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Olle murder prompts trail shutdown, suspect in custodySeoul promises greater police presence, supervision of convicted sex offenders
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승인 2012.07.24  20:44:32
페이스북 트위터

On July 23 at around 6:30 p.m. the body of a woman, surname Kang, reported missing 11 days ago was found near Olle Course No. 1. The 40-year-old woman was visiting the island from Seoul for a three-day trip to walk the popular hiking trails when she went missing.

Suspect “K,” arrested on July 23, confessed to the killing of Kang to the Jeju Dongbu Police during questioning and he told them of the body’s location.

The body was found 1 km from the beginning of Olle Course No. 1 near Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Seogwipo City.

Olle Course No. 1 has been closed until further notice.

According to a statement by “K,” Kang came upon him urinating near the Olle path and thinking him to be a sexual predator pulled out her phone to call the police. With a police record from two prior robbery convictions, he said he impulsively took the phone from her hand and strangled her with the rope from the bag she was carrying.

Her family was unable to contact Kang after her first night on Jeju (July 11), staying at a guest house near where her body was found. Her family reported her missing to police on July 14, the day after she was expected to have returned home from Jeju, and a police investigation began.

On July 20 at 2:30 p.m., 18 kilometers away from where she went missing, Kang’s severed hand was found in one of her sneakers near the Manjang Cave bus stop, in Gujwa-eup, Jeju City.

"K" told police that the reason he left part of her body at the bus stop was “because I wanted to return part of her to her family.”

The police identified "K" as a suspect from witness statements claiming he was seen walking near the entrance to Olle Course No. 1 when Kang went missing.

The police took “K” into custody on July 23 without a warrant out of fear that he would either go into hiding or tamper with evidence. Police requested an arrest warrant for “K” on July 24.

"K" confessed to Kang’s murder while police were investigating bloodstains found in a car he borrowed from one of his neighbors on the day Kang went missing. During his confession “K” said that he used the car to move Kang’s body.

"K" has a criminal record from two prior robbery conviction in 2003 and 2008.

In a related story, Park Jeong Ha, government spokesman, said that during a senior secretary meeting on July 23 President Lee Myung Bak stated that “the government needs to pay attention to this case and emergency measures are direly in need,” to prevent other similar tragedies.

The central government needs progressive measures to ensure the security of remote roads, especially during the holiday season and around Olle paths,” Park said.

On July 23, Suh Myung Sook, founder of Jeju Olle, released her organization’s nine security stipulations that Olle travelers are required to obey to help prevent future crimes before they happen.

The stipulations include that during Olle road travelers are recommended to depart after 9 a.m., within a group, and finish hiking by 6 p.m during summer and 5 p.m. during winter. It also advised women travelers to book women-only or officially authorized accommodations.

She stated that Kang’s death was a big shock to everyone at the Olle organization since the tourist attraction has been popular due to “warm hearted Jeju residents.”

Influenced by the recent gruesome murders throughout Korea, police released a statement on July 23 saying that they will take measures to prevent future similar crimes. The statement says that over the next 40 days police will preform checks on 20,000 people convicted of sex crimes who, within the past 15 years, have spent more than 5 years in jail.

Police will also check on those who have spent more than 3 years in jail within the last 10 years as well as people who have been arrested twice or more for sex crimes within the last 5 years. Police used to interview people convicted of sex crimes every one to three months. As of late, the police have been criticized for their complacency towards these issues.

(With reporting by Hyeon Bong Cheol, Jeju Ilbo)
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (
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