Game addict’s neglect led to son’s death: Police

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Game addict’s neglect led to son’s death: Police

The Dongbu Police Precinct in Daegu yesterday said at a press briefing that it will request an arrest warrant for a 22-year-old man surnamed Jeong on charges that he neglected his 2-year-old son, which resulted in the baby’s death, and then abandoned the body in a trash bag near his apartment in Gumi, North Gyeongsang.

The man’s wife had apparently lived in a factory dormitory since February and was unable to care for the toddler.

According to the police, Jeong was addicted to computer games and reportedly stayed at Internet cafes for days at a time.

He spent three days at a cafe from Feb. 24, leaving his son alone in his apartment. When he came back for the baby on Feb. 27, he only gave the child a few spoonfuls of soup.

He came back to the Internet cafe on March 1, where he spent another seven days.

When he returned home, he found his son dead and decomposing. When his wife called him and asked about the toddler, he claimed that he had sent the child to stay with his parents or friends.

Jeong allegedly wrapped the body in a blanket and kept it in the apartment for 35 days until he finally abandoned it on Friday.

When his wife visited him and questioned him over their son’s whereabouts, he told her that the child was with a friend in Daegu.

She called the police on Sunday and reported the baby missing.

According to the authorities, Jeong lied to the police during the initial questioning, but eventually confessed that his son had died of starvation, after which he abandoned the body near a junkyard 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) away from his apartment.

The body was found in a trash bag later that day.

According to the authorities, Jeong was a social outcast, with a criminal record that included three counts of theft. After dropping out of high school, he worked part time at Internet cafes, where he met his wife.

He was allegedly addicted to computer games, spending his wages on gaming - a lifestyle that reportedly did not change after having a child.

The police plan to seek an arrest warrant for Jeong on a charge of homicide by omission, meaning that his inaction resulted in another’s death. However, they have not ruled out the possibility that he had a direct role in his son’s death.

An autopsy is currently under way.

BY KIM YOUN-HO [bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]


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