Daily News from New York, New York on January 11, 1998 · 23
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Daily News from New York, New York · 23

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New York, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 11, 1998
Page:
23
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J 3 CM Ul OQODSGDII Dddod goof s V7i'l LU z a By PATRICE O'SHAUGHNESSY Daily News Staff Writer The death of 11-year-old Chinese immigrant Quin Rong Wu is not just the awful, simple tragedy of a child murdered. It goes beyond the newcomers' dream crushed by a heinous crime in their adopted homeland. It is a tale of a clash between the American justice system and Old World mores. Seven months after the slay- ture. ing, the case remains un- Then it was revealed that solved, hampered by lack of the Wus had had an infant evidence and witnesses, and clouded by language barriers and cultural differences. Police sources think the family should be more cooperative and are surprised Quin Rong's parents never inquire about the investigation. Her father, Qun Sheng Wu, said he only wants the police to find the killer. "I didn't go to them. I wasn't sure if I should ask them or not," he said last week. The family received more than $100,000 in donations, and some who helped raise the money are puzzled that the Wus have This is a tragedy . . and we're still living with it." PRINCIPAL DAVID FONG closeted themselves. Cops still don't know whether Quin Rong was killed by a stranger or someone she knew. What is certain is that a young girl was strangled and thrown in the East River, never to grow up in a place that must have seemed golden to her. Quin Rong Wu was last seen alive May 13, when her mother walked her part of the way to Public School 2, down Henry St. from the tenement she shared with her parents, an older sister and a little brother. She spoke few words of English, but she liked school and eagerly headed there each morning, where she was served muffins and cereal for breakfast Quin Rong and her family had arrived here from Guan-dong province 17 months earlier. In China, she had never lived with them; she lived an hour away with relatives to circumvent China's family planning laws. When she didn't arrive at school, a massive search was launched. The Wus burned incense and prayed. A witness told police that twice on the day Quin Rong disappeared she saw a bearded man on a lower East Side subway with a young Asian girl. A sketch of the man was released. Quin Rong's body was found in the East River near Pike St on May 28. The cause of death was "manual strangulation," choked by hands. The water washed away valuable forensic evidence. The city mourned, and her $10,000 funeral was attended by the mayor, top city politicians and prominent China town leaders. Rewards were offered Cor' JieV kUler';eap-vW daughter who died in China. The parents told police different stories about how she died, raising investigators' suspicions. As the case faded from the public eye, the family returned to their routine of hard work and Spartan existence. Quin Rong's clothes and belongings remain untouched in the Wus' tiny apartment, in case the police need them, Qun Sheng, 44, said, speaking in monotone in Toisan dialect as he smoked a cig-aret in the cluttered kitchen. "We are not happy. . . . The fam ily has lost one person," he said through an interpreter. His voice became louder and emotional and his eyes teary. He said his wife. You Qin, quit her seamstress job at a Canal St garment factory because the work had slowed and she was still sick from her daughter's death. His surviving daughter, Hua Rong, 17, attends Seward Park High School. The youngest child, Jia Rong, 8, is in second grade at PS 2, and his mother escorts him to and from school every day. Asked if he misses his sister, the boy paused and nodded and said in English, "I miss her fun." At the school, where most of the students are from China's Fukien province, "there is still fear," said David Fong, principal. "This is a tragedy for the family and the school, and we're still living with it" Detectives visited when school started last fall, but "no one talks about it much anymore," Fong said. Reward posters with Quin Rong's smiling face are still tacked up outside. Fong said his school raised $15,000 to fund Quin Rong's siblings' college education. The girl's death had also triggered a massive outpouring from other struggling Chinatown residents, who sent money to the Fukien American Association and a Chinese language radio station. Despite the financial aid, the family is living in dire con ditions, and Qun Sheng said heeds city officials to hefp " . v V ; r' ' r ' X ." isf ' V ; ; " : ' ' , .. i . - . . - ... ( - j sir J 7 ' ' F '''' " ' l' - , , . . ' . . " I - MAKY ALTAFFEU sr- )J Mill fc i fi 7 r itilttiitmiftiiM r " $i , - . i s him find a larger apartment Qun Sheng said he got $100,000, and after funeral expenses, he used the rest to open savings accounts for his children. He works from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. in a noodle factory and earns about $290 a week. They pay $700 a month for a walkup of two 6-foot-by-6-foot rooms crammed with a TV, VCR, piles of newspapers, bags of gtttfCFTe, k A. card. la. AT HOME: Qun Sheng Wu with his son, Jia Rong, 8. Asked if he misses his sister, Quin Rong (below I.), the boy says, "I miss her fun.". - f ble, folding chairs and two bunk beds are the only furniture. Meanwhile, police continue to pursue two angles: whether Quin Rong was snatched off the street and killed randomly, or if she died at the hands of someone close to her. They twice questioned John Hayward, a homeless man who fit the sketch of the man on the subway, last June. He has not been seen in a long, time, according to advocates at the Coalition for the Homeless, where Hayward used to receive mail. A police source said the diplomats at the Chinese Embassy had been cooperative until they were asked about the death of the Wus' infant daughter in China. "We have gotten no assistance from them," the source said. During an interview with the Daily News, Qun Sheng would not discuss the subject either.., , A , i police hrmTispkMlsife the Wus since shortly after" Quin Rong's funeraL J "It's unfortunate? t" We! find it discouraging," said Ste-jr ven Wong, of the Fukien American Association. - fThe family refused to cooperate with the police. "People felt bad for them. They sent 20s, 10s, '5s, thousands of people from every corner of the country. The people who care deserve to know what happened. We need to clear this up." Qun Sheng said that after his daughter was buried, he announced to the media that the family didn't want any more donations. "I wanted to work by myself," he said. Two years ago this Friday, they emigrated from China. When asked if he thinks of go ing back, he shakes his head adamantly. iJlSSJTi "It is a better life hereffbr the children," he said. "Aftjfei-my daughter's death, I though! crime was high in this country;, but for the young generation, I work very hard.. I know it is k good for my children." j - witiShivlii Mfe&a A .-... i .... a . i . t . u -G A a. & m u 2 -fc a. j- at a. .s : - tr k a m m a f 4 1 H i VVWJ4'444 iii M I

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