A divorced couple accused of keeping the body of their dead infant daughter in a plastic container for three years to hide her death attended their arrest warrant hearing at a court Tuesday.
A 34-year-old woman surnamed Seo and her former husband surnamed Choi, 29, were booked late last month on charges of abandoning and concealing the body of their 15-month-old daughter since her death at their home in Pyeongtaek, 80 kilometers south of Seoul, in January 2020.
Seo is additionally charged with violating the child welfare law by having left the infant at home alone on about 70 occasions from August 2019 to early 2020 mainly to visit Choi who was serving time in prison.
The mother is also suspected of neglecting her daughter sick with fever and vomiting for about a week before her death.
Choi is accused of moving their dead daughter to his parents' home in Seoul's Seodaemun Ward after being discharged from prison several months later and putting the body into a kimchi container on the home's rooftop.
Seo and Choi are also accused of receiving child care allowances worth over 3 million won ($2,300) after falsely reporting that their daughter lives with a relative in Pocheon, 50 km north of Seoul.
Their crime came to light while Pocheon City Hall was examining the daughter's registration for regular health check-ups and other child welfare programs.
Their pretrial arrest warrant hearing took place at the Uijeongbu District Court in Uijeongbu, just north of Seoul, Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, prosecutors have decided not to apply charges of child abuse death to the couple ahead of the hearing, as they have yet to find the exact cause of the infant's death due to severe decomposition. (Yonhap)