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Six Korean Americans arrested after body found in car trunk in Georgia

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Six Korean Americans have been arrested on charges of felony murder and concealing a body, following the discovery of a Korean woman’s body in the trunk of a car parked outside Jeju, a popular Korean-style spa in Gwinnett County, Georgia. It should be noted that the spa is not implicated in the case.

On September 14, Gwinnett County police held a press conference to announce the arrest of all six individuals implicated in the crime.

On September 12 at 10:50 p.m., police received a report of a body in the trunk of a silver Jaguar parked in the spa’s parking lot. The car was driven by Eric Hyun, 26. After parking the vehicle, Hyun contacted his family to pick him up and take him to the hospital. While there, he mentioned to them that he had left a “personal item” in his car.

When the family went to check on the vehicle, they discovered the body in the trunk and promptly reported to the police. An investigation was subsequently launched. It’s important to note that Hyun was hospitalized for reasons unrelated to this incident.

The victim, a Korean woman believed to be in her mid-20s to 30s, showed multiple signs of assault. Preliminary findings suggest the cause of death was malnutrition, as she weighed a mere 70 pounds at the time of discovery.

The arrested individuals include Eric Hyun, Gawon Lee (26), Joonho Lee (26), Joonhyun Lee (22), Hyunji Lee (25), and a 15-year-old juvenile whose identity remains undisclosed. While three of the suspects are siblings, all are U.S. citizens. Hyun, though unrelated, had been living with the family for a significant period.

Investigations suggest that the victim’s assault and subsequent death took place in the basement of the family’s residence over several weeks. The group is believed to have attempted to dispose of the body using the car post the victim’s demise.

The victim, a South Korean citizen, had traveled to the U.S. this summer to join a religious group named the Soldiers of Christ. All her immediate family members live in South Korea. At this time, the police have no information about the religious organization.

BY HAEUN LEE   [lee.haeun@koreadailyny.com]