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.