The body of a former lawmaker who went missing Monday after he allegedly jumped off a bridge was found in the Hangang River on Tuesday, police and fire officials said.
Police began searching for Kim Jong-yull on Monday after receiving a call from his acquaintance for whom Kim had left a text message saying he wanted to die.
“We discovered the body of former lawmaker Kim at around 10:55 a.m. today,” a police officer said, adding that Kim’s ID card was found inside his clothes and also that Kim’s family members confirmed his identity.
The body was found at the bottom of the river some 25 meters downstream from a marina near Banpo Bridge, where police found Kim‘s shoes, fire officials said.
The former two-term lawmaker of the main opposition Democratic Party underwent questioning by the prosecution on Sunday on suspicions that he took bribes worth 500 million won ($449,000) from a local biotechnology venture firm, K-STEMCELL Co. Ltd., prosecution officials said.
K-STEMCELL officials alleged that they gave the money to Kim, asking him to pass them on to a high-ranking official at the financial regulator surnamed Yoon, they added.
During questioning, Kim confessed that he kept the kickbacks for himself, according to prosecution sources.
The lawyer-turned-lawmaker had headed the North Chungcheong Province committee of the DP. The disgraced former lawmaker lost his seat in September 2009 after being convicted of receiving bribes from a local real-estate company.
According to a suicide note that Kim had left behind for his family members, he said he wanted an opportunity to restore his reputation that was marred by parliamentary seat loss, police officers said.
Police also said the recovered body will be transferred to a mortuary in a nearby hospital. (Yonhap News)