Cop suspected in woman’s disappearance found

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Cop suspected in woman’s disappearance found

The primary suspect behind the disappearance of a 39-year-old pregnant woman from Gunsan, North Jeolla, was caught yesterday evening in Nonsan, South Chungcheong, ten days after she vanished.

The suspect is a 40-year-old police sergeant surnamed Jeong from a Gunsan police precinct who allegedly was the father of the unborn child. He was transferred to the Nonsan Police Station, which said it will hand over the suspect to the Gunsan Police Station, which is in charge of the case.

Police have been looking for Jeong since July 26.

The woman, who is surnamed Lee, has not been found but a search party found clothing and underwear apparently belonging to her in a local rice paddy on Tuesday.

Lee was last seen on the evening of July 24 when she left home to meet Jeong, according to her family. Lee was divorced. Her family said she was meeting Jeong to discuss the pregnancy.

Jeong is married and Lee’s family said she was trying to end the relationship with him on that day.

The Gunsan Police Station said details of text messages exchanged between Lee and Jeong indicate that they met on July 24.

One text sent to Jeong on July 24 at 12:40 p.m. read: “Don’t cancel the appointment as before. It will spoil everything.”

The police questioned Jeong on July 25 but let him go due to lack of evidence.

During the questioning, Jeong denied allegations that he met Lee on the day she went missing or that they were in a relationship. Jeong didn’t appear at a second interview set for July 26.

Police said he withdrew 5 million won ($4,490) from his bank account two days before Lee disappeared.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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