(REUTERS) BEIJING – Police in northern China launched a massive search Wednesday for a woman accused of gouging out the eyes of a 6-year-old boy.

Authorities in the city of Linfen in Shanxi province offered a $16,000 reward for the woman’s capture.

Police did not say if they had identified a suspect, and the boy said only that the woman spoke with an accent from outside the area. State media said the boy was recovering in a hospital, but had lost his sight permanently following the brutal ordeal Saturday.

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