Elderly Chinese woman rescued three days after being ‘buried alive by son’

Zhuang Pinghui

A man in northwest China has been detained after his 79-year-old mother was buried alive.

The woman, who was partially paralysed, was rescued after three days and is in a stable condition in a hospital in Shaanxi province, police said.

Prosecutors in Jingbian county said the woman’s son, a 58-year-old identified only by his surname Ma, had been charged with attempted murder.

On Tuesday his wife told local police that Ma had taken the bedridden woman named Wang away on a cart and she had not returned home.

Police said the man had confessed to burying her in the woods and she was rescued later that day.

The elderly woman is now recovering in hospital. Photo: Handout

“Ma was there when police were digging up the two metre deep grave. He didn’t say anything or respond when he saw his mother was still alive,” an unidentified Jingbian police official told news portal Thepaper.cn.

The website reported that Ma had been sent to live with his uncle after his father died, while his mother remarried and moved to Gansu province with her younger son when Ma was 12 years old.

The mother returned to Jingbian a few years ago to live with the younger son after her second husband died and only moved in to Ma’s house last year when her health started to deteriorate.

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Police said Ma began to resent her presence after she became bedridden after a fall last November and he complained that her incontinence was making the house smell bad.

A statement from the national health commission and national office of elderly care called for severe punishment for the man and said he had “crossed the bottom line in law, morality and human relations”.

The two organisations have sent staff to Jingbian county to help with the woman’s medical treatment and rehabilitation, and to arrange her future care.

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