Events in boy’s death re-enacted

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Events in boy’s death re-enacted

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The father of the 7-year-old boy whose mutilated remains were found frozen in his family home is transported by police to a house in Bucheon, Gyeonggi, on Thursday to re-enact events in order to verify his statement. [NEWSIS]

The parents of the 7-year-old boy whose mutilated remains were found frozen in their house nearly four years after he vanished from school remained calm and silent as they re-enacted how they had chopped up the boy’s body after his death and discarded some parts.

Police on Thursday morning brought the father, surnamed Choi, and the mother, surnamed Han, to four sites, where they ordered them to reconstruct the events of their son’s death in order to verify their statements.

Neighbors and other area residents who gathered near the family residence in Bucheon, Gyeonggi, condemned the couple and screamed expletives, at one point calling them “beasts wearing human skin.”

But despite the chaos, the suspects - wearing handcuffs, matching hats and face masks - never uttered a single word, nor expressed anguish.

The re-enactment began at a civic center in Bucheon, where Han, 34, showed how she had carried parts of the mutilated body in a black plastic bag to the toilet there and flushed the remains.

The father, who previously stated that he had physically abused his son and mutilated the body to hide the boy’s death, relayed to police at the family home the events that transpired between Nov. 7 and Nov. 8, 2012, when the boy died.

According to police, on Nov. 7, Choi had been drinking and punched the 7-year-old in the face, forced him to lie down on the floor and then kicked him in the head. Han said that her husband had beaten the boy for two straight hours the day before their son died.

However, at the scene, Choi backtracked, claiming that the attack on the 7-year-old had lasted much longer than two hours. It was on Nov. 8 around 5 p.m. when Choi woke up to find his son dead. He called Han, he said, and told her to come home immediately.

But rather than taking the boy to a hospital, the couple reportedly ordered chicken and drank alcohol.

Choi remained calm and did not hesitate as he showed authorities how he said he cut up the body and placed the remains in the refrigerator, according to a police officer who was present at the re-enactment.

Han provided gloves and held open the plastic bags.

The father also explained how he left the remains at a friend’s house once the investigation began, claiming that the bags were luggage, and how he had previously moved the remains to the family’s new residence in March 2013 with Han and their daughter.

The friend told police that he did not know what was in the bags.

The couple’s daughter, now 10, is currently under the care of child protective services.

Criminal profilers in the investigation found that Choi lacked impulse control despite having mostly taken charge in raising the children.

They believe Choi killed his son because he could not suppress his anger toward the boy, who reportedly showed symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and that Han helped him because she feared she would be separated from her husband.

Police said they will charge Choi with murder and file the case with the prosecution today.

Han will be charged with violating the Child Welfare Act and abandoning a body.

BY KIM SO-HEE, CHOI MO-RAN [kim.sohee0905@joongang.co.kr]

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