Sewol Owner Found Dead in Plum Field
South Korean police has reported finding the body of the fugitive billionaire wanted over April’s Sewol ferry sinking that left more than 300 people dead or missing.
The decomposed body of what was confirmed by DNA analysis to be Yoo Byung-eun, the owner of Chonghaejin Marine Co., operator of Sewol, was found in a plum field outside the city of Suncheon, 415 kilometres south of Seoul, on June 12, Yonhap reports.
“DNA samples taken from the badly decomposed body exactly matched those of Yoo,” Woo Hyung-ho, Sucheon chief of police said in a televised press briefing.
“A print taken from the body’s right index finger also has been confirmed.”
According to Woo, the DNA taken from the body matched the samples found in Yoo’s vacation home some 2.5 kilometres from the field in which the body was found.
Woo also added that the police have not discovered any signs of physical trauma on the body, and that the cause of death still needs to be confirmed.
However, some police officers involved in the case raised concerns by claiming that the body found is not that of Yoo, stating that the body was far too decomposed to provide any solid grounds for identification at this stage.
A country-wide manhunt was launched with the purpose of tracking down Yoo, who was on the run since April 16, when Sewol ferry accident claimed 294 lives, with 10 still missing.
South Korean Prosecution reported that 331 people have been under investigation for the accident, including family members of Yoo, Sewol crewmen and Coast Guard officials.
World Maritime News Staff; July 22nd, 2014