Man arrested on suspcion of killing 10-year-old girl
By Yi Whan-woo
Police arrested a 44-year-old man Sunday on suspicion of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl in Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province.
Investigators said the suspect, surnamed Kim, confessed that he kidnapped and strangled the girl.
The body of Han A-reum was found on Sunday inside a burlap sack on a mountain in her hometown in Tongyeong on Sunday, six days after she was reported missing.
The police have caught Kim, a Tongyeong resident, who hid on the mountain after committing the murder.
They have been chasing him after discovering a clump of Han’s hair in his truck. Kim, who collects and sells junk metal for a living, has a criminal record of sexual assault, investigators said.
Han left home for school around 7:30 a.m. on July 16 and her father reported her as missing to police at 10 p.m. the same day. Police classified the disappearance of the girl as a missing persons case on July 19 after finding her mobile phone inside a manhole 55 meters from a bus stop between her house and the school.
Police said that the phone was turned off 26 minutes after Han left home. Detectives tried to find evidence to check if she lost it by accident or someone deliberately threw it away after kidnapping her but failed.
“We didn’t find anything unusual on her call history and the cellular phone was too damaged by sewage so we could not recover any fingerprints,” a detective said.
The investigation has widened since then with an increased number of police officers on the case along with sniffer dogs.