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Decapitated body found in park

Aug 21,2018
The dismembered body of a middle-aged man was found by a parking lot attendant near the entrance to a hiking trail at Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi, on Sunday.

The headless corpse had its legs chopped off below the knees and was discovered wrapped in a blanket inside a large black plastic bag. The head was found separately in another bag two to three meters (6 to 10 feet) away. No possessions other than the pieces of clothing attached to the body were found.

While the body’s severely decomposed state delayed identification, police eventually determined it was a 51-year old man surnamed Ahn through his fingerprints.

Gwacheon Police Station on Monday said the results of a preliminary autopsy by the National Forensic Service were inconclusive.

“The exact cause of death remains undetermined,” said a spokesman for the National Forensic Service on Monday. “It requires a detailed analysis of traces of poisoning or choking.”

The spokesman added that injuries to the body’s face and shoulders appear to have been inflicted after the victim’s death, but said they are still not sure what instrument was used for the dismemberment.

A detailed postmortem is currently underway and is set to be released in two weeks.

The parking lot attendant at the park said he found the body on Sunday morning while setting up a fence between the parking lot and a hiking trail when he smelled something putrid nearby.

Judging by the decayed state of the corpse, police say Ahn may have been murdered over a week ago, though the recent heat wave may have accelerated the body’s decomposition.

Records from Ahn’s telecom provider showed that Aug. 10 was the last day he made a phone call.

Another worker at Seoul Grand Park told police that he saw the black bags in the grass around a week ago and that a rotten smell was present in the area.

Seoul Grand Park is a large park complex south of the capital. It includes a zoo and amusement park for children as well as numerous hiking trails and hills.

Ahn lived alone and had little contact with his family since he left his home around 20 years ago, police said.

He did not reside at the address registered to him in official records, which was a restaurant in Gyeonggi where Ahn worked before quitting years ago. Police say they are looking into where Ahn actually lived and whether he has any other family members.

Police are looking through surveillance footage from the park to figure out who dumped the bags there.

A spokesman for the Gwacheon Police Station said the police will focus on rental vehicles that were spotted in the area around a week ago.

Ahn’s acquaintances and recent phone contacts will be the primary subjects of the investigation, police said.

BY SHIM KYU-SEOK, CHOI MO-RAN [shim.kyuseok@joongang.co.kr]


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