Police: Girl died fleeing rapist

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Police: Girl died fleeing rapist

A 15-year-old Seoul middle school girl died by falling from the rooftop of an apartment building after she was raped by a 14-year-old runaway teenage boy on Children’s Day, police said Wednesday. A boy surnamed Lee was detained Wednesday for rape and theft and another boy who assisted him, Yeom, is being questioned for possible collusion charges.

According to investigators at Seoul’s Gwanak Police Precinct, a female middle school student with the initial A was confronted by two runaway teenage boys surnamed Yeom, 15, and Lee, 14, at 9 p.m. in an alley near Namseong subway station in Sadang-dong, southern Seoul on May 5. A was heading home after meeting friends at an amusement park.

The two boys accosted her, saying she resembled someone who stole their friend’s motorcycle. A denied it. The boys took A’s cell phone and demanded she go to an apartment to meet their friend to confirm her innocence. Investigators assume the girl followed the boys because she thought she would be freed after seeing the motorcycle owner.

When the three arrived at an apartment building, Lee raped the girl in a machinery room on the 23rd-floor rooftop and snatched her wallet. Yeom kept watch at the door.

At 10:45 p.m., the boys stepped out of the room and A tried escaping through a window. She fell from the rooftop and was killed instantly.

Police thought it was suicide but changed their direction of the probe after the girl’s family and friends said there was no reason she would take her own life.

Police examined CCTVs installed around the apartment complex and arrested the two boys on May 6. The boys confessed.

“Lee told police that he believes the girl fell to death trying to escape the scene, but we aren’t ruling out the possibility that she was murdered,” a police officer said. “There’s evidence that Lee tried to make her death look like suicide, as he put the girl’s cell phone beside the exit door of the rooftop.”

By Park Sung-woo, Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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