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[Newsmaker] Parents of jailed celebrity stock analyst found dead

The parents of Lee Hee-jin, 33, a celebrity stock analyst jailed for illegal stock dealings, were found dead Saturday in an apparent double murder, police said Monday.

(Lee Hee-jin' blog)
(Lee Hee-jin' blog)

Lee’s father, 62, was found in a storage space in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, and his mother, 58, was found at her home in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province, according to Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency.

Four suspects are thought to have killed them at their home between Feb. 25 and 26, and to have abandoned the bodies in a refrigerator and wardrobe. The next morning, they called a moving company to move the fridge carrying the body of Lee’s father to the storage space in Pyeongtaek, police said in a briefing.

The bodies were found about two hours after Lee’s brother reported them missing Saturday afternoon. The bodies had sustained injuries, according to police.

Police took one suspect, 34, identified only by his surname Kim, into custody on Sunday and are seeking three others. The three other suspects were hired by Kim online, police said.

As for a motive for the killings, Kim said Lee’s father did not pay him back 20 million won ($17,700), according to police. The suspects also stole 500 million won from the victims’ house.

Police have been trying to identify how and why the victims were killed in detail. They are also investigating why they were found at different locations and whether the case is somehow related to Lee’s crimes.

Lee gained fame after labeling himself a “self-made man” who made his fortune in stock trading and by providing investment tips via social media and stock-related TV channels. He was also known for flaunting his wealth on his blog and social media, uploading photos of his expensive imported cars and his home in the posh Cheongdam neighborhood in southern Seoul.

In April last year, a Seoul court sentenced Lee to five years in prison after finding him guilty of illegal stock trading, among other offenses. He was also ordered to pay 20 billion won in fines and 13 billion won in forfeitures.