His name was Shin Won Young and he was only 7 years old. On Saturday morning, police dug him out from a shallow grave about 5 meters away from his own grandfather’s burial ground in Cheongbuk-myeon in Gyeonggi-do. He was a victim of child abuse ~ by his stepmother and his own father.
On February 12th at 11:25 pm, they visited Cheongbuk-myeon and purchased makgeolli (Korean rice wine), beef jerky and chocolate bar from a supermarket. On February 20th, the stepmother searched for the term “‘살인몇 년 형” (how many years for murder) on the internet. The couple also failed a lie detector test. The circumstantial evidence ~ card usage, CCTV footages led the police to suspect that the couple had something to do with the disappearance (and death of Won Young).
On February 1st at around 1pm, the stepmother locked the boy in the bathroom until 9:30am the following morning. For the whole 20 hours, he was alone in the dark bathroom where he died. The autopsy report of the decomposing body found in Gyeonggi-do showed that he suffered from starvation and hypothermia. The couple hid the body at the veranda of their house for 10 days (from February 2nd to 12th) until they buried him near his grandfather’s grave.
This year Won Young was supposed to enter first grade but he did not go to school. The school reported this to the authorities. The government sends out registration notices to parents to children entering first grade. On March 4th, the couple claimed that he had been missing but they did not report it. The police was mobilized to look for the missing boy. Last week, news on his disappearance were reported on TV with the poster of his smiling face.
The police searched CCTV footages and found a woman losing a child in Pyeongtaek market on February 20th. The couple claimed it looked like him so as to mislead the police from their investigation, but Won Young was already dead during that time.
Won Young was a victim of abuse by his stepmother. During the investigation, it was found that he was abused over and over again. In January, he was hit on the forehead when the stepmother found urine spilled on the floor. On the 28th of the same month, the stepmother poured chlorine bleach on the boy and made him kneel and then locked him in the bathroom. The stepmother was shocked to find that he had a hard time breathing and couldn’t eat properly.
From November of 2015, the stepmother locked the boy in the bathroom regularly. He was given only one meal a day and was hit with a toilet brush. His father had known about the abuses his wife did to his son but he claimed to fear punishment if he reported.
Police found a CCTV footage of the of the night of February 12th when the couple came out of the house carrying what seems to be the body of the boy. At 7 years old, Won Young was only 112.5 cm tall and weighed only 15.3 kg.
This story reminded me of another child abuse case that happened a few years ago in the United States ~ that of Lily Lynette Furneaux-Wolfenbarger who was abused and killed by her stepmother. It is just incomprehensible how a few women could be so evil as to hurt a helpless child. I just can’t imagine the kind of pain these kids had to endure.
RIP Shin Won Young ~
Source: Hankook Ilbo