After 12 years, woman finds murdered mom

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After 12 years, woman finds murdered mom

A 19-year-old woman moving out of her home in Yongsan, Seoul, came upon a Styrofoam box under a desk with a plastic-wrapped corpse inside, which turned out to be the mother she thought had abandoned the family 12 years earlier.

Her 50-year-old father was arrested yesterday and charged with killing his wife during a quarrel in 1999.

Asked why he kept the corpse in the house, the man, surnamed Lee, told police, “I felt sorry for her and wanted to keep her body in the house forever.”

Police said the daughter was moving out of the family’s house in Huam-dong when she came upon the box around 9:45 p.m. Friday.

“I was trying to move the box with my boyfriend, but it was too heavy,” police quoted her as saying. “So we opened the box to figure out what was inside and found the corpse.”

Police said the corpse was wrapped in a blanket, then in 10 layers of plastic, put in a cardboard box and then a Styrofoam box.

The corpse was well preserved, police said, and a facial scar was visible as if she had been stabbed with a knife.

Before opening the box, the woman telephoned her father and said, “This box smells awful.” Her father answered, “I will be back home in an hour” and then fled.

Lee lived in the house with his daughter for three years after the alleged murder, police said, and then moved in 2002 to Goyang, Gyeonggi. His daughter lived in the house alone.

Lee visited the house and his daughter at least once a month, according to police.

Police sent the preserved corpse to the National Forensic Service, which confirmed its identity by fingerprints.

According to police, the daughter told them she saw her father wrapping something and putting it in the box in June 1999 when the two were moving to the house in Yongsan.

“I have no memories of my mother,” the daughter said, according to the police. “I thought my mother ran away from home.”

Informed that the police were searching for him, the father confessed to a close friend, according to the police. He was arrested in Bucheon, Gyeonggi.

By Lee Han-gil, Kim Hee-jin []

Related Korean Article [중앙일보]

“부부싸움 중 아내 살해 … 미안해서 집에 보관”

서울 용산경찰서는 12년 전 아내를 흉기로 살해한 뒤 시신을 종이상자에 넣어 집 안에 숨겨둔 혐의(살인 등)로 회사원 이모(50)씨를 15일 조사하고 있다. 이날 오전 인천의 지인 집에서 체포된 이씨는 경찰의 수사망이 좁혀지자 친구에게 “(시신을) 정리한 다음 자수하려 했다”고 말한 것으로 전해졌다. 이씨는 경찰 조사에서 “1999년 6월 아내와 이사 문제로 다투다 홧김에 흉기로 찔렀다”고 진술했다. 시신을 12년 동안 집 안에 숨겨둔 이유에 대해선 “미안한 마음에 (시신을) 영원히 집에 두려고 했다”고 말했다.

 경찰은 지난 12일 서울 용산구의 한 다세대주택에서 이씨의 딸(19)이 집 안에 있던 상자 속에서 여성의 시신을 발견했다고 신고해 수사에 착수했다. 발견 당시 시신은 흰색 비닐과 이불에 둘러싸인 채 종이상자 안에 밀봉돼 있었고 얼굴 부위에는 흉기에 한 차례 찔린 흔적이 남아 있었다. 지문 감식 결과 숨진 여성은 신고자의 어머니인 윤모(사망 당시 38세)씨로 확인됐다. 이씨의 딸은 경찰에서 “초등학교 1학년 때 어머니가 가정불화로 집을 나간 것으로 알고 있었다”고 말했다.

 경찰은 “12년 전 지금의 집으로 이사올 때 아버지가 시신이 들어 있던 상자를 테이프로 포장하는 모습을 봤다”는 딸의 진술 등을 토대로 이씨의 소재를 파악해왔다. 경찰은 16일 이씨에 대해 구속영장을 신청할 방침이다.

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