Vietnam girl kills herself, suicide note indicts violent stepfather

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Duong Thi Ngoc Tram's sister burns incense at her funeral in Dong Nai Province

Police in the southern province of Dong Nai Monday said they are investigating the death of a 14-year-old girl who had hanged herself leaving behind a suicide note about ill-treatment by the stepfather.

Duong Thi Ngoc Tram was found dead in a bathroom in her aunt's house in Long Thanh District on the morning of November 30.

She left a note apologizing to her mother and saying her stepfather, Nguyen Viet Nam, 45, should not be part of her death ceremonies.

The aunt, Doan Thi Hue, said Nam had come the night before and thrown all her books and threatened to burn her clothes if she did not come home at once.

But she said it was he who had beaten her up and told her to leave the house a few days earlier. Tram had stayed at a friend's for four days until Hue picked her up.

Hue said Tram's biological father had died when she was three and her younger sister a baby.

Her mother, Hue's sister, had remarried a few months later and left the children with her mother-in-law.

The mother took back the children three years later, only for them to suffer from Nam's ill-treatment.

"He was not too bad in the beginning. But he completely changed recently. He would beat the children as hard as he could whenever he was angry about something," Hue said.

She said their mother tried to stop him but was herself beaten up several times, so she stopped intervening.

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Ending it all

The suicide note, found in Tram's schoolbag, asked her mother to forgive her for throwing away all the efforts spent on bringing her up.

It said Nam should not be allowed to burn any incense at her altar.

Nam fled after hearing about the note and the police are looking for him. Tram got her wish - he had gone before her funeral was held.

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