Filipina held for fatal beating of three-year-old

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Filipina held for fatal beating of three-year-old

Pyeongtaek police on Tuesday obtained an arrest warrant for a Philippine babysitter who claimed she beat a toddler to death because she thought he was possessed by a demon.
 
The woman, who was only identified as a 30-year-old Philippine national, was booked on suspicion of killing a three-year-old boy in her care at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday.
 
At 7:30 on the day of the crime, the woman was spotted roaming a residential street in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi while stark naked. According to witnesses, she was wandering around for 40 minutes before police were arrived on the scene and took her to the police precinct.
 
Around the same time, a crying seven-year-old boy was spotted by a neighbor coming out of a house. When asked why he was crying, he reportedly said he believed his younger brother was dead, pointing to the residence of the woman.
 
The neighbor discovered the dead body of the three-year-old brother inside the house.
 
After the boy told police that “the woman living in the house” killed his brother, police questioned the woman in their custody, who confessed to the crime.
 
The two boys are the children of an American soldier based in Pyeongtaek, who was acquainted with the Philippine woman.
 
He reportedly had left the children in her care several times previously.
 
Under police questioning, the woman said she committed the crime because she was “trying to chase away evil spirits."  
 
“The child had an evil spirit in his body, so I hit him to send him to heaven,” the woman reportedly told police investigators.
 
As for the reason for walking naked down the street, she reportedly said, "I took off my clothes to go to church." Although she told police that she had two drinks, she was found to be sober during the police examination.
 
According to police, the suspect married a Korean man and entered the country in September 2019 and demonstrated proficiency in Korean. Although she had a child with her husband, she has worked at a bar in Pyeongtaek since her divorce last year.
 
Police suspect that the woman committed the crime due to religious motives on the basis of a bite that was found on the victim’s ear, which suggests a ritualistic aspect to the murder.
 
They have requested the National Forensic Service to conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.  
 

BY MICHAEL LEE [lee.junhyuk@joongang.co.kr]
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