Police in northern China charged a man with attempted murder after he allegedly buried his mother in an abandoned grave, where she was found traumatized but alive after three days covered by loose dirt. The man’s wife told police her husband carried his mother away in a wheelbarrow on May 2. When she failed to return three days later, police were informed and the man was placed in detention in Shaanxi province’s Jingbian county, the AP reports. Rescuers said despite the woman’s ordeal, she was faintly calling for help as she was freed, according to a police statement. The man was identified as a 58-year-old with the surname Ma. His 79-year-old mother is surnamed Wang.
The grave was about 6.5 feet deep, per the China Daily newspaper. The mother is partially paralyzed, and her son was apparently fed up with having to constantly take care of her. Public assistance in much of China is lacking, especially in poor rural areas, and families are generally expected to look after their elderly relatives. Local police couldn’t immediately be reached for additional comment, and an official reached by phone at the Jingbian county prosecutor’s office confirmed an investigation was underway but declined to give further details.