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Remains found in NW China’s Qinghai confirmed as missing student's

By CANG WEI in Nanjing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-08-02 14:23

Police in Golmud, Northwest China's Qinghai province, confirmed on Saturday that a female college student, who had been reported missing since early July, died in Hoh Xil after DNA testing revealed remains discovered in the Hoh Xil Nature Reserve were hers.

Police found an ID card, student card and belongings of the missing student, Huang Yumeng, scattered in a uninhabited area on the south side of the Qingshui River in the nature reserve, according to the Golmud Public Security Bureau.

They found bone tissues at the site after an investigation and confirmed her death after comparing the DNA in the bones with her parents. Homicide was ruled out after a preliminary investigation.

No blood was found on the clothes left at the site and it was speculated that Huang might have taken sleeping pills to induce a coma before dying in the extreme cold at night in Hoh Xil, according to one of the rescue teams searching for Huang.

Hoh Xil, which covers 4.5 million hectares of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, has a large uninhabited area, where fierce wild animals and extreme weather pose great danger to even experienced travelers.

The case is still under investigation, police said.

Huang, 24, was a senior at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She traveled to Golmud alone after failing to graduate this summer.

She arrived in Golmud from Nanjing, about 2,700 kilometers away, on July 5 by train. She then took a taxi on July 7 to Hoh Xil and told the taxi driver that she would stay in a tent that she carried with her to the nature reserve.

One of Huang's teachers reported her missing on July 8. Police later discovered that she had visited many tourist attractions in Golmud before July 13. Her ID card information was recorded at a toll station with no surveillance cameras on a road connecting Golmud to the Tibet autonomous region that day. There has been no trace of her since then.

In an open letter to the public on Saturday, Huang's father said that he and her mother were devastated.

"Children are gifts given to us by Heaven," the father said in the letter. "Cherish them, love them and protect them to stop similar tragedies from happening again."

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