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Abductee Released After 19-hour Nightmare

Posted February. 16, 2009 03:04,   


The owner of a bakery in Seoul, identified only as a 39-year-old “Park,” was cleaning the kitchen Tuesday.

Like any other day, there were hardly any customers at the time. She was preparing to close the shop.

Two masked men stormed into the bakery. They knocked her down and taped her eyes and mouth.

This is the story of what happened over the 19 hours Park was kidnapped.

The abductee’s husband received a call from his wife’s cell phone around 2 a.m. Wednesday, approximately two hours after the kidnapping. The voice on the other line was not his wife’s.

“We have kidnapped your wife. Prepare 70 million won in cash (49,850 U.S. dollars). If you call the police, your wife will die. I will call you again tomorrow,” the kidnapper said.

The husband said he was shocked and did not know what to do. He spent a little more than 10 minutes agonizing what to do. Then he reported it to police.

Police were put on emergency alert. District police stations responsible for the areas where her house and shop are located immediately summoned officers.

The kidnappers called the husband at 8 a.m. They demanded the ransom again. They called him again at 10 a.m. and noon to ask him if the money was ready. Upon the advice of police, the husband bought time, saying he had to get a loan because only half of the money was prepared.

The kidnappers instructed Yoo to come to a place near Seongsan Bridge. He immediately left the house with fake 10,000 won (7.5 dollars) bills provided by police. A global positioning system was attached to the bag.

One of the kidnappers appeared at the agreed location in a helmet and a mask on a motorcycle without a license plate. He took the bag filled with counterfeit notes. Police dispatched 48 officers to secretly chase the criminal, some by motorbike, others by taxi and car.

The chase ended in 25 minutes. The kidnapper disappeared from police sight at a hill in Mok-dong, western Seoul.

At the same time, another group of police officers tried to locate the kidnapper with the help of the global positioning system. But this also did not work.

The victim`s husband kept calling his wife’s cell phone to find out whether she was alive, but the abductees did not answer the phone. He was able to check his wife’s safety for the last time at 3:02 p.m., when the criminals called him. The kidnappers said they would call him at 6 p.m. and ordered him not to call the police.

The bag the kidnapper took was discovered around 4:30 in Shindorim, southwestern Seoul. The abductee`s fate remained unknown.

Luckily, the criminals did not notice the money was fake. They called the husband at 6:30 p.m., saying they would release his wife. After 30 minutes of anxious waiting, Yoo received a phone call from his wife. “I’ve been released,” said Park, putting an end to her 19-hour nightmare.

Police are chasing the criminals by checking security camera footage.