Girl Mysteriously Disappears in East China, Massive Search Underway

By Ryan Gandolfo, July 12, 2019

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UPDATE (July 13, 2019 4.55pm CST): This afternoon around 3pm, Zhang Zixin’s body was discovered at Songlan Shan Scenic Area in Ningbo’s Xiangshan county, according to Dushi Kuaibao. 

Ningbo authorities are currently looking for a 9-year-old girl who went missing earlier this week.

Zhang Zixin was last seen in the industrial port city on July 7. A cash reward of RMB20,000 is on offer for anyone who provides clues to the whereabouts of the young child.

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Image via @杨文战律师/Weibo

Zhang was taken from her home in Hangzhou by two tenants at a building her grandparents rent out. According to Beijing News, the tenants moved in on June 29, and three days later asked to take the girl to a wedding in Shanghai. On July 4 and 5, the grandmother and Zhang spoke on the phone several times, with the girl saying she was having fun. On Saturday, July 6, the male tenant told the grandparents that they could not buy a ticket home and that they would bring her back the following evening.

Surveillance footage identified the three altogether last Sunday near the front of the Golden Coast Hotel in Ningbo, roughly 154 kilometers away from Hangzhou and 149 kilometers from Shanghai.

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Image via @杨文战律师/Weibo

In a notice issued by police in Hangzhou on Wednesday, it was revealed that the tenants, a 43-year-old man and 46-year-old woman, died by suicide at around midnight on July 8. Their bodies were found tied together, floating in Dongqian Lake the following morning.

A land and sea search and rescue mission is currently underway to find Zhang, whose ID card was found at a seaside pavilion in Ningbo’s Xiangshan county.

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Screengrab via Weibo

The Paper reported that Zhang’s mother, who abandoned the family in 2015, recently resurfaced to file for a divorce from Zhang’s father. On July 6, the dad, who currently works in Tianjin, returned to Zhejiang to meet the mother and finalize the divorce. The mother disappeared shortly after and her whereabouts are also unknown.

Dushi Kuaibao interviewed Zhang’s father, who said that neither he nor his parents knew anything about the tenants who took his little girl. When the two tenants offered to take Zhang to their friend’s wedding, Zhang’s father did not give his consent but her grandparents allowed her to go anyway.

Hundreds of volunteers have been assisting police in the search and rescue mission. If you have any information regarding Zhang’s whereabouts, call 110 or contact the Xiangshan Police Department at 138 5825 0733.

[Cover image via @津门玄竹/Weibo]

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