On Aug. 24, the parents of Guo Bin, 6, found him covered in blood with horrific injuries. His eyes had been gouged out. This week the authorities in China have accused the boy's late aunt, Zhang Huiying, of carrying out the attack.
When news of the boy's attack and injuries broke it sent out shock-waves and horrified people in China.
How could any person injure a small child in such a way?
News that his aunt is believed to have been responsible adds to the horror.
Initial reports claimed that Guo was attacked in a field by an unknown person. Six days after Guo Bin, also known as Bin-Bin, was attacked, his aunt, Zhang Huiying, killed herself by jumping into a well. She is now the prime suspect. Huiying's clothing was bloodstained following the attack but there is no other hard evidence. According to Ottawa Citizen, her state of mind at the time was questionable:
In an interview with the Beijing News published Thursday, Zhang's husband described how the woman's mental state unraveled in her final days.
Early reports claimed that the corneas of both eyes were missing leading to suspicions of organ trafficking but police later refuted that claim. Other reports pointed to a family quarrel between the boy's parents and the aunt but his mother told AP "I have heard that someone said we had a dispute over taking care of the grandfather, but that is just a lie."
In what was a gruesome attack a tool was used and Guo's eyeballs were found at the scene. As the boy recovers in hospital, Hong Kong-based eye expert Dennis Lam is hopeful that he can restore sight to Guo. He has offered free treatment.
Lam has an eye hospital in Shenzhen, in southern China. He has now requested permission from Guo-Bin's parents to move him to that facility. According to ABC News if they agree he has said he can be given a pair of false eyes as soon as next week.
The treatment is still in the early stages of development but has been successfully used in Japan and Europe. Lam hopes that in the long term bionic eyes, linked directly to Guo Bin's brain will help him partially regain his sight.
One of the doctors in the team told the SCMP that Guo Bin "seemed cheerful given that he has gone through so much. He is a very brave boy" reports BBC News.
Medical advances mean that this child could see again but surely he will carry mental scars of this brutal attack?