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(LEAD) Suspect in custody in connection with murder on hiking trail

All News 21:06 June 11, 2016

(ATTN: RECTIFIES date in lead; ADDS more info in 5th and last paras)

UIJEONGBU, South Korea, June 11 (Yonhap) -- Police said Saturday that they have taken a man into custody on the suspicion that he killed a woman found dead on a hiking trail outside Seoul earlier this week.

The 45-year-old man, identified only by his last name Chung, confessed via phone on Friday that he was behind the murder of the woman and expressed his intention to turn himself in. He was taken into custody on Saturday, according to the police.

The man is suspected of killing the 55-year-old woman, surnamed Chung, who was found dead Wednesday morning on a hiking trail on Sapaesan, a mountain located in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul.

An autopsy found marks on her neck and arms along with injuries to her head, which led police to make the preliminary conclusion that it was a murder case and that the woman was strangled to death.

The body was half naked when it was found, with money -- reportedly around 15,000 won (US$12.8) -- missing from the wallet. Tests showed that DNA from hair collected near the scene matched the suspect, police said.

Whether rape was involved has yet to be determined. Police said an investigation is underway to figure out the exact motive of the murder.

The suspect has denied any intention to rape, saying that he only tried to mug the woman after seeing her hiking alone, according to the police.
(END)

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