Suicide of 3 relatives was actually a murder plot

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Suicide of 3 relatives was actually a murder plot

Police said the tragic suicide of three members of a supposedly financially troubled family in Jeonju, North Jeolla, last week wasn’t suicide at all, but an alleged murder plot by the family’s youngest son.

And they said the son drugged himself to make it look like his family tried to pull him into their group suicide.

On Wednesday morning, the 24-year0old son called 119 emergency rescuers to the family’s apartment in Songcheon-dong, Jeonju. They found unconscious the 52-year-old father, who was surnamed Park, the mother and an older brother, who were sent to the hospital. None survived.

The younger son told the Deokjin Police Precinct in Jeonju, “I fell asleep after I had some milk my older brother gave me. When I woke up, my house was filled with smoke, so I dialed 119 for help. My family was suffering from financial hardship.”

But the police doubted the young man’s story because they could find no suicide notes and details of his story kept changing. They also found that he bought coal and a burner in Palbok-dong, also in Jeonju, days before the family died.

Lab tests showed that the victims had 25 to 30 percent levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, while the younger son only had 19.2 percent.

Yesterday the police said Park confessed that he has murdered his family. The suspect admitted putting sleeping pills into a glass of bokbunja, or Korean black raspberry, juice that he gave his parent at 1 a.m. Wednesday. When his brother returned home at 3 a.m., he gave him a glass of spiked milk.

He then set the coal on fire in his parents’ and his brother’s rooms.

The police said Park tried to make the suicide look like his brother’s idea. He put coal in the back of his brother’s Hyundai Grandeur sedan and dressed in his brother’s clothes when he did in case CCTV cameras captured his image. He also sent text messages from his brother’s KakaoTalk account to his friend that read, “Live a happy life.”

“We assume that the suspect wanted to take the properties belonging to his parents and brother,” a spokesman for the police said. “We are currently checking the family’s insurance and bank accounts.”

According to the police, Park made an attempt to kill his parent earlier last month by dismantling a pipe so smoke generated from the heating system would get into the apartment and kill them. That attempt failed when the parent woke up after smelling the smoke.


By Jang Dae-suk, Kwon Sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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