Police to reopen probe of killing

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Police to reopen probe of killing

Police have reopened an investigation into the 2009 rape and killing of a woman in Nowon District, Seoul, after netizens responded to pleas for help by the victim’s mother.

The mother on Friday submitted a post to Daum’s Agora, one of the largest Internet bulletin boards in Korea.

The post, titled “The truth behind the death of a young female student who died resisting rape,” stirred support from Internet users around the country, with almost 45,000 visits as of yesterday.

On Aug. 6, 2009, the 19-year-old female university student named Shin was introduced by a friend to Baek, an unemployed man, and Kim, who was then in the military and was on vacation.

The four of them went out to a bar that night and rank until 4 a.m. the next morning, authorities said.

When Shin’s friend returned home, Kim and Baek took Shin to a nearby building’s underground parking lot.

The two men raped her and Shin died while trying to resist, authorities said.

What angered Shin’s mother, who has called for a new investigation, was how police investigated Baek.

“Baek is the one who dragged my daughter to the crime scene,” Shin’s mother wrote online. “Nevertheless, the police and prosecutors only questioned Baek as a witness rather than as the prime suspect.

“Baek’s uncle, who used to be a cop, got involved in the investigation,” she added, arguing that because his uncle was a policeman the investigation was not carried out in a fair manner.

The mother later sued Baek, but she received a harsh response from authorities.

“They sarcastically asked if I wanted to be charged with making a false accusation because the case would be reinvestigated by a detective close to Baek’s uncle,” she wrote online. “And they were making comments about my daughter, that she wouldn’t be one of those goody-good girls, being raised by a divorced mother.”

The investigators were even said to have told Shin’s mother that they were still investigating the case although they cleared Baek of the charge, allegedly making the mother miss a deadline to plea for a reopening of the case.

After netizens responded to the mother’s post, Seoul police said this week they were willing to reinvestigate and posted this comment: “The investigation team will start from square one.”

By Yim Seung-hye [enational@joongang.co.kr]
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