China Wants US Help With 19-Year-Old Poisoning Mystery

Zhu Ling's poisoning was never solved

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 6, 2013 10:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – An unsolved poisoning case has enthralled China, 19 years after the fact, and now more than 112,000 people have signed a petition asking the White House to investigate and deport a former suspect who is said to have moved to the US. Zhu Ling was a chemistry student at a top Chinese university when she was poisoned with Thallium in 1994, the Christian Science Monitor explains. She survived, but is now almost blind, paralyzed, and suffering from brain damage. Her case attracted quite a bit of attention at the time owing to the fact that she was young, smart, and attractive; it was never solved, and now a recent, similar poisoning has re-ignited interest.

Police investigated Zhu's roommate, Sun Wei, who was said to have access to Thallium, but she was never charged due to a lack of evidence. Many speculated, however, that evidence was actually covered up because Sun's family was politically connected. She changed her name and is thought to live in the US now; in 2005, she even issued a statement declaring her innocence, the New Republic adds. The case was brought back to the forefront of public attention last month, when a student was arrested for fatally poisoning his university roommate. A journalist who has followed the case doubts the petition will do any good, but the Chinese government has definitely taken notice: Censors were briefly removing social media posts about the case, but now even state media are calling for further investigation.

  (Shutterstock)
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