Go to contents

Parents of Slain Kidnapped Girl Helping Other Victims

Posted September. 18, 2009 08:39,   


A couple whose only daughter was killed after being kidnapped in Seoul in 2006 have donated tens of millions of won (8,920 U.S. dollars) per year to a charity group to help other victims like themselves.

The coupled asked the Beautiful Foundation to use the money to help the families of those killed by criminals.

Heo Mi-yeon was just 11 years old when she was kidnapped by a storeowner nearby a video rental store in February 2006. Her body was later found abandoned.

Her father, 42, and mother, 41, went to the foundation in 2007 and said “We have a special reason for making a donation.” They later told the charity group that they were the parents of the child who was killed in Seoul’s Yongsan district, adding, “We want to help those who lost their beloved relatives to criminals.”

The couple pledged to donate 10 million won (8,290 dollars) a year for 10 years from 2007, and signed a contract with the foundation in March of that year. They promised to donate 30 million won (24,800 dollars) through this year but have donated 40 million won (33,170 dollars).

They frequently visit the foundation to give more and say they think of the fund as if it were their dead daughter. Donations from others who heard their story poured in, and the fund is now worth 46.8 million won (38,000 dollars).

The fund is used to help the families of victims as recommended by the Korea Center for Victims of Crime. In 2007 and last year, 19 million won (15,750 dollars) was given to five households and 16 million won (13,270 dollars) this year has gone to eight households.

A foundation staff member said, “The families benefited from the Guardian Angel Fund, including those who lost relatives to serial killers Yoo Young-chul and Jeong Nam-gyu, and those who lost their breadwinners to burglars.”

Heo’s parents had avoided the media for three years, but are slowly finding peace by helping other victims’ families.

A foundation member said, “Mr. and Mrs. Heo felt so much pain thinking about their dead child, but now mention her favorite food when showing her picture.”

When speaking to a foundation member about memories with their daughter, one of the parents said, “Mi-yeon donated the allowance she earned by shining her parents’ shoes.”

They also handed over cards to victims’ families who received the fund, “We lost our beloved child. We’re doing a small thing to stop our sorrow from turning into anger. We hope we can help you a little bit,” the couple said.

A foundation staff member said, “I’ve met Mr. and Mrs. Heo twice or three times a year to explain how we distributed their donations. The work that Mi-yeon’s parents started with courage is a great help and encouragement to the suffering of victims’ families.”