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Police reveal first confession of S.Korean suspect in murder of fellow national in Ho Chi Minh City

Saturday, December 28, 2019, 16:35 GMT+7
Police reveal first confession of S.Korean suspect in murder of fellow national in Ho Chi Minh City
A car was found burned near Thu Thiem 2 Bridge in District 2 in conjunction with a robbery-murder in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, on December 21, 2019. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City police have revealed the initial confession made by theSouth Korean suspect in a robbery-murder that resulted in the death of a South Korean woman and severe injuries to her husband and daughter in District 7 last weekend.

Investigators took testimony from South Korea’s Lee Hyeong Won on Friday afternoon after he had been apprehended on Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1 two days earlier.

Lee, 29, entered Vietnam on a visitor visa and shared a rental room with a friend on Le Thi Rieng Street in District 1.

Lee worked as an attendant at a karaoke bar in District 5 for earnings while in Vietnam.

He hailed a Grab ride to the Phu My Hung area in District 7 to distribute flyers promoting his karaoke bar on the night of December 20.

Allegedly driven by his greed, the man came up with a plan to rob a residence in Phu My Hung, which is home to a South Korean family comprising of Yoon Sang Yong, 50, his wife Jung Yuong Sook, 49, and their daughter Yoon Jeong Jyi, 16.

Lee Hyeong Won is arrested by the police District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 25, 2019. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Lee Hyeong Won is arrested by the police District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 25, 2019. Photo: Tuoi Tre

After spending some time observing the house, Lee climbed over a fence surrounding the residence at around 2:30 am on December 21.

Following his successful intrusion, Lee hid for a while and took a knife from the kitchen for “self-defense,” he told police officers.

Lee then entered the bedroom where he was discovered by Jung Yuong Sook. The intruder used the knife to stab the 49-year-old woman to her death on the spot.

Lee also attacked Yoon Sang Yong, slitting his throat, and knifed Yoon Jeong Jyi, leaving the father and daughter with severe injuries.

The intruder then demanded that the 16-year-old girl show him to the family's safe.

However, Lee was unable to get access to the safe's contents as the daughter did not know the passcode to unlock the coffer.

Officers oversee the scene of a robbery-murder in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, on December 21, 2019. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre
Officers oversee the scene of a robbery-murder in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City on December 21, 2019. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre

After several failed attempts to open the strongbox, the man took mobile phones from the victims and VND3 million (US$129.81) in cash that he found in the house.

The man then made a getaway in the family’s Chevrolet Spark, which was parked outside.

He drove the vehicle to Thu Thiem 2 Bridge in District 2 and set it on fire at around 5:00 am in an attempt to erase evidence of his crime, police said.

After committing the robbery-murder, Lee returned to his rental room on Le Thi Rieng Street and pretended as if nothing had happened.

Lee stole $2,000 from his roommate and ran away to another rental place on Cong Quynh Street in District 1, where he stayed while waiting for his scheduled flight to leave Vietnam.

Little did he know that his every action was being monitored by police officers, who made the arrest on Wednesday afternoon before he could flee the country.

Police officers work at the scene near Thu Thiem Bridge in District 2, where a car was found burned in conjunction with a robbery-murder in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, December 21, 2019. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre
Police officers work at the scene near Thu Thiem Bridge in District 2, where a car was found burned in conjunction with a robbery-murder in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, December 21, 2019. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre

After being arrested, Lee Hyeong Won told investigators that he had thrown away the stolen mobile phones and spent all of the stolen cash.

Lee also said that he had burned the Chevrolet car as he was not familiar with the local traffic while aware that it would be impossible to sell the vehicle.

According to the police, Lee Hyeong Won has no criminal record.

Although investigators suspect that Lee was acquainted with the Yoon family, he insisted on not knowing the victims personally.

Investigators of Ho Chi Minh City Police are actively coordinating with authorities to soon clarify unclear or contradictory details in the case.

The husband and daughter have survived their wounds and are recovering.

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