Seoul's Mayor Found Dead
“My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know.”
— Arthur Conan Doyle
Early Friday, Seoul's Mayor- Park-Won Soon disappeared into thin air...only to be found dead in the next few hours.
The Mayor's daughter reported his disappearance at 5:17 pm yesterday, and said that he had left her with a message that seemed "like a will". Later, he went on to switch off his phone.
Soon more than 600 police officers, firetrucks, police dogs and an ambulance were trying to find Park-Won soon.
His cell phone signal was last detected near a the temple in Seongbuk-dong, around the same place where his body was found.
The police have recovered his phone, bag and business cards from the site.
Park- Won Soon's body has been taken to the Seoul National University Hospital for an autopsy.
The cause of death is unclear, but the evidence so far is hinting towards a suicide. Park- Won Soon did not show up to work on Thursday and cancelled all meetings (Including one with a presidential official) because of "unavoidable reasons".
On Wednesday, the Mayor's former secretary filed a complaint against him with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for allegedly sexually assaulting her. As evidence, she submitted messages that he sent her on Telegram, the messaging app. She said that he Mayor had made physical contact several times with her since 2017. She also mentioned that there are others like her who were at some point of time subject to sexual assault by the mayor. In fact, the police were going to call in Park- Won Soon and other government officials for an investigation into this.
The sexual assault allegations were highly unexpected. Earlier, Park-Won Soon was a prominent lawyer who won South Korea’s first sexual harassment case, putting the assaulter in prison. In addition, he campaigned for the rights of Korean sex slaves who were forced to work in brothels for the Japanese Army during World War II.
In the past, former President Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide whilst facing corruption charges. Another politician, Roh Hoe-chan, also killed himself in 2018 due to corruption allegations. Hence, suicide cannot be completely ruled out as a possible cause of death.
Reporter : Haneen F