(Associated Press) Chinese authorities said Wednesday that they suspect the woman who gouged out a 6-year-old boy’s eyes was his aunt and that she later killed herself, in a surprising twist to a gruesome case.

The attack horrified the Chinese public and added to outrage over violence against children in the wake of a scandal earlier in the year involving teachers sexually abusing young girls. This time, heart-wrenching images and footage of the wailing child in hospital have circulated on the Internet as news commentaries slammed the brutality of the attack.

“Mama, why is the sky still so dark?” the child was quoted as saying while recovering in a hospital, his parents unable to bring themselves to tell him about his condition.

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