The mayor of Seoul was found dead just seven hours after police began searching for him.
Mayor Park Won-soon was reported missing last Thursday hours after his daughter said he left their home. She said Park gave her a verbal message that sounded “will-like.”
CNN reported Friday that Park’s body “was found on Bukak mountain in Seoul’s Seongbuk-gu neighborhood, just after midnight on Friday local time,” which was “very close to his official residence in Jongno-gu.”
“Police did not reveal how the mayor died, in order to protect his privacy, but they have ruled out foul play,” the outlet reported. “No suicide note was left behind, and his belongings were found nearby, said Choi Ik-soo, an official at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Crime department, during a briefing on Friday.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Park gave his daughter the cryptic “will-like” message before leaving their home Thursday morning. She reported him missing to police hours later.
“Kim Ji-hyeong, a Seoul Metropolitan Government official, said Park did not come to work on Thursday for unspecified reasons and had canceled all of his schedule, including a meeting with a presidential official at his Seoul City Hall office,” the AP reported at the time. “The reason for Park’s disappearance wasn’t clear. The Seoul-based SBS television network reported that one of Park’s secretaries had lodged a complaint with police on Wednesday night over alleged sexual harassment such as unwanted physical contact that began in 2017. The SBS report, which didn’t cite any source, said the secretary told police investigators that an unspecified number of other female employees at Seoul City Hall had suffered similar sexual harassment by Park.”
Around 600 police and rescue crews began searching the area in the wooded hills in northern Seoul after Park’s cell phone signal was detected nearby. A security camera showed Park heading into the hills at 10:53 a.m. on Thursday. His daughter called police that afternoon.
The hundreds of rescue crews – and three rescue dogs – searched the wooded hills and the city for seven hours before discovering Park’s body.
Choi was asked during the briefing on Friday about the sexual misconduct allegation against Park and responded that a complaint had been filed on Wednesday. As CNN reported, South Korean law dictates that open investigations be closed when a suspect dies, “as the prosecutors have no ground to make an indictment.”
Park was a civic activist, human rights lawyer, and member of the liberal Democratic Party, just as South Korean President Moon Jae-in. He had long been considered as a possible presidential candidate in 2022, the AP reported. Park was elected as Seoul’s mayor in 2011 and became the first mayor to be elected to a third term.
The AP also reported that Park had worked to stop the spread of the coronavirus in his city of 10 million people, which became the center of the virus outbreak in South Korea after restrictions were lifted in May.