Mom’s body discovered 20 km from daughter’sThe Jeju Coast Guard said on Thursday that they found the body of the mother of a three-year-old girl who was found dead over the weekend.
The corpse was discovered Wednesday evening floating near a lighthouse seawall 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) away from where her daughter’s body was found.
The mother, surnamed Jang, was found five kilometers east of the Yeongdam-dong waterfront, the last place where Jang and her daughter were seen. Jang’s daughter was found on Sunday, 15 kilometers west of the same waterfront.
The fact that the mother and daughter’s body was found so far apart in opposite directions raised speculation that Jang and her daughter could have been murdered in different locations. However, experts believe this is highly unlikely.
“The tidal waves near that area makes it very possible for Jang and her daughter to have died in the same area, only to be taken away by the tide to different locations,” said Prof. Moon Jae-heung of Jeju National University. “This was why, in August, the body of another woman was found near Gapa Island when she originally drowned near Sehwa Port.”
An autopsy of Jang’s body showed no evidence of trauma.
“I am planning to ask the National Forensic Service to detect the amount of plankton that was found in her lungs. Only then can we determine that the exact cause of death was drowning,” said Prof. Kang Hyun-wook of Jeju National University, who was responsible for Jang’s autopsy.
Jang’s daughter’s autopsy was released on Tuesday and revealed that she likely died by drowning.
The reason why Jang brought her daughter to Jeju still remains a mystery. The police confirmed that Jang was staying with her parents in Paju, Gyeonggi, before she bought two one-way tickets to Jeju without telling her parents. Jang and her daughter arrived in Jeju on Oct. 31 and the two were reported missing by Jang’s father the very next day.
The possibility of Jang’s husband’s connection to Jang’s disappearance has been brought up as a point of interest by the public. Police said they did not know his whereabouts.
“We are going to consider every possibility for this case during our investigation,” said Jeong Hong-nam, the head of the investigation team at the Jeju Coast Guard, on Thursday.
BY CHOI CHOON-GIL [firstname.lastname@example.org]