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Mother and her three children found dead in parking lot

July 10,2018
A 43-year-old housewife and her three children - 2, 4 and 6 years old - were found dead in their car at an outdoor parking lot in Incheon on Saturday. Articles commonly used to commit suicide, and a short memo, presumably a suicide note, were also found inside the car.

Upon receiving a report from the mother of the housewife, who had gotten a text message from her daughter hinting that she would end her own life, police tracked down the housewife’s car and dispatched police officers to the location.

The housewife was not under any financial pressure, according to authorities after a police investigation. She also had no medical record of treatment for depression or other mental illnesses.

Police commissioned autopsies to determine the exact causes of death.

In September 2017, two children - 4 and 6 years old - were found dead in their apartment in Namyangju, Gyeonggi. Next to the children was their mother, who was found unconscious in her own blood after she had slit her left wrist. Inside the room, a suicide note that read “I will take the kids,” was also found.

In February of the same year, a 37-year-old mother suffering from depression, and her two children - 7 and 11 years old - were found dead in their apartment in Ulsan.

On average, 14 cases of parents killing their own children and then themselves occur each year, according to a research paper published by the Scientific Investigation division of the Seoul Metropolitan Policy Agency.

These crimes are the result of distorted perceptions that view children as personal possessions, analysts say. “Parents kill their own children and commit suicide because of the misperception that they have the right to do as they please with their own children,” Jeong Taeg-su, head of the Korea Suicide Prevention Center said.

BY KIM MIN-WOOK [enational@joongang.co.kr]