A 16-year-old from the northern province of Thanh Hoa has been detained pending a criminal investigation after he admitted to having killed another boy for stealing from his garden, the Tuoi Tre reported Thursday.
Nguyen Van Duong, 16, beat and tried to drown Van Dinh Hung, 15, after catching Hung stealing his guavas.
The family of the dead boy said that he and four of his friends from Sam Son Town on Sunday went swimming across a local river to steal guava.
Hung was found by Duong while he was on the tree and his friends managed to escape. He was beaten and died on the way to hospital, police said.
Several eyewitnesses said the boy had received first aid from a local medical station where he was seen soaking wet, with his face, fingers and legs bruised and his mouth and nose foaming.
Doctors at the station said that Hung was nearly dead by the time he arrived.
Forensic tests showed heavy injuries on his head.