China asks Italian family 37000 euros for autopsy of son after mystery death

Facebook photo of Marcello Vinci

 ROME - Marcello Vinci, a 28-year-old teacher from Fasano died under suspicious circumstances on the night between 5 and 6 March in Chengdu, China, where he was working as a teacher. Vinci was reportedly found dead on a sidewalk and the Chinese police, who at first claimed he had committed suicide, now claim he might have ‘accidentally’ fallen from a great height. The true circumstances surrounding his death however remain unknown as the family has since requested an autopsy to reveal the real cause of his death for which they were asked no less than 4505 euros, for the costs of the examination, toxicology report, and the cost of transferring his body back to the laboratory from the morgue. 

The family has also requested for the body to be transported back to Puglia, Italy where Marcello is from, to potentially do an examination and be able to give him a funeral, which would cost them at least 30 000 euros.  Vinci’s devastated mother, Alberta Berni has since spoken to the Italian media saying “They have asked me for 30 thousand euros, but do they realize we can’t afford it?" she also revealed that they alternatively offered to send the ashes to Milan for which they asked 12 000 euros. 

The family has told the press that they refuse to give up on the search for their son and want to know why he died and said they might even opt for an autopsy. 

According to Chinese authorities, the 28-year-old was found dead next to the home of a 45-year-old Chinese man whom the boy met, according to his mother's story, "on social media on March 3, just three days before his death". Vinci and the man, would have spent the evening together: the 45-year-old, feeling ill, went to rest in bed, leaving the 28-year-old alone. The 45-year old then woke up, hearing a noise and searched for the boy, only to find his body at the foot of the skyscraper. According to the Chinese police report, the 45-year-old cleaned the house of traces of the evening, hiding in a closet after calling for help. He was arrested after the incident, but has since been released.

The mother of the boy commented on the police report saying it was insufficient and failed to offer a real explanation for her son’s death saying: 

 “I don't even know which floor my son fell from, initially they told me that he had fallen from the window of his apartment, which by the way doesn't even open – Angela Berni said a few days ago – I don't know anything, they didn't give me a name, a photo of this gentleman, I have no way of tracing him, of asking him why he cleaned the whole house and my son's objects, hiding some of them on another floor, why he called for help but then hid in a closet".

 Now even the Farnesina (The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), which immediately took an interest in the affair, is trying to figure out how to intervene, even economically, in the affair.