No foul play suspected in South Korean medical student’s death, official says

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May 27 (UPI) — The mysterious death of a South Korean medical student whose body was found in the Han River in Seoul is under investigation, and initial evidence indicates a friend was not involved, police say.

A spokesperson for the Seoul Metropolitan Police said Thursday investigators have found no evidence of foul play in the death of 22-year-old Sohn Jung-min, who disappeared early April 25 after 4:30 a.m., News 1 reported.

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The source showed reporters a 23-page police report and said the document is the summary of all evidence collected about Sohn’s death, the report said.

“From what has been investigated so far, there is no scenario in which the death [of Sohn] could be a crime,” the spokesperson said. “But we are still investigating, leaving open all possibilities.”

Sohn Hyun, the father of the deceased man, has interviewed frequently with local media. Sohn has said he cannot rule out wrongdoing on the part of another individual. Sohn Jung-min was with a friend, who remains unidentified, at the time of his death.

Sohn Hyun previously had said his son was afraid of water and has suggested someone may have pushed him into the river.

Local authorities said Thursday they have found photographic evidence the aquaphobia claim might not be true.

“We have secured photos taken … at overseas beaches and videos of [Sohn Jung-min] playing in the water in Korea,” the spokesperson said.

Sohn’s death has received widespread attention in the country.

News 1’s source said Thursday the claim Sohn was pushed could be false, citing a testimony from a local cab driver who picked up Sohn’s friend. The friend did not leave behind a wet seat in the cab.

Forensics also showed there were no blood traces of another person on Sohn’s body, the source said.

Sohn Hyun had publicly suggested the friend was not telling the truth about his son’s death, but the defendant’s lawyer said his client is innocent, according to the Korea Herald last week.

Chung Byeong-won said Sohn’s friend returned to look for him with his parents. Both men had been drinking heavily and the friend was concerned, the lawyer said, according to the report.