South Korean police have arrested a couple on suspicion they left their infant’s body in a kimchi container for about three years.
According to the police in the city of Pocheon, just outside of Seoul, the infant died at 15 months old and the parents didn’t inform the authorities, the Korea Herald reported.
But when the couple’s child wasn’t registered on any preschool rosters and hadn’t received doctors’ checkups, local officials turned their suspicion on the parents. City authorities reported her missing on Oct. 27 after failing to contact her mother.
Three days later, the police found the 34-year-old mother and arrested her on suspicion of violating child welfare laws. The father, 29, was detained on Nov. 16, two days after investigators found the infant’s body in a plastic container used to store kimchi. Police said the jar was 35 centimeters long, 24 centimeters wide and 17 centimeters tall—about the size of a toaster.
While being interviewed by the police, the mother at first denied her daughter died. She instead claimed that she had abandoned her baby on the street.
But in subsequent interviews she admitted hiding her child’s body with her husband. Police suspect the infant died while the father was in prison and after he was discharged, the couple hid the container on his parents’ rooftop, the Korea Herald reported.
Police are still investigating the infant’s cause of death and the couple’s motive.
If found guilty of fatal child abuse crimes, the parents can be punished with a minimum five year sentence or life imprisonment with labor.