Seoul pharmacist raped, murderedPolice found the corpse of a 48-year-old female pharmacist in a drainage ditch near the Gwangmyeong interchange at the West Coast Highway on Tuesday.
The police had been looking for the woman, surnamed Han, after they found her burning car at 3 a.m. in Gireum-dong, Seongbuk District, Seoul, on July 17.
The police said Han’s corpse didn’t show signs of physical injury, but her lower body was exposed. Preliminary results of an autopsy yesterday indicated she died from suffocation, probably from being strangled.
According to her family, Han went missing after she went shopping around 8:30 p.m on July 16.
The police discerned from CCTV records that Han arrived at a supermarket around 10:40 p.m. of July 16, and her car was spotted at the Gwangmyeong interchange on the West Coast highway at 12:30 a.m.
Police also discovered from surveillance videos that two men in their thirties paid 29,000 won ($24 U.S.) to put gas in Han’s car using her credit card at 2 a.m. on July 17. They interviewed an employee of the gas station in Galhyeon-dong, Gwacheon, who said he saw no female in the car.
They also confirmed from CCTV records that Han’s car traveled to Seongbuk District, where it was found burning at 3 a.m.
A police official said, “We conclude that she was robbed, raped and murdered, from the condition of her body, the use of her stolen credit card, and the fact that Han was carrying 1 million won at the time she went missing.” The police think she was raped and murdered before the two men filled up her gas tank in Galhyeon-dong.
The police are trying to locate the two men by examining CCTV tapes and tracing the use of Han’s credit card.
Han was known to be affluent in her neighborhood, so the police suspect the murder was planned. Seongbuk Police Station and Yangcheon Police Station have been jointly investigating the case, but after the corpse was found, 39 detectives on six teams were mobilized to speed up the investigation.