‘It can’t be my lovely daughter, Hye-jin’

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‘It can’t be my lovely daughter, Hye-jin’

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Police yesterday comb the hill in Suwon where the body of Lee Hye-jin was found earlier this week. They were searching for the body of 8-year-old Wu Ye-seul, who disappeared at the same time as Hye-jin 79 days ago. By Kim Seong-ryong

Despite the lab test results, Lee Dal-sun could not believe the body found buried in Suwon was her daughter.
“It can’t be her. It can’t be my lovely daughter, Hye-jin,” Lee Dal-sun said yesterday in a telephone interview.
She said she even took spring clothes out for her daughter to get ready for the new semester at school.
The National Institute of Scientific Investigation confirmed yesterday that all 10 body parts recovered Tuesday belonged to the girl, 10-year-old Lee Hye-jin.
She and her friend, Wu Ye-seul, 8, disappeared on Dec. 25.
“After an investigation, we concluded Hye-jin was killed right after she disappeared,” said Seo Jung-seok, head of the institute’s forensic medicine department. “We think she didn’t resist because there were no significant scratches or bruises on her body.”
Hye-jin’s parents have scheduled her funeral for Sunday.
The police continued yesterday to search the area for the other girl.
Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency assigned 500 officers for the operation.
According to police, they collected four men’s trousers and three tops from the burial site yesterday. The clothing was sent to a forensic lab to try to find any possible link to a suspect.
About 24,000 police have searched Anyang for the past three months.
“We heard that Hye-jin was killed. We don’t have anything to say at this time,” said Wu’s 41-year-old father, who declined to be named.
Lee Soo-jung, a criminal psychology professor at Kyonggi University who has talked with the police, said she thinks that the other girl is also dead.
“I think that the suspect who killed and buried Hye-jin murdered the other missing girl because they disappeared together,” Lee said. “I don’t think this was an accidental murder because the body was cruelly cut up into pieces.”
Police dug up the naked body of Hye-jin on a hill in the Gwonseon District in Suwon, 46 kilometers [29 miles] south of Seoul, on Tuesday.
A soldier participating in reserve forces training found the body and notified police.
The discovery raised uneasiness in Suwon, where residents recalled a major unsolved case involving a serial killer in Hwaseong, 20 kilometers west of Suwon.
The killer is accused of raping and killing 10 women between the ages of 13 and 71 between 1986 and 1991. The killer has not been caught.
Meanwhile, yesterday was another day of mourning at Myeonghak Elementary School, which both girls attended.
As a way to mourn Hye-jin’s death, they put up 100 yellow handkerchiefs on a fir tree inside the school yesterday, filled with messages and condolences to their lost friend.
“It’s a heavy sadness for us,” said Lee Yun-hyung, the headmaster of the school. “I really hope that a suspect is be arrested as soon as possible.”


By Hong Hye-jin JoongAng Ilbo / Park Sang-woo Contributing Writer [enational@joongang.co.kr]

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