South Korea police say a body may be ferry-disaster fugitive's

SEOUL (REUTERS)- South Korean police are trying to confirm the identity of a body they believe may have been the fugitive head of the family that owned the operator of a ferry that capsized in April, killing more than 300 people, a police official told Reuters.

Mr Yoo Byung Un is accused of embezzlement, negligence and tax evasion and has been the subject of a two-month nationwide manhunt.

A reward of nearly half a million dollars has been offered. A police official said the body was found last month in a plum field in the southern city of Suncheon near a retreat where police have suspected Mr Yoo may have been hiding, and that forensics examinations had found that the body's DNA resembled Mr Yoo's.

Further examination was underway, the official said. A press conference was due to be held at 9 am (0000 GMT) on Tuesday in Suncheon, the official said, declining to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to media.

Local media reports on the development came hours after prosecutors apologised on Monday for failing to capture Mr Yoo, the country's most wanted man, when they announced interim results of their investigation into the country's worst maritime disaster in 20 years.

They did not mention that a body suspected of being Mr Yoo's had been found.