South Korean man arrested for beating 5-year-old stepson to death, over 20-hour period

A photo illustration of a boy being abused.
A photo illustration of a boy being abused.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A South Korean man in his 20s has been taken into custody on suspicion of beating his stepson to death.

On Friday (Sept 27), the Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency revealed it was seeking an arrest warrant for the 26-year-old suspect, who allegedly beat his five-year-old stepson to death.

The man was accused of tying up the victim with cable ties and beating him with a wooden bar for around 20 hours starting on Wednesday afternoon and into the next day at their home in the Michuhol district of Incheon.

Around 10.20pm on Thursday, the man called the emergency services, saying the child was not breathing.

When the authorities arrived at the house, the boy was unconscious and had no pulse. He was transferred to a nearby hospital, where he was confirmed dead.

Upon finding bruises and evidence of assault on the boy's face and limbs, police arrested the stepfather immediately in relation to his son's death.

The man told police he became angry because the child had lied to him.

"We initially arrested the suspect on suspicion of death resulting from child abuse but changed the charges, as investigation showed he could have recognised that violence might lead to the boy's death," a police official said.

In 2017, the man married the dead child's mother, who has two other sons. He was investigated by police the same year on suspicion of child abuse.

His wife and the other sons, aged two and four, were also at the scene when the violence happened. She told police that her husband had beaten her and threatened to kill her and the other two sons if she called police.