Posted March. 12, 2009 07:55,
Lee Chang-geun visited his daughters grave at a memorial park in Euiwang, Gyeonggi Province, this week. Lee Hye-jin was only 10 years old when she was brutally murdered by a serial killer.
Tuesday marked the first anniversary of her funeral. Her body had been found in pieces.
The bereaved father shook his head when asked if he felt a little better.
I still dream about her being home, he said.
He said images of her come to him at any time while eating, drinking, watching television or lying down.
When I came home from work, she used to wait for me around the corner near our home. Then I took her to a store and bought her something to eat. I told her to get something expensive, but she always picked bread and milk. I still have vivid memories of her chatting beside me, Lee said.
He looked depressed most of the time but his face came to life the moment he began talking about his daughter.
Lee said he still regrets not buying her a mobile phone she wanted so much.
She asked me to buy her a mobile phone, saying all of her friends had one, he recalled. I couldnt get her one immediately because it was expensive. I intended to buy her one when she entered middle school. If only Id bought her one, I couldve called her that day (when she was kidnapped)
The loss of his daughter dramatically changed his life. For starters, he began to drink heavily. Since he could not concentrate on his work at a printing factory, he turned to alcohol.
He also said he often cried, overwhelmed by thoughts of his little daughter. Finally, he quit his job in November last year.
Lee said he could barely eat properly and had insomnia until dawn. He weighs just 40 kilograms, having lost more than 10 kilograms over the past year.
He tried manual labor at a construction site but his weakened state prevented him from carrying reinforced bars or bricks.
His lack of income led to unpaid utility bills. His mobile phone bill is three months overdue. He can only receive incoming calls and cannot make calls.
Lee said he tried to borrow two million won from a private lender with no collateral, but he declined to do so after the lender tried to charge 25 percent as advance interest.
After returning from his daughters grave, he went to a community office in his neighborhood to apply for a public works job. Early that morning, his wife also went out to look for a job.