A woman tricked a 6-year-old boy into going into a field in northern China, and then gouged out his eyes, police said on Wednesday.
The boy's brutal ordeal happened on Saturday in a rural area of Linfen city in Shanxi province, the city's police bureau said in a statement. State media said the boy was recovering in a hospital, but had lost his sight permanently.
A police officer who only gave his surname, Liu, said he couldn't speculate on a motive because the investigation was continuing.
"We are sparing no efforts trying to solve this case," Liu added.
Liu said the boy's eyeballs were found at the scene, and that the corneas hadn't been removed.
State media previously had raised the possibility that the boy's corneas were taken for sale because of a donor shortage in China.
A news report on a provincial TV channel showed the boy writhing in pain on a hospital trolley, with bandages around his head, and his parents, both farmers, crying.
The Beijing Times newspaper quoted the parents of the boy, whose family name is Guo according to police, as saying that their son had told them he was walking along a path when he was grabbed by a woman. She used an unspecified tool to gouge out his eyes, they said.