Eight days before his 16th birthday, Lei Wenfeng died at a care center in Xinfeng County, Guangdong Province.
Lei was originally from Hunan Province, but was living with his father in Shenzhen city.
Last August, he got lost and ended up in Dongguan city. The boy with autism was sent to the Lianxi Care Center. Forty-five days later, he was dead from typhoid and other complications.
It turned out that Lei was not the only victim of this squalid care center.
People in the neighborhood say Lianxi is a mysterious place, not always open to the public.
The truth finally came to light in a Beijing News investigation, after 20 people died in 49 days.
The head of Xinfeng county, Ma Zhiming, said, "Based on what we know now, the center's procedures and certificates are not fully qualified."
A dozen people crammed into a 15-square-meter room with a toilet that doesn't flush.
The thin youngsters are completely dependent on the care center. The Beijing News investigation revealed the center gets one to two million yuan a year. It also gets government subsidies. The investigative team found there are even government officials involved in the center.
The head of Xinfeng county, Ma Zhiming, said," "So far, we know the death rate in this care center is high. For precisely this reason, we have the special investigative team. Because it's difficult to determine the identity of the person in charge, it takes time to investigate."