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September 21, 2017

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Legislator, family question verdict; seek truth of girl's 'suicide'

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yang Chih-chieh (楊智傑) and the relatives of a girl who allegedly committed suicide held a press conference yesterday, questioning the investigation of the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) into the girl's death, as well as the judgment of the Taoyuan District Court (TDC).

The girl's relatives claimed that the judgment and handling of the matter by the court and prosecution were rough and problematic.

The deceased 16-year-old, Yang Yan-ling (楊晏綾), was found dead on the lawn of her apartment building with a knife in her right hand in July 2013. Her mother Chen Yu-chun (陳玉純) later accused a 16-year-old teenage boy, surnamed Wu, of murdering her daughter.

However, the TDPO's investigation concluded that the girl had committed suicide. The TDC's juvenile court also followed the investigation and ruled the teenage boy to be innocent.

Chen Yu-chun said she believes that the TDPO did not investigate all the available evidence. She said that she views Wu as the prime suspect, because he lives in the same apartment building and had been admiring her daughter. She also pointed out that Wu had lied to the court when he said that he was at school when the incident took place.

Yang Yan-ling's uncle Chen Yu-shen (陳育紳) provided evidence that Wu did not go to school that day with footage from the building's surveillance cameras. Chen Yu-chun added that according to forensic expert Kao Da-cheng, there were some bits of skin under her daughter's fingernails, and minor traces of blood on the knife; both were reported to be from one or two unidentified females. Moreover, three scratches were found on Yang Yan-ling's back, and were likely made before her death.

According to Kao Da-cheng, there is an 80-percent chance that the girl's death was a homicide, yet the TDPO ignored all the important evidence. The mother also said she dare not cremate her daughter, because the body is the only evidence she has.

Chen Yu-chun said she had proposed a counter-appeal to the High Court, and is calling for the court to give her a fair judgment.

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