On November 4th, Ulsan police announced that they had charged a woman with the savage beating death of her eight-year-old stepdaughter. The girl had apparently suffered from two years of constant abuse, during which the mother told her biological father and the community that she kept on “getting into accidents”. Online, the story brought an outpouring of rage and sorrow as netizens asked how the husband and her community could have been ignorant of the shocking violence. The story grew even more tragic when it emerged that the woman had two biological children of her own, who lived in the same house as the stepmother scalded, kicked, and punched her husband’s daughter.
Article from Yonhap:
After Abusing Her Stepdaughter, Lies Abound… “The Two-faced Stepmother”
(Ulsan=Yonhap News) Journalist Heo Gwangmu
The revelation that the eight-year-old daughter who died at the hands of her stepmother had suffered through years of abuse is provoking national grief and outrage. Details have emerged that every time the stepmother beat and abused her stepdaughter, she told people that the girl got hurt “by accident.”
The Ulsan Ulju Police Station announced on November 4th that the charges brought against Park ****, 40, a stepmother who beat her stepdaughter Lee ****, 8, to death have been corrected from the original charge of ‘bodily harm resulting in death’ to include ‘abuse resulting in death,’ ‘child abuse,’ in addition to other crimes.
Investigators concluded that rather than dying from a single instance of violence committed by her stepmother, the daughter suffered for approximately the past two years from habitual violence and abuse. According to police, Park concocted lies to tell her husband that would cover up the terrible injuries she was inflicting on her stepdaughter.
On May 21 of 2012, in the village of Beomseo in Ulju, Ulsan City, Mrs. Park kicked her stepdaughter in the thigh multiple times, breaking a bone that took ten weeks to heal. The violence was triggered by the stepdaughter arriving home thirty minutes late. Park lied to her husband, telling him, “The kid got hurt falling down the stairs at her hagwon (private academy).”
On October 31 of 2012, after an argument with her husband over her punishment of Lee, he left the home, giving Park the opportunity to drag the young girl to the bathroom and scald her with hot water, giving her second degree burns. This time, when her husband came home she told him, “I turned up the boiler to get the hot water to come out. The kid didn’t know and burned herself.”
Park even tried to cover up her behavior on the day her stepdaughter took her last breath. On the 24th of October, Park responded to her stepdaughter’s request to go out with friends by severely punching and kicking her in the head and chest. Then she made the severely bruised Lee get into a full bathtub of warm water because ‘if you soak your whole body in warm water the bruises will fade quickly.’ However, as 16 of Miss Lee’s 24 ribs were broken, one of them ended up piercing her lungs and causing internal bleeding, she struggled to breathe and finally died.
In the midst of this, Mrs. Park received a phone call from her husband, who had gone to work in the city. She told him, “(Your daughter) went out with friends.” After Miss Lee’s death, Mrs. Park, worried that the situation would snowball, told emergency responders, “My daughter went to take a bath, but she fell in the bathtub and died.” Later, at Lee’s funeral service, Mrs. Park emphatically told people it was “an accident” and concealed her crime.
Because Lee’s father, who lived away from home due to his work in the real estate industry, only visited the home about twice per month, police determined that not only could he not witness his wife’s abuse, but that he also believed every lie she told him. Park was able to maintain her double life without difficulty.
The Parent Teacher Association Board at Lee’s elementary school was active, and appeared enthusiastic in sending the girl to a hagwon for private lessons. People at school remembered Lee as a bright child. If anyone occasionally asked her about the bruises on her face caused by her stepmother, she would tell them, “I got hurt at home,” but would never make mention of her stepmother’s violence. Because of this, those in the neighborhood and at school did not suspect domestic violence or abuse, and, according to the police, did not even know that Mrs. Park was not the birth mother.
The fact about the case that has caused the most furor was that Park is the mother of two children of her own. According to the police, Park is separated from Lee’s father, who is keeping the two children they had together. He has not filed for divorce yet, with the aim of maintaining a normal school life for the children. The divorce will be delayed until after the children graduate from school so that they will not have to be labeled a “children from a broken family” or suffer psychological trauma because of their mother.
One police officer stated, “When I think of my own children, it becomes difficult to accept the reality that there are children out there who we have to protect who are being abused.”
Meanwhile, the news of Park’s abuse and her young daughter’s tragedy have caused national grief and outrage.
On Naver, ‘fori****’ commented, “Even grown men cannot tolerate that kind of assault and those kinds of severe acts… What’s more, it’s clear that she did not feed the child properly and now she went ahead and… It’s horrible to even think about.”
‘sani****’ wrote, “This is a really shocking article. It’s not easy to break even one rib, and she broke 16… How on earth did she hit her that much?”
‘vmax****’ “I’m filled with anger. For goodness’ sake, I pray that you forget this hateful world and go to a place full of only happy and pleasant things.”
In addition, one reader asked how to send monetary support for the deceased Lee.
On Twitter ID ‘APT*****’ said, “The stepdaughter was just an object for the stepmother to vent her anger on, but that’s not what human beings are for.”
Comments from Naver:
This is really heartbreaking. How much must that girl have wanted to go out with her friends… The stepmother is the stepmother but I think that we have to ask about the father’s responsibility too.
Why don’t you tell us the name and identity of this woman? Let’s look at her face.
The kid must have been so afraid… And how hard she must have kept an eye out for what was coming… My tears are flowing… May this baby be comfortable and happy in heaven… Ah seriously…..
It said she still beat her even when her bone looked broken like that. This kid was too pitiful… sob.. As for the stepmother, even if you hadn’t beaten the kid as she got bigger and started treating her better it still wouldn’t have been good enough, but you just attacked her without mercy. Seriously, go to hell.
Our system definitely needs the death penalty.”
I am in favor of the death penalty…………………..
So Cinderella’s evil stepmother really does exist. That woman’s kids are going to receive their mother’s karma.
The stepmother needs to die the same way. How hard must she have hit the kid to break her thigh into two pieces? Even if she is ripped to pieces it would be too easy..
Lock the husband up, wasn’t he an accomplice too? That kind of trash…………. I’m all riled up. That must have been so painful and agonizing, seriously ah………….. aaaaahhh I’m seriously gonna go crazy. I’m out of control, seriously this makes me wanna die…
Comments from Daum:
“I am so outraged…. but sad… I’m crying!………* baby!…How much that must have hurt… how lonely and sad must she have been?…Please, I’m praying for a good place for her… for her to meet good parents…!”
Ah. My heart is broken. Eight-years-old is still a baby…… Little baby, rest in peace in heaven….
I’m crying because my heart is aching. May you spend your next life brightly and happily with good parents~
There was habitual abuse but the husband didn’t know~ That’s just neglect~ Throw him in jail too~
Let’s alert the community! Your kids have to know what kind of woman you are”