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To steal victim's identity? What expert says about suspect in Busan murder

23-year-old suspect: 'I was out of my mind'

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : June 2, 2023 - 12:51

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Murder suspect Jung Yoo-jung, wearing a hat and a mask, leaves a police detention center en route to the prosecution in Busan on Friday. (Yonhap) Murder suspect Jung Yoo-jung, wearing a hat and a mask, leaves a police detention center en route to the prosecution in Busan on Friday. (Yonhap)

Jung Yoo-jung, a 23-year-old suspect in the murdering, dismembering and disposing of the body of a woman in her 20s in Busan, might have killed her with the intention to steal her identity, a profiler suggested Friday.

Lee Soo-jung, a criminal psychology professor at Kyonggi University, told MBC that the purpose of the crime may have been "stealing the victim's identity."

Lee said, “The victim was a popular tutor on the app. The suspect seems to have tried to steal the victim's identity by murdering her as a way to overcome the handicap (of a sense of inferiority).” The victim is reported to have been a student at a prestigious university.

Experts noted that Jung found the target of the crime through an app for matching tutors — mostly college students — with clients.

According to reports quoting investigators, the suspect had a inferiority complex over her lack of English skills, which appears to have made it difficult for her to pass a test and get a job. "The suspect seems to have felt inferior in her English skills while preparing for a civil service exam and looking for employment," a police official was quoted as saying by Kukje Daily. It was not clear how stealing the victim's identity would help Jung with the test or employment.

It is reported that the suspect arranged to meet the victim through an app for matching tutors with students. The suspect approached the victim by pretending to be a mother of a middle school student looking for a private English tutor, police said.

The suspect initially claimed it was an accidental murder, but recent remarks seem to indicate the case was premeditated. Police discovered the suspect had searched for books and online communities related to information on murder for months, police added.

Jung reportedly had lived alone with her grandfather for five years without a regular job after graduating from high school in 2018. The suspect reportedly had been preparing for a civil service exam until just before the murder.

Jung is reported to have a quiet personality. According to a police investigation, Jung had no close friends or social ties, rarely left the house and often read crime novels and watched online content at home.

On Friday, she told reporters she feels sorry for the victim's family, saying she was "out of my mind."

The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency has revealed the identity of Jung Yoo-jung, 23, who is accused of murdering a woman in her 20s. (Busan Metropolitan Police Agency) The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency has revealed the identity of Jung Yoo-jung, 23, who is accused of murdering a woman in her 20s. (Busan Metropolitan Police Agency)