Police in China have offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of a woman suspected of gouging out a six-year-old boy’s eyes.
The attack happened in Fenxi, Shanxi province, on 24 August.
The boy went out to play and hours later was found by his parents with his eyes removed and covered in blood.
The boy is now recovering in hospital. Police have offered a reward of 100,000 yuan ($16,340, £10,500) for information linked to the case.
“The boy was lured by an unknown woman on Saturday evening into a field, where she gouged out his eyes,” state news agency Xinhua reported.
The boy’s parents are said to be farmers. His mother said her son told them he was walking outside when a woman attacked him, state media reported.
Police found the boy’s eyeballs at the scene. Local reports initially said the corneas were missing, potentially pointing towards organ trafficking.
Police now say, however, that the corneas were not missing and they have yet to establish a motive for the attack.
“We are still working on it so we cannot offer any comment or make any assumption on the motives,” a police officer in Fenxi told the AFP news agency.
The boy was initially taken to a local hospital but was transferred to Shanxi Eye Hospital in the provincial capital, Taiyuan, on Sunday.
Local television footage showed family members trying to comfort the heavily-bandaged child.
“We had no disputes with anybody,” state news agency Xinhua reported quoted his mother as saying.
Doctors at the hospital say his condition is stable but he will be blind for life.
“He asks why the sky is always dark… and why the dawn still hasn’t come,” Beijing Youth Daily quoted an uncle of the boy as saying.
“We could only tell him that his eyes had some injury and have to be bandaged.
“It is such a difficult question to explain to him. It is the most heartbreaking thing.”