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Trial begins in gruesome Incheon murder case

June 16,2017
It was a murder that shocked the nation. On March 29, an 8-year-old girl was found dismembered on the roof of her home in Yeonsu District, Incheon.

The suspect was a 17-year-old teenager who lived in the same apartment complex as the victim and reportedly suffered from schizophrenia.

Her trial began Thursday morning at the Incheon District Court.

According to the prosecution, the suspect met a 19-year-old on the internet in February who shared a mutual fascination for cadavers. That person is being charged for accessory to murder.

“Give me a piece of the corpse as a present,” the 19-year-old told the teenager when she suggested she might commit murder.

Based on their conversations with each other on a messaging app, the two then proceeded to search for advice on “blood stain removal” and “the perfect murder.”

On the day of the incident, prosecutors said, the teenager disguised herself in her mother’s clothes and sunglasses, and at around 10:50 a.m., she headed to another building in her apartment complex, took a selfie and sent it to the 19-year-old with the message “I’m going out hunting.”

At 12:40 p.m., according to the prosecution, the teenager found her victim when the 8-year-old girl asked to borrow a phone to call her mother, after which they both proceeded to the teenager’s apartment.

They took the elevator halfway and traveled the rest using a set of emergency stairs. It was there where the teenager choked the 8-year-old girl until she was unconscious and sent a text message to the 19-year-old saying, “I caught it, the situation is good.”

The 19-year-old then asked, “Is she alive? Are her fingers pretty?”

“They’re pretty,” the teenager responded, and finished the job by dismembering the body.

The teenager then changed into her pajamas and disposed of the body in the trash.

While the police later confirmed this through CCTV cameras on site, there was initial confusion in the early stages of the investigation because the appearance of the suspect accompanying the victim did not correspond with the suspect disposing of the dismembered pieces.

While the defense acknowledged all of the suspect’s actions, it contends that the incident was opportunistic and a murder without motive. The lawyers also suggested her Asperger’s syndrome played a part in her judgement.

“I recognize all her charges but ask that it be understood as an impulsive crime,” her attorney said.

“Though she wasn’t mentally impaired at the time of the killing, when she dismembered the corpse, she resolved the issue according to her autistic inclinations, and in that, she was in a state of mental impairment. A person like that was role playing.”

The trial’s final session will open on July 4. The 19-year-old accused of being an accessory will start trial next Friday.

BY LIM MYOUNG-SOO [hwang.hosub@joongang.co.kr]