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Family of 4 found dead in apparent suicide pact

Nov 07,2019
A family of four, a mother in her 70s and her three daughters in their 40s, was found dead on the second floor of a multi-family villa in Seongbuk District, central Seoul, last Saturday.

According to the Seongbuk Police Precinct, a water service worker who visited because of a reported problem at the villa called the police after noticing a strong smell and receiving no response from the inhabitants.

The police said the bodies of all four family members were discovered in the same room, and it appeared that it had been at least a few weeks since their death based on the decomposition. The incident is not being investigated as a murder case as a suicide note was found.

“I’m exhausted. I’m going to heaven now,” read part of the two A4-sized page suicide note found at the scene.

The family registered their address in 2016 and had been living in the house paying monthly rent of about 700,000 won ($600).

The house was about 57 square meters (614 square feet) in size, and the oldest daughter was registered as the main tenant.

“Since I couldn’t smell anything before the police opened the door yesterday, I had never imagined such an incident could happen in there,” a neighbor surnamed Oh said. “I’ve been living here for over two years but rarely saw them. I often saw the daughter when I came back from work; she seemed like she was coming back from work too.”

Despite a professional company cleaning the entirety of the building, the remaining seven households of the unit had to leave due to the smell.

The Seongbuk Police Precinct said the family was not a recipient of any government subsidies, nor had they ever applied for them, apart from the mother who was receiving 130,000 won of national pension and 250,000 won of basic pension, which is provided monthly to those aged 65 or above.

“We have been monitoring people’s situations with an alarm system that notifies us when utility bills are not paid for over three months, but I couldn’t find any records for the family in three years of documents,” an official from the Seongbuk Police Precinct said.

The police are currently investigating the family and said they will also request the National Forensic Service to carry out autopsies to determine the exact causes and times of the deaths.

BY KWEN YU-JIN, CHEA SARAH [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]


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