Suspect admits involvement in girl’s death

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Suspect admits involvement in girl’s death

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Kim Kil-tae

The primary suspect in the vicious rape and murder of a 13-year-old Busan girl yesterday admitted to police that he woke up beside her dead, naked body after a drunken black-out.

It was the first time that Kim Kil-tae had admitted any involvement in the vicious kidnapping, rape and murder of Lee Yu-ri.

After a day of interrogation that included lie-detector and brainwave tests, as well as a psychological profiler, 33-year-old Kim, who throughout the day had adamantly denied killing Lee, broke down at around 3:15 p.m.

According to police, Kim said that he had gotten drunk on the day of Feb. 24, and when he came to he found himself in an empty house with a dead, naked girl beside him. Police said he used cords to tie her up inside a bag, wrapped her clothing in a plastic bag, then hid the corpse in a water tank, covering the body with lime. Kim told police he then ran away.

Police last night were still investigating details - including Kim’s motive - but no further details were available as of press time last night.

Kim Cheol-kwon, 50, a psychiatrist at the Dong-A University Medical Center in Busan, who was invited by police to sit in on the interrogations for an hour, said that when he talked to him, Kim gave, “no sign of regret. He talked in a calm tone, as if he were telling another person’s story. It was like he has a heart of ice.”

Police at one point had even been prepared to bring in Kim’s adoptive mother, whom he had been flatly refusing to see, to force a confession.

Lee went missing on Feb. 24 and the police made the search for her public on Feb. 27. Kim was quickly identified as a prime subject and an open pursuit for him began on March 2. Lee’s body, naked and covered in lime, was not far from her home four days later. Traces of Kim’s DNA were found on her body, and he was arrested on March 10 near a market in Busan.

With Kim’s confession, police will be able to file their investigative report to prosecutors, who will decide whether to indict him and on what charges. He will continue to be detained.

Meanwhile, a survey released yesterday by Youido Institute, a Grand National Party think tank, found that more than 80 percent of Korean people are in favor of capital punishment as it relates to this case. Of 3,049 adults nationwide, 83.1 percent backed the death penalty while 11.1 percent opposed.


By Kim Sang-jin, Song Ji-hye [smartpower@joongang.co.kr]
Related Korean Article

`김길태, 이양 성폭행한 뒤 살해한 것 같다`


부산 여중생 이모양 납치ㆍ살해 사건의 피의자 김길태(33)가 지난달 24일 밤 이양을 납치 또는 유인해 성폭행하고 살해한 뒤 자정이 넘어 유기한 것으로 조사됐다. 경찰은 15일 수사본부가 있는 부산 사상경찰서에서 수사브리핑을 열어 “김길태를 야간조사한 결과 김이 범행 사실을 진술했다”고 말했다. 경찰에 따르면 김길태는 지난달 24일 밤 이양의 집에서 이양을 납치해 인근 빈집으로 데려가 성폭행했다고 진술했다.

김길태는 성폭행 도중 이양이 소리치자 손으로 입을 틀어막고 목을 졸라 살해한 것 같다고 진술했다. 김희웅 수사본부 부본부장은 “14일 오후 확보한 시신유기 자백을 바탕으로 납치와 성폭행, 살인 혐의를 집중 추궁했다. 이양의 부검 결과를 말해주자 얼굴을 두 손으로 감싸고 괴로워하며 이양이 성폭행 당시 소리를 질렀고 그것을 막는 과정에서 손으로 입을 막아 살해한 것 같다고 진술했다”고 말했다.

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