Suspect was watching TV, not in hiding

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Suspect was watching TV, not in hiding

The 30-year-old suspect accused of killing his roommate and bisecting and discarding the corpse in southern Gyeonggi was unaware that police were investigating the case because he was not following the news and instead watching movies, police said Friday.

After the lower half of a man’s body was found Sunday near the Buldo seawall and the upper half on Tuesday near Siwha Lake in Ansan, Gyeonggi, police identified the victim and arrested the suspect on Thursday. According to police, the 30-year-old suspect, whose surname is Cho, was found watching television when officers raided his house, after the landlord opened the door for them.

“I didn’t even know the corpse had been found or that police had begun an investigation because I was just home watching movies,” Cho was quoted as telling authorities. “I didn’t know how to deal with the corpse, so I just left it in the bathroom, chopped up the body using a kitchen knife and threw the two halves away.”

Ansan police said Friday they will request a detention warrant on charges of murder and damaging and abandoning a corpse. Police also said they will make public the face of the suspect while he is being transferred from the police station to the court for the warrant hearing. If the court issues a warrant, police will disclose further details of the suspect’s personal information, including his name.

“We decided to make the identity of the suspect public, given the fact that the crime has triggered severe social criticism,” an officer said. “Since the nature of this crime is heinous, the suspect’s personal information should be disclosed to the public.”

A clause that allows police to disclose the identity of a suspect who, beyond reasonable doubt, committed heinous crimes, was added to the criminal law in 2009 after police caught Kang Ho-soon, a serial killer who had kidnapped and murdered seven women.

BY LIM MYOUNG-SOO AND SHIN SOO-YEON [shin.sooyeon@joongang.co.kr]
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