South Korea police find body of fugitive ferry owner

July 22, 2014 3:55 am
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Police confirm a body found in a field in June is that of Yoo Byung-Eun, the fugitive owner of the Sewol ferry that sank in April with loss of nearly 300 lives/AFP
Police confirm a body found in a field in June is that of Yoo Byung-Eun, the fugitive owner of the Sewol ferry that sank in April with loss of nearly 300 lives/AFP

, SEOUL, July 22 – South Korean police said Tuesday they had found the body of the fugitive business tycoon who headed the family operating the Sewol ferry which sank in April with the loss of around 300 lives.

Yoo Byung-Eun had been the target of an unprecedented, months-long manhunt involving tens of thousands of police officers and army troops who set up checkpoints on roads and at ports, and raided a number of properties linked to the reclusive billionaire.

The body later identified as Yoo’s was actually found nearly six weeks ago on June 12, lying in a field just outside the city of in Suncheon, 300 kilometres (186 miles) south of Seoul.

Discovered by a local resident, the body was so badly decomposed as to be unrecognisable, and it was only after a DNA test that the match with Yoo was made. READ: S. Korea ferry owner seeks asylum.

After weeks of technical treatment on the body, forensic experts eventually managed to lift a print from one of the index fingers which confirmed Yoo’s identity.

Suncheon police chief Woo Hyung-Ho told reporters that the body was too decomposed to ascertain the cause of death, although several empty bottles of alcohol were found at the scene.

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