly cremated, Gao Tianfu evaded the siege and asked a lawyer to send Gao Yingying's white underpants at her death to the Hubei province Tongji Hospital Forensic Department for analysis.

On July 31, 2002, the Forensic Analysis Center concluded definitively that there was sperm on the white underpants.

According to informed sources, the culprit responsible for the death of Gao Yingying must be closely tied to Sun Chuyin and other corrupt officials.  An ordinary person would not have the means to direct the Laohekou City leaders to mobilize the police officers and armed police officers to seize the body.

An old cadre in Xiangfan city angrily told the reporter: the many suspicious points about this case have caused strong reactions among the people and the impact on society and the image of the Party was extremely bad.  The public security bureau should get to the bottom of it and punish the murderer!

(Chutian Jinbao)  Experts explain away doubts about the death of Gao Yingying in detail.  August 18, 2006.

[in translation]

The death of Gao Yingying in Xiangfan drew broad social attention after media coverage.  On August 18, a press conference was held in Wuhan where the Xiangfan People's Government News Office responded to the various doubts about the cause of the death of Gao Yingying one by one.

1.  The public security bureau "seized the body" in order to prevent a mass incident.

At 11:33pm on March 15, 2002, the Laohekou city public security bureau 110 command center received a report from the Baoshi Hotel that female service worker Gao Yingying leapt out of the building.  Gao was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

After receiving the call, investigators from the Laohekou city public security criminal investigation unit went to the scene, examined the body and interrogated people related to the case.  In the morning of March 16, crime technicians examined the scene and the medical doctor examined the body.  Photographs were taken of the manner of death, the conditions of the clothing and the situation at the scene.  They confirmed that this was a suicide by jumping out of the building.

At 4pm on March 16, the Laohekou public security bureau formally notified the family of Gao Yingying that Gao Yingying committed suicide.  The relatives demanded a compensation of 200,000 RMB from the Baoshi Hotel.  Because the amount was too big, the Hotel refused.

At around 10am on March 17, the Gao family brought the body over to the entrance of the Baoshi Hotel, they placed flowers, they set up a memorial shed, they played funeral music and they put out banners, thus creating havoc with access to the hotel.

On the morning of March 18, after many attempts at persuasion failed, the Laohekou public security bureau followed the "People's Police Laws" which allowed forceful dispersion, eviction or detention in the face of a serious mass action.

The action of the public security bureau was forced upon them but it is in accordance with the law.

2. Gao Yingying committed suicide by leaping to her death

After repeated examination at the scene, the deceased was shown to have cross over the balustrade.  The dust on the balustrade showed signs that someone brushed over them.  Therefore, the forensic doctor determined that the deceased intentionally crossed the balustrade.

From the repeated examination of the scene on March 15, 2002, it can be seen that from the stairwell to the top of the building, there was a wall of wooden balustrade on the inside.  The balustrade formed a protected wall that was 90 centimeters tall.  It is impossible for someone to fall out by tripping alone.  On one row, the dust was brushed off to show that someone had crossed over it.  From a series of photographs at the scene, it can be seen that the window sill had signs of being stepped upon.  From the angle, strength and width, these were determined to have been formed by human feet.  There were no signs of fighting at the stairwell, wall, balustrade and glass windows.  Therefore, it was concluded that the deceased had intentionally leaped out of a high floor and died when she hit the ground.  The possibility that someone else caused her to fall was excluded.

According to the four photographs supplied by Gao Yingying's family, the conclusions based upon the relevant laws and regulations were: there was large amounts of blood from the nose and mouth; the skull bone was severely fractured; the face was mildly swollen; bruised blood was observed on the head; bleeding under the right chin; the legs were twisted, with multiple fractures; the upper body was undamaged, which showed that the deceased fell with both feet hitting the ground, and that indicates that she had enough consciousness to be able to keep her feet together at the moment of impact.

The deceased did not fall because she was cleaning windows at the time, and there were not tools for cleaning windows at the scene.  The 90 centimeter balustrade excluded the possibility that she fell by accident.

3. The buttons and clothes were torn off and the zipper was undone, and these are common phenomenon when people fall down from a height.

The body of the deceased did not exhibit any obvious external injuries.  The buttons and clothes were torn off ad the zipper was undone.  These are common phenomenon when people fall down from a height.

The re-investigation team conducted three experiments using human body models that matched Gao Yingying in height and weight.  The models were let go from the ninth floor and fell to the ground.  During all three experiments, the zippers broke.  The experiments showed that the point of impact of the human models was basically at the same spot where Gao Yingying fell.

4. An investigation of the time and place of Gao Yingying's activities preclude the  possibility of death at the hands of others.

At around 8pm on March 15, 2002, Gao Yingying went to the seventh floor water room to get hot water.  At around 830pm, she went to the ballroom on the fifth floor to get change.  From 900pm onwards, she was at the bar on the ninth floor.  At 10pm, the ballroom manager Wang realized that Gao Yingying was missing.  Wang said that Gao Yingying was mentally abnormal and so he was concerned that there might be a problem.  At around 1040pm, Wang telephoned Gao Yingying's parents to tell them about the problem and asked them to come to the hotel to help find her.  At around 11pm, on the third floor platform, Gao Yingying was discovered by the hotel handyman Wei.  The hotel staff and the parents of Gao Yingying immediately took her to Laohekou Number Two Hospital.  During the process, Gao Yingying died.  All the hotel staff on duty that day verified this point.  Furthermore, all the people who worked, stayed or gambled at the hotel confirmed that they did not hear any sound of fighting or call for help.  Therefore, there is no evidence of murder by another party.

5. The investigation showed that Gao Yingying's mental behavior was abnormal

Through interviewing, Gao Yingying's high school teacher Li Shengliang and several classmates testified that Gao often laughed out aloud in class for no apparent reason, or nap during class, or engage in other peculiar behavior.

In a testimony, Gao Yingying's teacher Li Shengliang said: "In June 2000, I realized that Gao Yingying's mental problems were getting more severe.  The students often report that Gao Yingying often got into quarrels with others.  Later on, I reported the problem to Gao Yingying's mother and asked her to take Gao Yingying for treatment."

School worker Zhang and the classmates of Gao Yingying named Zhao and Gong also testified that Gao Yingying had unusual mental behavior during her high school years.

Laohekou private doctor Liu had treated Gao Yingying before and he testified: "Everybody on the street knew that Gao Yingying had mental problems.  I recommended to her mother Chen to take her to a big hospital.  I believed that she is schizophrenic.  Chen said that Gao Yingying did not sleep well and is under a great deal of mental stress, and therefore, her problems are caused by a case of weak nerves."

Gao Yingying's colleagues at the Baoshi Hotel confirmed also that Gao Yingying had unusual mental behavior at work and she was taking medicine the whole time.

On July 27, 2006, the public security bureau personnel went through Gao Yingying's possessions and discovered a note and a letter of resignation.  The noted said: "I am a person about to die."  At the same time, they found a resignation letter written in February 2002: "Due to personal reasons, I can no longer work at the hotel.  Therefore, I apply to resign.  Please give permission."  The public security bureau verified that these were in Gao Yingying's handwriting.

6. The public security bureau has verified: the sperm on the underpants came from Gao Tianfu

On March 15, 2002, the special case investigators took blood samples from all the males at Baoshi Hotel.  More than 20 samples were drawn, including from the son of former Xiangfan City party secretary Sun Chuyin's son.  The samples were taken to the public security bureau's testing center.  At the same time, the special case squad took oral tissues samples from Gao Tianfu.  At the testing center, three experts compared the DNA in the sperm on the underpants against the other samples.  Only Gao Tianfu showed a match, and therefore it was concluded that the sperm on the underpants came from Gao Tianfu.

According to information, after the incident occurred, the several dozens of Gao family relatives refused to let Gao Yingying's clothing be removed.  Her father Gao Tianfu took hold of the seven items on her boy and never turned them over to the police.  Instead, it was stored in a wooden box outside of Hubei province.

Later, Gao Tianfu sent the sperm-stained underpants to the public security bureau's testing center for testing.  The whole process was video-taped and audio-taped.  The DNA comparison showed the probability that the sperm came from Gao Tianfu was greater than 99.9999%.

7.  The death of Gao Yingying is unrelated to Sun Chuyin

In the article "The Death of Gao Yingying", a certain magazine claimed that while the police closed the case as a suicide, the masses continue to firmly believe that Gao Yingying was raped and killed.  Furthermore, it claimed that this was related to the corruption case of former Xiangfan party secretary Sun Chuyin and it speculated that the perpetrator was Sun Chuyin's son.

The investigation by the public security bureau showed that Gao Yingying crossed over the balustrade at the hotel and leaped to her death.  There is no possibility of murder by others, and the case is unrelated to Sun Chuyin or other people involved in the corruption case.

The magazine has already lost its legal case in its speculation that Sun Chuyin's son murdered Gao Yingying, and it has been asked to apologize and make compensation for causing mental anguish.

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