A 6-year-old boy's eyes were removed in Shanxi province, and local police have offered a reward of 100,000 yuan ($16,340) for information in the case.
The incident happened in Fenxi county on Saturday evening. Guo Bin, whose parents are farmers, was discovered missing at 6 pm, when he usually returns from playing outside to eat dinner.
Five hours later, a man who had returned from catching scorpions in the local mountains said he had seen what was possibly a boy twitching in the valley.
Guo's parents then found their son lying in the place, the man described.
Police later found the boy's eyes nearby, but his corneas were missing, according to a China News Service report.
But a police officer named Liu denied the corneas were missing.
Yang Caizhen, director of Shanxi Eye Hospital, where the boy is being treated, said that the boy is out of danger.
The assailant is a woman with a foreign accent, the boy said.
Chen Youxin, an eye doctor at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, told China Daily that the boy's corneas were possibly removed to sell.
"Corneas are quite limited in China because of the lack of donors," Chen said, adding that "only 10 percent of the need is met".
The only lawful way to get corneas is to remove them from the deceased, Chen added.