On January 6, KST, around the evening, the police received a report that said, “There is a person in the river, but they are not moving.” When they arrived at the spot, it seemed to be the scene of a tragic accident or another unfortunate case of suicide in the Han River.
But this incident has since taken up a confusing unfolding, and netizens are deeply concerned.
On Saturday, after receiving the initial report, the police deployed to the scene of the incident in the next 17 minutes, at around 8:24 pm. The situation turned out to be grimmer than expected, as they discovered the lifeless body of a woman floating in the Han River, a knife lodged in her chest.
The circumstances immediately pointed at murder. But the local police shared their findings on January 11, KST, saying that so far, the investigation suggests that the woman took her own life. There have been no signs of foul play discovered as of yet.
The investigation has unearthed some of the crucial details pertaining to the victim’s identity and whereabouts before her death. She was an Incheon resident in her 30s. On the day she died, the woman was spotted leaving her home at around 1 pm, and she reached a park next to the Han River at around 7:30 pm by public transport.
The knife stabbed into her chest was bought by the victim herself on January 6 from a local store near her house. Throughout the journey, the woman was by herself. However, there is a 37-minute period between her reaching the park and the initial discovery of her lifeless body that remains unaccounted for.
The police analyzed surveillance footage of the park which showed nobody entered or exited the area except the victim. It also didn’t have any relevant footage to explain what happened to the woman. But the initial autopsy reports by the National Forensic Service recorded her cause of death as “profuse bleeding from a chest wound.”
The contradiction between the autopsy and the police reports has intrigued netizens with suspicions. One comment under a news article on Naver asked if it was even possible for a woman to stab her own body with enough force to penetrate it. Another netizen pondered why she would go to the Han River if she was planning to stab herself to death anyway. Some netizens also warned others against jumping to conclusions, pointing out that lack of evidence for homicide did not automatically mean suicide.
Netizens’ curiosity about the case has brought it to national attention. On Monday, January 8, lawyer Son Soo Ho talked about it on a radio program, pointing out some interesting elements about the case that make it tricky to solve. The woman’s body had no defensive wounds, which are usually present in the case of an attack. She also had no marks of hesitation, which implies that she didn’t hesitate at all while stabbing herself so hard that it pierced through her back.
Son also pointed out, “Another point is her cause of death. It was the loss of blood, not drowning.”
With so much public curiosity harboring on the case, the police announced on Thursday that they are not ruling out any possibilities as of yet, even though the chances of a murder seem very slim at this point.