The tearful parents of Xu Yang, a girl missing after the Xinjiang riot, describe their daughter to a volunteer at the Huanqiu Exhibition Centre in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The riot in Urumqi may have been quelled but the heartbreak for those who lost loved ones in the violence has only just begun.
At the "Office for the Aftermath of the July 5 Riot", which has been set up at the city's Huanqiu Hotel, the tearful families of victims must go through the ordeal of registering details of the deceased.
"This is too unfair. Why did this happen to us?" said Wang Jianfang, a 30-year-old Hui minority woman whose brother Wang Changsheng, 36, a transport worker, was stabbed to death on that dark day.
Barely able to speak through her sobs, Wang said she now fears for her family's survival because her brother was the main breadwinner.
"How could the rioters do such inhumane things?" she wailed.
Wang's family must wait for the results of a DNA test before they can claim his body. Wang Jianfang said she only hopes her brother can be buried according to Muslim practice as soon as possible so he can rest in peace.
Two bases in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, have been designated for victims of the riot: No 2 Funeral Home and Yan'erwo Funeral Home.
A member of staff at the No 2 Funeral Home, who asked to remain anonymous, told China Daily its 126 freezers were full, most with victims of the July 5 violence.
"I can't describe the mood of the victims' families when they come to claim the bodies," he said. "How can they accept their loved one's death in such a way? All of our staff cry with them."
Colleagues of one victim have refused to give an interview to the No 2 Funeral Home, except to say the victim's family lives in another province and some still do not know the person is dead.
According to Xinjiang People's Radio, 63 bodies had already been claimed by yesterday morning.
Under direction of "Office for the Aftermath of the July 5 Riot", funeral homes have waived most charges for the victims' families, including fees for freezing, washing, makeup and transportation.
The Urumqi government has also given each family 10,000 yuan ($1,400) towards funeral costs, as well as 200,000 yuan in consolation money.
(China Daily July 13, 2009)