Man who pretended to be mute for 12 years now can’t talk

  • Murder suspect Mr Zheng, 45, has pretended to be a mute for 12 years
  • He stands accused for killing is wife’s uncle over an unpaid rent
  • Mr has now lost the ability to speak due to underuse, Chinese media claims

A Chinese murder suspect who pretended to be a mute in an attempt to conceal his past ended up losing the power of speech for real, a local newspaper reported.

The man, only identified by his known by the surname Zeng, allegedly killed his wife’s uncle following a rent dispute over 500 yuan (£57) in 2005.

Zeng, then aged 33, left his village in the eastern province of Zhejiang in 2005, and has spent the following 12 years pretending not to be able to speak. 

Pretending: The Chinese murder suspect named only as Mr Zheng, lost the ability to speak after pretending to be mute for 12 years (stock image)

He  managed to find a job on a construction site in another province, changed his name, got married and became a father.

But local police eventually became suspicious at Zeng’s lack of identity papers.

Schtum: Zheng did not speak for 12 years

Schtum: Zheng did not speak for 12 years

They ordered a blood test and discovered last October that his DNA closely matched that of the parents of the murderer wanted for 12 years.

Zeng confessed in writing. 

‘After 12 years of silence, he can no longer speak,’ according to the newspaper.

‘By not speaking, I was not going to say anything stupid,’ Zeng told police in writing.

He faces a possible death sentence if convicted of murder.