A 17-year-old teenager in Yunlin County was arrested and charged with homicide yesterday for allegedly killing her three-year-old stepsister.
Prosecutors said the teen, surnamed Hsu (許), allegedly attacked her stepsister with a kitchen knife on Tuesday evening, stabbing her three times.
The victim was rushed to a local hospital, but later died. The cause of death was a stab wound to the heart.
Hsu is to appear in the local juvenile court for trial, Yunlin County chief prosecutor Kuo Chih-ming (郭志明) said.
Kuo said the victim was born out of wedlock when Hsu’s father had an extramarital affair.
The toddler was adopted by the Hsu family and raised in the household, Kuo said, adding that Hsu was seen as a “good kid,” helping her father as a roast-meat vendor in the local night market.
Kuo said preliminary investigations indicated Hsu was unhappy with the loving care shown by her mother to the stepsister, and likely felt neglected and filled with jealousy, which allegedly led to the knife attack.
Hsu recently graduated from a vocational high school in Changhua County. As the news reached school officials and her classmates, they expressed their shock.
“Hsu is an outgoing person with a sunny personality and has made many friends. We all have a good impression of her because she studies diligently, and she had to commute daily from her home in far away in Yunlin County to attend classes,” an anonymous school official said.
Hsu had already obtained a Level B Chef license in Chinese cooking, pastry bakery and restaurant kitchen cooking, the school official said, adding that Hsu took the Technical and Vocational Education Joint College Examination in May and was looking forward to entering a good school.
Commenting on the case, the director of the child and family welfare organization Yun Sen Foundation, Wang Chao-ping (王招萍), said parents should pay attention to interactions between siblings and if conflict develops, try to alleviate problems early on.
“Kids may feel neglected or in an unfair situation, when parents dole out unequal treatment or [when the kids] perceive others as getting more caring attention,” she said.
“Parents should watch out for signs, such as one kid may deliberately kick or pinch another sibling. Parents [need to start a] dialogue with them and open up to talk about their feelings, and prevent the antagonism from spreading further,” Wang added.
Yunlin County Police Department juvenile squad captain Wu Chin-ming (吳錦明) reminded parents to observe their kids’ behavior during the summer.
“They can get an idea of kids’ psychological states by following them on social media sites. If they have emotional outbursts or violence tendencies, parents should treat the problem right away, and seek advice from counselors,” Wu said.