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(2nd LD) Police find body of missing girl on hillside in Gunsan

All News 10:38 December 29, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 3-4)

JEONJU, South Korea, Dec. 29 (Yonhap) -- Police on Friday found the body of a 5-year-old missing girl on a hillside in the western coastal city of Gunsan following her father's confession to having disposed of it, officials said.

The Jeonbuk Provincial Police Agency said that at 4:45 a.m., the body of Koh Jun-hee was discovered wrapped in a towel under a tree on the hillside, about a 50-minute drive from where she stayed. She was reported to have gone missing a little over three weeks ago.

The investigation into the case gained traction as her 36-year-old father, who was put under emergency arrest, confessed Thursday to having dumped her body on a hill in the city 270 kilometers south of Seoul in April.

Based on the father's statement, police presume that Koh died because she choked on food. Her father has said that he concealed her death for fear that it would cause trouble in his divorce settlement with her birth mother.

Police plan to examine her body to find out the exact cause of death, officials said.

Police opened their investigation into Koh's case after her stepmother reported to the police on Dec. 8 that she had gone missing.

They mobilized 3,000 personnel, search dogs and helicopters to find her over the past few weeks.

Kim Young-geun, a provincial police official, speaks to the press after the body of a missing girl was found on a hillside in the western coastal city of Gunsan on Dec. 29, 2017. (Yonhap)


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