By Na Jeong-ju
The bereaved family of a woman killed by a Korean Chinese man in Suwon last month has raised suspicions of a possible link between the 42-year-old suspect and traffickers of human flesh operating in China.
Police concluded that the murderer, whose Chinese name is Wu Yuanchun, accidentally killed the 28-year-old victim after kidnapping and raping her.
But the family raised doubts about the conclusion, claiming the murder was premeditated, and that Wu was part of a Chinese ring that deals in human flesh.
The victim’s brother and sister recently appeared on a television talk show and presented several reasons why they believe so.
When police found her body, it was chopped into 280 pieces and was placed in 14 plastic bags. The family said Wu had no reason to mutilate her corpse in such a manner if it was an accidental murder.
He also had four mobile phones and visited China very often while working in Korea. According to police, Wu came to Korea in 2007 and had worked at several construction sites, making some 1.5 to 2 million won a month.
“It’s very unusual for a poor construction worker to have four mobile phones. He also spent a lot of money in traveling between Korea and China. These suspicions have not been cleared,” the sister said.
She suspects Wu was a professional killer and might have provided human flesh to Chinese traffickers.
“Our family wants the police to take our suspicions seriously and reopen their investigation. There could be many more victims who had been killed by Wu,” she said.
Wu told detectives that, on April 1, he abducted the woman and took her to his rented house to rape her, but couldn’t do so because she resisted strongly. He then hit the head of the victim with a wrench twice and strangled her. After that, he took the body to the bathroom and cut it into pieces. Wu then went out of his house to purchase plastic bags to contain the mutilated corpse.
His neighbors in Suwon said he was a quiet man who liked drinking alone. Police found a bottle of Chinese liquor, photos of naked women and sanitary pads at his house.
Wu was indicted on charges of murder, kidnapping and violence. In the first court hearing early this month, he admitted all the charges and apologized to her family.
“I was drunk and in a bad mood when I committed the crime. I accidentally killed her,” he told the judge. The court hearing is scheduled for June 1.
The family’s claims are drawing public attention. Many bloggers called for a reinvestigation into the alleged link between Wu and the human flesh business.
More cases of the smuggling of so-called “human flesh capsules,” made of dead human fetuses or infants, from China have been uncovered since the first one was brought to light in August last year. Customs authorities said they have so far uncovered 35 attempts to bring in such capsules in travelers’ luggage or by mail. They are consumed by some people in the belief that they boost stamina.
The Suwon murder case triggered a public uproar after it was found that police mishandled an emergency call for help from the victim. It prompted National Police Agency (NPA) head Cho Hyun-oh to resign in early April.
The NPA said Thursday it decided to take disciplinary measures against 14 officers for neglecting their duty regarding the incident.
범죄 수법의 잔혹성과 함께 경찰의 부실수사로 국민의 공분을 산 ‘수원 20대 여성 살인사건’ 유가족은 오원춘이 계획된 살인을 저질렀을 가능성이 높다고 주장하는 것으로 알려졌다.
‘수원 살인사건’ 피해자의 언니와 남동생은 23일 방송될 tvN ‘백지연의 피플인사이드’에 출연해 우발적 살인으로 결론지은 검찰수사에 의문을 제기하며 재수사를 촉구했다.
유가족은 항간에 떠도는 ‘오원춘의 인육 유통 조직 연계설’에 상당 부분 공감한다고 밝혔다.
피해자의 유가족은 “범행동기가 고기(인육) 제품을 생산하는 그런 걸로 보는 거다. 오원춘이 공급책일 수 있다. 포인트는 성범죄가 아니다”며 오원춘의 인육 유통 조직 연계설에 개연성이 있음을 주장했다.
특히 “14개의 비닐봉지에 균등하게 280여 개의 살점이 담긴 것으로 미뤄, 초범에 우발적 살인이라면 사체를 이렇게 훼손하지 못 했을 것”이라고 설명하고, 오원춘이 일용직 노동자임에도 휴대전화를 4대나 소지한 것과 중국 왕래가 잦았던 점을 근거로 들었다.
이에 대해 유가족은 “검찰에도 수사를 요청했으나 아직 밝혀낸 게 없다는 답을 들었다”고 말했다.
한편 가해자 오원춘은 1차 공판에서 모든 혐의를 인정했다. 2차 공판은 다음달 1일 오전 10시에 열린다.