Universitysophomore owns up to 'murder'

14:53, January 04, 2010      

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University starts offering mental help to students after alleged killing in hotel

A second-year university student surrendered to Haidian police on Saturday morning with claims she had murdered a female classmate in a hotel.

Beijing police informed the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB) on Saturday morning that a student surnamed Duan from its mechanical engineering school had called the police, saying she had "killed" her classmate surnamed Zhao the night before in the 7 Days Inn Hotel near the China Agriculture University, according to a press release on USTB's website.

The Beijing Times reported the full names of the students as Duan Xiaoyu and Zhao Qiurui.

A waiter in a restaurant next to the hotel said he saw several police officers taking pictures in the hotel on Saturday night. When requested by the METRO reporter, the staff working on the hotel's information desk said they could not find any information on the two students who checked in the hotel on Friday night.

"There were many guests in the hotel talking about the murder this morning," a member of staff said.

The university's website also said USTB has established an emergency response team to cooperate with the police. The university is providing the psychological consultation for students in the two women's class.

No cause to the tragedy was given by the police or university.

METRO tried to call the students' work office, which is part of the team yesterday morning, but a man in the office hung up the phone without allowing the reporter to finish her first question on the case.

The faculty of mechanical engineering school said all students are "fine". "I have reported all information on the two women to the university management, and I am working with the emergency response team to provide the psychological consolation to all students," said a faculty member surnamed Zhao who was supervising the women. He refused to answer any more questions.

The case has become the most commented topic on the students' online forums.

Most students said that they were shocked by the murder. However, more than 20 comments were deleted, and no comment was published after 1 pm on Sunday.

According to the Beijing Times, Duan and Zhao enrolled in the university in September 2008, with a major of industrial design. Classmates said the two were quite close.

"Duan spent most of her time in Zhao's dorm everyday," a female student who wanted to be identified as Lin Xia said. She also said Duan is from Beijing and good at sketching.

"She was straightforward and always spoke loudly in her dorm."

Duan was described as a gifted person. Many students turned to her when they have IT problems. But Lin said she had found she "cut herself on her left arm with knife."

On a social networking website, Duan posted her photo with a message saying: "The year-end atmosphere is festive."

The newspaper said Zhao was an outgoing girl from Hubei province.

"She dyed her hair white last year and it surprised the whole class," a student was quoted yesterday.

Only 10 days ago, a male student from the university was charged with hostage taking by the Haidian police, for holding two clients as hostages and demanding money from a bank on campus.

Source: China Daily
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