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Mother under arrest after 2-month-old found dead in freezer

Yeosu Police Station (Yonhap)
Yeosu Police Station (Yonhap)
Police are investigating the death of an infant found inside a freezer at an apartment unit in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province. The mother, 43, has been arrested on charges including child abuse and abandonment of a corpse, investigators in Yeosu said Tuesday.

It is suspected that the dead baby, a boy, was about 2 months old when he died and had been kept in the freezer since. He appeared to be the twin brother of the woman’s daughter, who is now 2 years old.

Police say they were seeking to determine how the young child died and ended up in the freezer, as well as whether there was any physical abuse or neglect leading to his death.

The family was first brought to police attention on Nov. 10 by a neighbor‘s report that the mother was neglecting care for her two children, aged 2 and 7.

Police officers, after finding potential signs of abuse, sent the children to a child care facility for temporary protection. There, the older child said his sister had a twin brother. This prompted investigators to search the house and discover the dead body inside the freezer on Thursday.

Local reports say the woman under suspicion is a single mother who worked overnight from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., leaving no one at home to take care of the children. She also failed to register the birth of the twins.

Under Korean law, those who commit child abuse and put the victim in critical condition can be sentenced to more than three years in prison. If the victim dies, the penalty can be raised to more than five years in prison.

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)
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