A Chinese couple has been detained by authorities in connection with hitting a woman with a car, and then allegedly burying her alive in the Zhejiang province.
According to Reuters, police believe the couple hit a 68-year-old woman after spending an evening out partying at a karaoke bar. While a definite conclusion on the case has not been made, authorities believe the couple was under the influence of alcohol and thought the woman dead after the car crash. It is also alleged the duo buried the woman.
Except she may not have been dead, authorities believe she was buried alive.
Chinese media reported a witness said he heard cries and saw an elderly woman on the ground near the car. "A man and a woman got out and put the elderly woman in the car, saying they would send her to hospital" per the victim's recollection, noted police.
According to China Daily, a publicity officer from Yuyao public security bureau said, "It's certain the woman was not dead when buried," adding, "Legal medical experts detected particles identical to those in the surrounding soil in her lungs, which indicates she was still breathing."
The man, identified only as Zhou, also said, "Preliminary judgment of the cause of death is brain injury by the impact from the car and asphyxia."
The accident is believed to have occurred on Apr. 30, and construction workers from a site in the city of Yuyao called police about an abandoned car with no license plates on May 1. Officers came out to the site and examined the car. Later on, police received a report about a body found buried in the mud nearby, located 300 meters from where the car had been deserted. Marks on the body and bloodstains in the car helped police piece the events together.
The two individuals, both 25, believed to be connected with this "hit and bury" case were arrested on May 9.
Shen Ning, a criminal lawyer from Shanghai Watson and Band Law Firm told China Daily, "The approximate time of death and even the conditions at the site can be restored by forensic science." If found the victim was buried prior to death, it may be considered to be intentional homicide, Shen said.
This incident has "sparked outrage over declining public morality," reported Reuters.
Last fall, Digital Journal reported on another horrific incident where a hit-and-run of a 2-year-old child occurred in China, graphic video footage showed people walking right by the child laying in the street.