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.
"모의고사 성적 고친거 들통나면 체벌받을까 겁났다"
더 좋은 성적을 받아오라는 강요를 견디다 못해 어머니를 살해하고 시신을 썩을 때까지 방치한 고3 우등생이 붙잡혔다.
서울 광진경찰서는 24일 모친을 흉기로 찔러 숨지게 하고 시신을 내버려둔 혐의(존속살해 및 사체유기)로 고등학교 3학년 A(18)군에 대해 구속영장을 신청했다.
경찰에 따르면 A군은 지난 3월13일 오전 11시께 광진구의 아파트 자택에서 부엌에 놓인 흉기로 어머니 B(51)씨의 목을 찔러 숨지게 한 뒤 8개월간 시신을 숨겨둔 혐의를 받고 있다.
A군은 경찰에서 "어머니가 '학부모 방문의 날'인 다음날 학교에 오기로 돼있었는데 모의고사 성적표에 전국 62등을 했다고 고쳐놓은게 들통나면 무서운 체벌을 받게 될까봐 겁이 났다"고 진술했다.
평소 어머니 B씨는 "전국 1등을 해야 한다", "꼭 서울대 법대를 가야한다"며 자주 폭력을 휘둘렀고 아들의 성적이 마음에 들지 않으면 밥을 안주거나 잠을 못자게 했다고 경찰은 전했다.
어머니에게 혼날 것이 두려워 중학교 3학년 때부터 성적표를 위조해 보여줬던 A군은 모의고사를 보면 4천등 이내에 들 정도로 성적이 우수했으며 최근 응시한 대학수학능력시험 가채점에서도 비슷한 점수를 받은 것으로 조사됐다.
A군은 안방에 있는 시신이 부패해 냄새가 나기 시작하자 문틈을 공업용 본드로 밀폐하기까지 했지만, 5년 전 가출했다가 최근 집에 들른 아버지가 이상한 악취를 느끼고 경찰에 신고해 결국 범행이 드러났다.