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Man Pretended To Be Mute For Over A Decade - Now, He Actually Can't Speak

A suspect in a Chinese murder investigation has allegedly lost his ability to vocalize after he feigned being mute for 12 years. The man in question, known only as Zheng, was recently charged with murder after being accused of killing his wife’s uncle, a man known as Mr. Cao, during a heated rental dispute.

According to Oddity Central, the rental dispute began after Zheng refused to pay a 500-yuan (approximately $76) fee to Mr. Cao. While details remain scarce, local media outlets report that the tense exchange escalated into a violent confrontation when Zheng pulled out a knife and stabbed Mr. Cao in the stomach and shoulder.

After stabbing his wife’s uncle, Zheng quickly gathered his belongings and fled from his Hangzhou home in the Zhejiang Province. When Mr. Cao’s body was discovered, Chinese authorities quickly realized that Zheng had run away from the province.

In an attempt to change his appearance and blend in with his surroundings, Zheng was able to construct a false identity, and under the name Wang Gui, start begging in nearby towns and villages. To help sell his new identity as a beggar, Zheng wrote a short message on a sign, saying that he was a mute and needed money to feed himself and his family.

After several months, Zheng managed to secure a job in a tiny village located in the northerly Anhui Province. The runaway murder suspect proceeded to marry another woman and have another child. However, throughout this entire time period, Zheng never uttered a word, believing that speaking would compromise his mute identity and put himself and his new family at risk of discovery.

However, Zheng’s self-imposed silent exile imploded when a regional household police survey cast the spotlight on the mysterious identity of ‘Wang Gui’. Without proper identification papers, regional police suspected that the mute was either a criminal or dissident.

When Zheng was unable to produce any further evidence of his identity or birthplace, the suspected murderer was detained and transported to a nearby police station. When a local officer ran Zheng’s blood and DNA through the national database, the authorities immediately realized that they had accidentally detained a wanted murder suspect.

But when the police tried to question Zheng about the crime he allegedly committed, the interviewers found that the suspect couldn’t articulate anything properly. After 12 years of pretending to be mute and not saying a word, Zheng has now found himself actually mute. A report from Zhejiang Daily later specified that Zheng lost his voice because his vocal cords had atrophied from the long years of complete silence.

Initially, police – who ascertained that Zheng had been able to communicate easily around the time he allegedly killed Mr. Cao – believed that the Zheng was faking being a mute. However, police were forced to reclassify Zheng when medical staff diagnosed him with muteness derived from severe vocal cord degradation.

Since the medical experts made this conclusion, Zheng has been communicating with his arresting officers via writing. When police asked him why he had killed Mr. Cao, Zheng responded: “The less I say, the less chance I’ll make a mistake.”

Although modern medicine could help improve Zheng’s speaking abilities, the effort might be wasted if Zheng is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

Source: Oddity Central
Photo: Pixabay, YouTube

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