5 detained for spreading victim's photos in China's Didi Chuxing passenger murder

The logo of Didi Chuxing is seen at its headquarters in Beijing, China on May 18, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

ZHENGZHOU (XINHUA) - Five people have been detained for spreading crime scene photos of a female flight assistant who was killed by a ride-hailing driver, police in central China's Henan Province said Sunday (May 13).

Zhengzhou city police found that images of the victim's body were circulated on the Internet when handling the case, and launched an investigation, which revealed that an auxiliary police officer privately sent photos gathered at the scene to his friends on WeChat, who forwarded the photos to more WeChat groups.

The police officer and three of his friends have been under criminal detention since Saturday afternoon for "violation of personal information."

The investigation also found that a local resident took photos of the victim using a cellphone and published them on WeChat Moments, which soon went viral online.

The person was detained Saturday night for "insulting a corpse".

The 21-year-old woman was killed on May 6 after hailing an auto from China's car-hailing company Didi Chuxing in Zhengzhou.

Local police launched a hunt for the driver, who abandoned his vehicle and jumped into a river after allegedly killing the passenger.

At 4.30 am Saturday, police found a body in a river in Zhengzhou. DNA tests confirmed it was the suspect's body.

Chinese news website thepaper.cn reported on Thursday (May 10) that the woman had sent a text message to her colleague during the ride, saying the driver was "a bit of a pervert".

"He said I am pretty and wanted to kiss me. Luckily, I'm not sitting in the front seat," she had said in the message.

When her colleague called her, the woman said that she was fine, the report added.

On its official WeChat account, China's Ministry of Transport has announced plans to enhance regulation of the car-hailing industry.

The notice said that any car-hailing companies or drivers who offered hailing services without approved licenses would be added to the Close Attention List or Discredit Joint Punishment Subjects List.

Didi Chuxing Friday afternoon announced the nationwide suspension of its hitch service. The service is designed for commuter cost-sharing.

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