Hwaseong Fears Return of Serial Killer

      January 09, 2007 09:27

      The second woman in 20 days has disappeared in the town of Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, the site of Korea's infamous, and unsolved, serial killings in the late 1980s.

      Police say the mobile phones of the two women were switched off in locations close to each other. A woman identified as Park (52) who worked as a bookkeeper for a plastics manufacturer has not been seen for five days after she left the office at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

      Police found that her mobile phone was turned off some 10 km from her company. On Dec. 14 last year, a woman identified as Bae (46), who was working as a hostess in a karaoke bar, disappeared after making her last call on her cell phone near Geumjeong Station in Gunpo City at 4 a.m. The cell phone was then switched off nearby.

      The two disappeared some 10 km from the area where the 10 serial murders took place between 1986 and 1991 and a female college student was murdered in October 2004.

      The killings inspired the film "Memories of Murder" directed by Bong Joon-ho. Police have been searching for the two women near where their phones were turned off since Monday.

      "We confirmed where their mobile phones were turned off and are investigating phone calls the two women made to their friends and acquaintances," a police officer said.

      "We suspect they may have fallen victim to a crime, but we haven't confirmed whether their disappearance is linked to the serial murders of the past."

      Those killings are likely to remain unsolved since the 15-year statute of limitations for the tenth murder expired in April 2006. The 2004 murder also remains unsolved.

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