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Arrest warrant issued for elderly in poisoning case

A local court issued an arrest warrant Monday for an elderly woman involved in a poisoning case that killed two and left three neighbors in critical condition last week.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

The Daegu District Court issued the warrant, viewing the senior as a flight risk and citing the possibility of evidence being destroyed.

The 82-year-old woman, only identified by her surname Park, is suspected of poisoning her six neighbors with a soft drink containing pesticide last Tuesday during a community meeting at a small village in Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province.

The suspect has flatly denied the police accusations, claiming that someone “viciously” framed her.

The suspect was at the scene, but didn’t call the police when she saw her neighbors collapsing after sipping the soda containing insecticide, according to investigators.

The North Gyeongsang Provincial Police Agency probing the case Friday afternoon detained her and charged her with murder.

Two died and four others fell into critical condition. One woman later regained consciousness.

Park became a key suspect after the police found a capless bottle of a health drink containing insecticide, the same substance used in the poisoned soda, at her residence Friday.

The 1.5-liter soda bottle shared by the neighbors had a cap from the health drink on it, raising suspicions that Park had put the insecticide in the soda bottle, but mistakenly changed the lid.

Police also found other bottles of the same drink inside her residence that had the same expiration date as the health drink containing the toxic substance.

Adding to suspicions, Park was the only one who didn’t drink the contaminated soda pop at the time. The pesticide was also detected in her clothes and on the handlebars of her electronic scooter, according to the National Forensic Service.

The suspect, however, maintained that she did not know anything about the health drink bottle found near her residence. She also explained that she had the toxic substance on her clothes after wiping froth from the mouth of one of the collapsed neighbors.

Investigators tried to give Park a lie detector test, but the suspect refused without understanding what the test was for, according to police.

They are currently questioning village residents to gather evidence and ascertain the motive for the crime, the police said. 

By Ock Hyun-ju (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)
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