Student kills mother, keeps body at home for 8 months
By Kim Rahn
A high school student is suspected of having killed his mother and keeping the body hidden for eight months at their home after being pressured by her to get higher exam scores.
Gwangjin Police in eastern Seoul said Thursday they have requested an arrest warrant for the 18-year-old high school senior, identified as Ji, on suspicions of murdering his mother, 51-year-old Park.
Ji is suspected of having stabbed his mother to death at their home in eastern Seoul at around 11 a.m. on March 13. The body was kept in her room for eight months.
According to police, Park kept telling her son that he must enter a top-class university and should rank first in nationwide exams. When he obtained lower scores than her expectations, she didn’t give him food or forced him to stay awake at night to study.
Being afraid of her scolding, Ji had fabricated grade reports since middle school. His fear grew as his test scores fell after entering high school.
“The student said his mother was supposed to visit his teacher, and he was afraid she might find out that he fabricated his nationwide test grade to 62nd from 4,000th and inflict severe corporal punishment on him,” a police officer said, adding 4,000th was still within the top 1 percent of all students.
On the day before the crime, the mother, not satisfied with the grade of 62nd, told him he should do better, made him do push-ups, and beat him with a baseball bat and a golf club for about 10 hours, Ji said.
Ji lived with his mother after his father left home five years ago. But his friends said that he hadn’t shown any discontent or anger to his mother, adding he was cheerful. He invited some friends to his home to eat ramen together even after the crime.
When relatives or neighbors asked about his mother’s whereabouts after the murder, Ji told them that she had left home, too. The student sealed the door of the room, where the body was kept, with glue and tape so the odor of the decaying body would not leak outside.
The crime was detected when his father dropped in at the home. Becoming suspicious when the son tried to prevent him from entering, and noticing the door was sealed, the father called the police and the murder was revealed.
“During interrogation, he cried and confessed to the killing, saying the mother kept appearing in his dreams after the crime,” the officer said.