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Police officers praised for devotion to duty

By YANG ZEKUN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-08-02 08:44

Rao Huiying takes blood samples at the scene of a murder. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Female cop excels at grisly job

Editor's Note: The central government recently commended 982 units and 1,485 individuals in the national public security system for outstanding performances. Below, China Daily tells the stories of three awardees.

Blood-spattered, decomposing bodies in a stench-filled airtight room: Rao Huiying, a police officer in Southwest China's Yunnan province, has lost count of how many times she has walked into such crime scenes since joining the force 25 years ago.

As a woman, the 47-year-old member of the criminal investigation brigade in Xinping Yi and Dai autonomous county is a rarity in the history of the local public security sector.

Although her work usually deals with corpses and dirty, bloodstained items-things that are taboo for regular people-she has stuck to her post since she started the job.

Over the years, she has participated in the investigation of 4,200 crime scenes, the inspection of more than 800 bodies and over 100 autopsies of people who died from unnatural causes. Her efforts have helped solve nearly 1,000 cases.

"Solving cases is my duty and also the biggest achievement of my life," she said.

Earlier this year, two men disappeared in the county over a short period of time, which aroused the attention of local public security organs. Rao and her colleagues took part in the case. The initial investigation showed that the missing men knew each other, and they had disappeared near a rented house in the county seat.

Although the police detained a likely suspect, they lacked enough evidence to charge him with intentional homicide.

Rao pondered two questions: Where did the missing men go? And where was the crime scene?

Although it was a dense residential area, the bodies had not been found, and initial searches had failed to provide any clues. Rao and her colleagues visited the rented house again to conduct a more careful examination, including checking the ceilings, sewers and gaps in the floor tiles.

In the early hours of the morning, Rao noticed a thin, dry substance on a door frame that had been missed before as it was the same color as the frame.

She quickly identified it as a piece of human soft tissue, and the team found another tiny piece nearby.

When the samples were sent for analysis, the results showed that they belonged to the victims.

Faced with the evidence, the suspect confessed to having killed the men, dismembered their bodies and flushed the parts down the sewer system in the house.

Despite being faced with filthy conditions and the sickly smell of decomposition, Rao and her colleagues spent days searching sewers, septic tanks, rivers and landfills. They found about 1,350 pieces of human tissue, including the smallest, which was just 1 square centimeter.

"At the time, the quickest way to tell if the item was human soft tissue was to touch, pinch, then observe and smell it. I don't know how many times I washed my hands and showered during that period in case the smell upset my family," she said.

"There's nothing better than being able to do this job, as it aligns with my college major of criminal investigation and keeps me on the lookout for clues to solve crimes. I love it."

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