Choi Jin-sil’s kin found dead from a possible suicide

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Choi Jin-sil’s kin found dead from a possible suicide


Choi Jin-young

Choi Jin-young, the younger brother of the late actress Choi Jin-sil, was found dead at his home yesterday after a possible suicide, according to the Gangnam Police Precinct.

Investigators said the 39-year-old Choi was found hanging from an electrical cord in the attic of his apartment. His mother first found him and called police and a 119 rescue squad around 2:14 p.m. Choi was rushed to Gangnam Severance Hospital for CPR at 2:46 p.m. but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Choi’s mother went to her son’s apartment after she received a phone call from Choi’s college friend saying that Choi had failed to pick up her phone calls.

“No suicide note was found in Choi’s apartment,” an investigator said. “Some say he committed suicide after suffering from depression, but that’s mere speculation. We’ll thoroughly investigate the case to determine the exact cause of death.”

As there was no evidence of a break-in, however, police tentatively said it appears Choi committed suicide. Police have ordered an autopsy.

An official at Mcloud Entertainment, which represented Choi, said the agency is shocked by the news. “There were no signs of Choi feeling bad recently,” the official said. “Last month Choi signed a contract with us to make comeback on local TV.”

An official at a broadcasting company, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Choi had been on medication for depression.

In an interview earlier this month, Choi told reporters that he decided to resume his work because he wanted to be a proud uncle to his 10-year-old nephew and 8-year-old niece, of whom he gained custody after his sister’s death 18 months ago.

Choi Jin-sil was one of Korea’s most beloved actresses before committing suicide at the age of 40 after suffering from depression. She had reportedly been suffering extreme mental stress because of Internet rumors that linked her to actor Ahn Jae-hwan, 36, who committed suicide in September 2008.

Rumors online said Choi had loaned the actor 2.5 billion won ($2.2 million). Ahn killed himself apparently under pressure after a series of businesses failures.

By Kim Mi-ju []
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집에서 목매 … 경찰, 자살 추정, 유족 “연기 재기 준비했는데 … ”

탤런트 고(故) 최진실씨의 동생 진영(39·사진)씨가 29일 오후 서울 강남구 논현동 자택에서 목을 매 숨진 채 발견됐다.

경찰과 소방 당국에 따르면 최씨의 어머니는 이날 오후 2시14분쯤 “아들이 목을 맸다”고 119에 신고했다. 현장에 출동한 119 구급팀은 3층 다락방에서 최씨가 숨져 있는 것을 확인했다. 당시 그의 목 둘레에는 전깃줄이 감겨 있었다. 최씨의 학교 후배는 이날 오전 “(최씨와) 연락이 안 된다”며 최씨의 어머니에게 연락했다. 어머니가 다락방에 들어가 목을 맨 최씨를 발견한 것으로 알려졌다. 최씨는 가족의 요청에 따라 오후 2시46분쯤 연세대 강남세브란스병원 응급실로 옮겨졌다. 응급의는 DOA(도착 시 이미 사망)로 판단했다. 시신은 이 병원 영안실에 안치됐다.

서울 강남경찰서는 이날 오후 최씨의 집에 형사팀을 보내 현장감식을 실시하는 등 정확한 사망 경위를 파악하고 있다. 현장에서 유서는 발견되지 않은 것으로 알려졌다. 그러나 경찰은 시신을 검안한 결과 타살 혐의점이 없고 외부로부터 침입한 흔적을 발견하지 못해 일단 자살로 추정하고 있다.

최씨는 1993년 MBC 드라마 ‘우리들의 천국’으로 데뷔했다. 이후 영화와 드라마에 활발하게 출연해 누나 최진실씨와 함께 ‘남매 연예인’으로 이름을 날렸다. 99년 ‘SKY’란 예명으로 3집 앨범까지 내며 가수로도 활동했다. 2008년 10월 누나 최진실씨의 자살사건 이후 외부 활동을 자제하면서 조카들을 보살폈다고 한다.

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