Yongsan Police Station officer found dead amid investigation into Itaewon tragedy

SEOUL– A Yongsan Police Station officer was found dead Friday while under an investigation in connection with the deadly crowd crush in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood.

The 55-year-old intelligence officer, surnamed Jeong, was found dead at 12:45 p.m. at his home in northern Seoul by a family member.

The Yongsan Police Station, along with the fire station and the ward office in the district, has been under an investigation over suspicions they failed to promptly respond to the crowd crush that killed at least 156 people on Oct. 29.

Jeong has been facing suspicions that after the tragedy, he ordered the deletion of an internal intelligence report giving prior warnings of a possible safety accident during the Halloween period in a suspected attempt to cover up inaction.

Charges raised against him included abuse of authority, destruction of evidence and professional negligence resulting in death.

No suicide note has been found, but Jeong was reported to have made phone calls to some colleagues the previous day, suggesting suicide.

Since getting booked for investigation earlier this week, he had been on vacation and was suspended from duty on Wednesday. He had not been summoned for questioning.

Police plan to close his case after looking into the circumstances of his death.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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