Mystery killing in OBGYN clinic
Questions remain over the death of a woman who was the lover of an obstetrician who injected her with a cocktail of dangerous drugs and then disposed of the body when she died.
A police investigation concluded that the physician accidentally killed her without intending to do so, but unanswered points remain, such as why the doctor, with his knowledge of medicine, gave her a mixture of dangerous drugs.
According to a police statement, Wednesday, the 45-year-old doctor, surnamed Kim, encouraged the victim, a 30-year-old, surnamed Lee, to visit his hospital in southern Seoul for sedative shots on July 30.
Police will refer the case to the prosecution today, charging Kim with committing manslaughter and abandoning the victim’s body. Kim’s wife is also suspected of assisting her husband in disposing of the corpse. She claims she didn’t know Kim and Lee were having an affair.
According to police, the two were in an extramarital relationship for about a year and she often had such shots from Kim before they had sex, the doctor testified.
At around 11 p.m., Lee visited the hospital and Kim allegedly injected a mixture of 13 kinds of sedatives and anesthetics.
They then had sex and slept for about an hour. Kim told the police that when he woke up, she was dead.
Kim put her body in a wheelchair, loaded it in her luxury sedan and abandoned the car at a Han River park at around 4:40 a.m. the next day. Kim then returned home after his wife went to the park and picked him up. In the afternoon, Kim gave himself up to police with his lawyer.
Unaware of danger of drugs?
Kim told police he visited Lee’s house in southern Seoul several times over the last year, to inject propofol and have sex. Propofol is used as a sedative but intoxication can lead to death, as in the case of Michael Jackson.
The doctor first said he injected Lee with several sedatives including Midazolam on the day of her death, but he later confessed to injecting 13 kinds of drugs, including four with an anesthetic effect such as Vecaron and Naropin. It is said medication of those drugs at the same time can cause a high chance of death from respiratory failure.
“Experts said mixing Midazolam, Vecaron and Naropin can cause death. They said if the drugs should be used at the same time, the medication should be done at a place equipped with emergency apparatus such as a respirator,” a police officer at Seocho Police Station said.
“An anesthetist told us that Vecaron is a very strong anesthetic, saying he doubts whether an obstetrician, who has over 10 years of surgery experience, didn’t know the possibility of danger of the medication,” the officer said.
Was it intentional?
According to Kim, Lee said she was very tired on the day and wanted to sleep soundly, so he mixed the various drugs to enhance their sedative effect.
He claims that he didn’t intend to kill her, saying he thought the medication would not be that harmful because he didn’t inject it directly into her vein but put it in Ringer’s solution.
The doctor also said that he abandoned the body, thinking the death could ruin his future career and cause damage to his hospital.
Police also failed to find evidence for murder. An autopsy on Lee’s body didn’t find a conclusive cause of death, while Kim passed a lie detector test as well.
“We don’t believe the crime was premeditated, considering he didn’t know that his removal of the body was recorded by the hospital’s surveillance cameras and he abandoned it in a public place. So far, we see the killing as accidental,” the officer said.
However, experts say that if Kim administered such strong anesthetics without a respirator, he may have wanted the death to happen.
Prosecutors said they will investigate thoroughly to check if there was any possibility of murder. They also plan to look into whether Kim had money transactions with Lee.