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Decapitation suspect arrested at rest stop

Aug 23,2018
The suspect in the brutal murder of a middle-aged man said he killed the victim out of rage after the victim threatened to report him to the police over an illegal hostess service at his karaoke bar, police said Wednesday.

Police on Tuesday arrested a 34-year-old karaoke bar owner surnamed Byun at an expressway rest stop in Seosan, South Chungcheong, for murder and body mutilation.

Byun is accused of stabbing the 51-year-old victim, surnamed Ahn, to death in his karaoke bar in Anyang, Gyeonggi, and decapitating and mutilating the body before disposing of it near a parking lot in Seoul Grand Park on Aug. 10.

Police were chasing the suspect after Ahn’s dismembered body was found in a bush at Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi, on Sunday. Byun has admitted to the charges.

Byun told police he killed Ahn, who came to his karaoke bar as a customer, because he threatened to file a police report on him for running an illegal hostess business at the bar. Both he and the victim were intoxicated at the time, police said.

Ahn apparently made the threat after he and Byun got into a scuffle about a hostess Byun had called in for the victim. He complained to Byun about the hostess’ attitude and demanded he replace the hostess for him.

It is illegal to run a hostess business at a karaoke bar in Korea.

Byun told police he mutilated the body in his bar for fear that his crime would be revealed. He went out to buy a tool to dismember the body, police said.

He chose to dispose the body at Seoul Grand Park, located only a few kilometers south of the capital, because he found out there was a lot of vegetation in the park through an internet search.

The dismembered body, contained in black plastic bags, was only discovered on Sunday by a park worker. An autopsy conducted on Monday revealed the corpse had decomposed severely with the cause of death remaining unknown.

Police, however, analyzed the park’s surveillance footage from Aug. 10 and tracked down Byun’s car on Tuesday afternoon, over 50 miles from where the body was found.

Byun has no past criminal record.

BY YONHAP, SHIM KYU-SEOK [shim.kyuseok@joongang.co.kr]