17-year-old girl arrested for cutting child in half

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17-year-old girl arrested for cutting child in half

A 17-year-old girl has been arrested for the killing and dismembering of an 8-year-old girl in Incheon. The remains were put into two plastic bags and left on the roof of an apartment building where the suspect lives, the Yeonsu Police Precinct reported Thursday.

The teenager, who dropped out of school and suffers from depression, allegedly committed the act Wednesday afternoon after luring the victim to her apartment in Yeonsu District, western Incheon.

According to police, the victim lived in a different building in the same apartment complex.

The suspect, whose identity is being withheld, met the victim at around 1 p.m. at a playground in the Yeonsu neighborhood. The two had not known each other, according to police. The victim’s friend told investigators the victim asked the suspect if she could borrow her mobile phone to call her mother.

CCTV footage showed the two taking an elevator at around 1 p.m. to go to the suspect’s home. Two hours later, the suspect left the home and later returned. At 4:09 p.m., the suspect left again after changing her clothes. It is believed that the murder took place between 1 and 4 p.m. The suspect’s parents were at work at the time.

Inside the suspect’s home were blood stains and tools that might have been used in the killing. Police declined to go into detail out of respect for the victim’s parents.

Police found the body after the victim’s mother reported that her daughter was missing at around 4:24 p.m. and began searching for the child.

The body showed signs that the victim was strangled to death, though an autopsy will be performed by the National Forensic Service to confirm the cause of death.

The suspect was found wandering in a park near her home. Police said she confessed to the killing, but said that she could not remember how she had done it.

“It is confirmed that the two did not know each other,” a police official on the case said during a briefing Thursday. “We are asking the suspect for her motive behind the killing and how she carried the body, but she kept saying she could not recall anything.”

The suspect’s parents told police that their daughter suffers from depression and subsequently dropped out of school. The suspect was planning to go to an alternative school.

Investigators are looking into whether there was an accomplice before charging the teenager with murder and abandonment of the body.

BY CHOI MO-RAN [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]
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