'Frog boys' probably murdered
Repeated blows to heads likely caused the 5 to die
The five "frog boys," whose remains were found Sept. 26 in the foothills of Mount Waryong in Daegu, were likely murdered, the forensic medicine team from Kyungpook National University said at a press conference yesterday.
"We found marks on three of the five skulls that appeared to be created by blows with metal objects, possibly a tool of some kind," the team said.
The team spent six weeks working to determine the causes of death with the help of the National Institute of Scientific Investigation, and yesterday tentatively concluded that the boys were murdered.
The boys disappeared in March 1991. They were last seen on their way to catch frogs near the mountain.
According to the team, the boys appeared to have been hit on the heads and died from cranial injuries. The three skulls were caved in and showed a number of sharp cracks and holes, the investigators said.
Daegu police said they would start the investigation again from the beginning in light of the team's finding. Just last week the police released a statement saying, "We have not found any reason to suspect that the frog boys were murdered." The police at the time said the boys probably died from exposure.
Some members of the boys' families burst into tears yesterday as they learned the news. The boys' mothers screamed as the forensics team pointed out the damaged parts of the skulls. "These parts were repeatedly stabbed at with something like a sharp screwdriver," one of the investigators said.
Park Geon-seo, the father of one of the boys, said, "I am crushed by a new kind of grief. But it was good to see the absurd argument of the police, that they froze to death, disproved. If their killers have any conscience, they must be suffering tremendously by now."
Now, the families said, it is up to the police to find out who killed their sons and why. The police said they suspect the murder was not premeditated, as there was apparently no motive for anyone to kill the boys. The manner in which the boys were killed, the police said, suggests the killer may have flown into a rage.
The team agreed, saying that the boys might have been murdered by a lunatic or a someone with a dysfunctional personality. The police said they are also looking into the possibility that the boys were killed by bullies, possibly around their own age. They vowed to solve the case as quickly as possible.
by Hwang Sun-yoon, Chung Ki-hwan