Cops Use Relative To Nab Suspect In 28-Year Murder Case

Story By: John FengSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report

AsiaWire / Nanjing police

Chinese police investigating the gruesome rape and murder of a female medical student in the 1990s have finally announced the arrest of a suspect after 28 years.

The Nanjing Public Security Bureau, in the capital of Jiangsu Province in East China, said new technologies and search methods led to the arrest of the elusive suspect Ma Jigang, 53, on 23rd February.

Although his DNA was apparently not in their database, the new technologies allowed them to match the DNA from the crime scene with a relative of his, which in turn led to him.

AsiaWire / Nanjing police

Mr Ma is accused of raping and murdering Nanjing Medical University student Lin Ling shortly after she completed a self-study session and left a teaching building on 20th March 1992.

According to police reports from the time, after the victim was reported missing, her body was found face down in a sewer in the campus courtyard four days later in a case which shook the nation before going unsolved for nearly three decades.

An autopsy subsequently revealed that Ms Lin had been raped, killed and then shoved into the sewerage ditch by the perpetrator.

But despite a nationwide manhunt involving more than 15,000 personnel, investigators were limited by the tools available to them at the time, and the suspected murderer remained at large.

In a statement, Nanjing police said a breakthrough came on 19th February when DNA technology and new data-sorting techniques that meant they did not just need to find a match with the accused, but could also try and find a match with a close relative.

This led them to the suspect who was found still residing in the same city where he allegedly carried out the crime 28 years earlier.

Mr Ma was arrested four days later and confessed to the crime while in police custody, the authorities reported.

He works as a driver for Nanjing’s state-owned SUMEC corporation, and began the same year Ms Lin was murdered, reports said.

Ms Lin, who was a member of the class of 1988, is to be remembered by her alma mater once restrictions on public gatherings are lifted following the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Ma remains in custody as further investigations continue.

The victim’s family has yet to release a statement about the latest development in the case.

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John Feng

I am a senior journalist and editor, and have worked for a number of different news agencies over the last decade. I am currently editor-in-chief of the Asia Wire Report news wire.