CNN reports how the remains of a teacher who disappeared more than 16 years ago in China have been found buried beneath the school he worked at, officials say.

Deng Shiping had refused to approve a new sports facility because he felt it had been poorly constructed. A man reportedly involved in building the site has now confessed to killing and burying Mr Deng in January 2003, police say. Six men also believed to be builders were arrested along with him.

Mr Deng’s remains were discovered beneath the running track of Xinhuang Middle School on Thursday, officials in the central city of Huaihua said. Footage posted on social media showed investigators cordoning off and examining the area.

Mr Deng’s son told local media his father had been tasked with overseeing the construction of the sports facility. But he later filed a complaint alleging that Du Shaoping, the man who has since confessed to the killing, had embezzled funds and skimped on building materials.

Teacher’s remains found buried under Chinese school after 16 years
Chinese television aired footage of investigators digging up the school’s running track

“The field and track were being built by the principal’s relatives,” he told Hongxing News. “He believed there to be serious build quality concerns, and that they were cutting corners.

“He refused to sign off on the work and reported it to the county government. Then he disappeared.”

Mr Deng’s brother also told local media: “We had long suspected that his disappearance was linked to him being a whistleblower.”

The remains have been sent for further testing and a special task force has been set up to further investigate the crime.