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Suspect Confesses to Murder of Two Children

Posted March. 18, 2008 03:03,   


A suspect identified by his surname Jeong in a kidnapping and murder case involving two girls in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province, confessed his crime during police questioning.

The investigation team at the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency said on March 17, “The 39-year-old suspect stated that he buried the body of 10-year-old Lee Hye-jin in Suwon and abandoned 8-year-old Woo Ye-seul’s body near the Sihwa Lake in Ansan.”

The police sent a search team to several spots, including those on the hills near Oido, Gyeonggi Province, and rivers in the Sihwa Industrial Complex, following Jeong’s statement, but it failed to find the victim’s body.

Police also said, “Jeong made inconsistent claims regarding his motive, method and details of the murder and where Woo was buried.”

Police plans to request an arrest warrant for Jeong on charges of murder and abandonment of corpses on March 18 after conducting a corroborative investigation.

○ Jeong Partly Admits to His Charges

The suspect began partly admitting to his charges on Monday afternoon after strongly denying all his charges despite tenacious interrogation.

Earlier in the day, Jeong denied the charges, saying, “In the morning of Dec. 25 last year when the girls went missing, I was sleeping at home after drinking with a friend near Sanbon Station. Between 6 and 9 p.m., I went out to Myeonghak Station to find customers who needed a substitute driver. But, I returned home when I found no work.”

Regarding the traces of blood found in a Hyundai EF Sonata that Jeong had rented the day the girls went missing, he said, “They cannot be adequate evidence. The car was used by other people.” The DNAs from the blood showed they belong to the victims.

However, police found that Jeong was off duty on Christmas, from the daily list of drivers on duty provided by “F” company which hires substitute drivers. Investigators persistently interrogated Jeong on this discovery and his inconsistent claims. He reportedly changed his mind later on.

Police said, “Jeong did not go to work on Dec. 25 and 26. He went back to work on Dec. 27, but he took a day off on Dec. 30. He resumed working on the next day. Beginning this year, he has been working for a different company.”

○ Bewildered Police

Police is puzzled by the lack of consistency in Jeong’s claims regarding his motive and details of the crime.

Although he partly admitted to the charges of murder and abandonment of corpses, he kept changing his statement, at one point reportedly saying, “I accidentally hit them with the car, so I took them away on it.”

Apart from the traces of blood in the rental car, the results of DNA test and partial confession of Jeong, police have not found material evidence to confirm Jeong’s linkage to the case.

This raised concerns within the police that the request of arrest warrant will be turned down if they fail to find powerful evidence.

Although the police undertook the second forensic examination at Jeong’s house to search for additional evidence, they were not successful in discovering evidence such as traces of blood, hair or clothes.

A police official said, “We have not ruled out the possibility of finding another suspect due to lack of material evidence and consistency in Jeong’s claims.”

Police also followed in the steps of nine others who had rented the car in question after Dec. 26 last year.

○ Future Investigation

Police sees that the discovery of Woo’s body will signify a critical point in their investigation.

They said, “If the victim’s body is found in one of the places mentioned by Jeong, it will act as irrevocable evidence in confirming the charges.”

They are also looking into whether Jeong knew Lee and Woo prior to the murder after some elementary students in Jeong’s neighborhood stated that he was on friendly terms with them, and they sometimes visited him at his home.

In addition, the police also found out that Jeong frequently drove to Suwon and Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, where four women have disappeared successively in the past year, and are trying to find connections between the missing cases and Jeong.