(ATTN: ADDS details in 4th para)
SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- The police on Saturday arrested a man on charges of brutally abusing his nine-year-old stepdaughter, around two weeks after the girl escaped from her home seeking help.
The 35-year-old suspect was going to be summoned earlier this week, but it was delayed after the man attempted to harm himself in protest of the decision to place the family's other children under temporary custody.
The suspect declined to answer questions asked by reporters.
During the investigation, however, he admitted to most of the allegations. The police also said they have found what motivated him to commit such abuses without providing further details.
The police plan to investigate the victim's 27-year-old mother, who was also hospitalized, in the near future as well.
On May 29, a barefooted 9-year-old girl was found wandering on a roadside by a neighbor in the southeastern city of Changnyeong.
It was later revealed that the girl escaped from her home after being brutally abused by her mother and stepfather, with her feet even seared with heated metal chopsticks.
The victim also testified to the child protection agency that she was given only one meal a day and that the parents also confined her with chains.
The police earlier raided the home of the girl and found a handful of items that are presumed to have been used to abuse the victim, including chains and a frying pan.
Investigators have secured two boxes of evidences so far.
Police can hold him for up to 48 hours from the moment of arrest before winning a court-issued warrant of confinement.
"We are making efforts to verify the allegations based on the testimonies from the victim," a police official said.
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